Surprise! Social Media Marketing Isn’t the Black Hole Your Boss Thinks It Is

Social Marketing Black Hole
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Social media marketing is a giant time-suck, whose benefits and impact are nebulous and nearly impossible to measure, right?

Not according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Report by Social Media Examiner (SME).

The exhaustive 56-page study features responses from more than 3700 B2B and B2C marketers, who say that social media marketing is working so well that nearly two-thirds of them plan to ramp-up their social initiatives.

What’s gotten them so excited?

The same thing that quickens the pulse of every integrated marketer: results. And plenty of them.
Here are some examples reported by marketers who spend as little as six hours weekly on social media marketing:
More Exposure and Traffic: A notable 90 percent of those polled say they have increased exposure, while 77 percent report that social media has generated more traffic.
Reduced Marketing Expenses: More than half of marketers in companies with 10 or fewer employees reported lower marketing expenses, while 41 percent of those from larger firms (>1000 employees) also cut their costs.
Higher search rankings: Though many SEO experts assert that social ‘signals’ have no effect on search engine result page (SERP) position, the 2015 SME report seems to suggest they may, with 61 percent of active social-media marketers reporting higher search-results rankings.
You Know this Question’s Coming
That’s all well and good, wary executives might say, but what about sales? Anything concrete to report? The short answer is yes, with this caveat: results don’t happen overnight and they don’t happen for everybody.

The fact is that more than 50 percent of marketers who have used social media for at least two years reported that it helps improve sales.

Have more than six hours per week to spend on social media marketing? Go for it. Nearly three-fourths of companies who invest 40 or more hours on the practice acknowledge it has netted them more business.

About right here, glass-half-fullers will exclaim that social media marketing did not increase sales!! for the other 50 percent of survey respondents, which, in fact, is true.

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