DMA: Data and Marketing Association
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Social Media Marketing Statistics

Video, search, social commerce and yes emojis. If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in social media, your customers won’t be paying much attention to you. Start here. Learn the basics. And prepare for what’s next. Word of mouth marketing has never been stronger and there are so many ways to embrace it. Keep up with your colleagues.

With the Wide Range of Social Media Channels Available, Brands can Reach and Engage with their Audience to Build Stronger and more Interactive Relationships.

Here’s how the social media story played out in 2016

Social platforms keep pushing for innovative features to improve the user experience and satisfy the growing demand for personalization from their consumers.

Which platforms are the most relevant for your company?

  • Pinterest may be useful for retailers in reaching new buyers at the top of the sales funnel whereas Facebook and Twitter can be far more effective in reaching high-value customers.

No longer a one-way means of communication for organizations to promote their message.TwitterLogo_#55acee

  • Social networks provide the opportunity to start a conversation with your consumers and deliver the right message to the right individual.

Tremendous changes and growth in 2016

  • Platforms altered their algorithmic models to better suit their users’ interests.

Many companies reported brand awareness as their top desirable outcome from their social media campaign.TwitterLogo_#55acee

  • Building brand awareness today requires more than promotional ads.
  • The responsibility is on brands to…TwitterLogo_#55acee
    • Find the right audience
    • Personalize offers
    • Deliver relevant content

Social Media Data
Brands must rely on data first

  • While social media allows advertisers to segment their audience and target specific consumers, brands are responsible to obtain the right data first, so they can build the profile of their potential prospects.
  • The ubiquity of social media opens more doors to deliver ads directly to the prospect; however, it also increases the viewer’s selectivity. If the offer or content is not relevant, it will get disregarded and the brand would have wasted its resources in delivering it to the wrong individual. Invest your resources to the right audience.TwitterLogo_#55acee
  • Data is the key to personalization.
  • Learn who the target audience is in each social channel and the type of message that will trigger engagement.
  • Sprout Social reported that around 41% of people would unfollow a brand on social media if they were receiving irrelevant content.TwitterLogo_#55acee
  • 46% would unfollow if they got too many promotional messages.TwitterLogo_#55acee

Customer Path to Purchase
The journey…

  • Measuring ROI from social media marketing was ranked as the top challenge that marketers faced in 2016.TwitterLogo_#55acee
  • Still using the old last-attribution or first-attribution models to credit the source of ROI? Then you end up overlooking all the other touch-points that your consumers interacted with during their path to conversion.
  • Map out a complete picture of the consumer journey by:
    • Using a multi-touch attribution model to understand what social channels are driving your prospects closer to the micro-moment – the decisive instance when the prospect becomes a buyer.TwitterLogo_#55acee
    • Don’t end up losing valuable data that gives a comprehensive picture of the consumer journey by using traditional last- or first-attribution models.

Watching Live Video Stream
2016 was the year where videos and live streaming took over social media at a breakneck speed.TwitterLogo_#55acee

  • Facebook and Instagram rolled out their live-streaming features making Snapchat no longer the only player in this format.
  • Snapchat made remarkable milestones by pushing their Sponsored Lens campaigns and adopting the targeted advertising model.
  • Facebook remains the most used social media platform among brands.
  • Snapchat is now the fourth most used social platform for brands, surpassing Twitter and LinkedIn.

What about for consumers?

  • According to Fluent, among Millennials (18-34) and non-Millennials (35+), Snapchat has become the fourth most used social media. The top three are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.TwitterLogo_#55acee
  • As more platforms have moved toward video-based format and integrating live streaming, marketers will have increasing opportunity to build more interactive relationships with their customers in 2017.

Companies need to prioritize their mobile viewability and optimize their social platforms based on the mobile format. According to comScore’s 2016 report on social media*, almost 80% of social media time is spent on mobile. Cell phones will continue to overtake the digital landscape and it is no longer an option for marketers to ignore the mobile viewability, aesthetics, and functionality of their social campaigns.

Moving forward to 2017, social media will open more doors for organizations to have conversations with their consumers and customize their experience with their brands in a more interpersonal level. With that said, it is important for companies to embrace the latest trends and constantly engage, listen, and observe how their audiences are interacting with each channel. As many organizations go through their marketing objectives with their team this year, it is important to identify what types of content resonated well with their consumers and use this knowledge to devise new campaigns to test. The upcoming year will bring in more opportunities for brands to get to know their consumers better and implement digital strategies that will help them move forward in the social media realm.

2017 DMA Statistical Fact Book Byline Excerpt by James Fink, CEO and Co-Founder of Optikal

Featured Social Media Marketing Benchmarks from 2016 DMA Response Rate Report

2016 Statistical Fact Book Byline for Social by Mark Ogne, EVP of Demand Metric and Advisor of NewzSocial

Social media has the opportunity and obstacle of being at the forefront of marketing engagement. On consumer territory, not the brand, marketers face many new concerns and options: learning how to progress and build a program that engages the right audiences in a proper manner, how to align those activities with larger marketing efforts, and how to measure outcomes.

Social media interactions in the digital age have been around for nearly 20 years. While many people look to the entry of Facebook and Twitter in 2006, early sites like SixDegrees.com and the mainstreaming of “weblogs” started around 1997. Nearly a decade before marketers took note, consumers connected and exercised their newly found voice. As a participant in this process of sharing, marketers were collectively late to the party and are now trying to figure out how to fit with a channel that was created from an atypical perspective… bottom up.

Taking from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I have seen a maturation process marketers transcend as time, technology and best practice sharpens approach:

  • LEVEL 1 – PRESENCE. The most simplistic and fundamental step, to extend an organization’s web presence into social media. We’ve seen this happen as people create a company page on LinkedIn, a fan page on Facebook and start a corporate Twitter account.
  • LEVEL 2 – REACH. Soon, marketers realize that they need to produce a stream of content and share it. Through this process, they hopefully gain a following and some of their own “voice”.
  • LEVEL 3 – ENGAGEMENT. Here we see a fundamental shift in social strategy, from broadcasting and self-promotion to providing audience-based value. This is done by shifting focus from quantity of messages to quality of content, targeting of messages and delivery on the provision of value to specific audiences. When done properly, audiences are inclined to like, comment and share the content, thereby extending the engagement of the network.
  • LEVEL 4 – SCALE. Scale is to align social activity with all of the company’s marketing and communications programs, connect socially active teams across the company, and increase social participation.
  • LEVEL 5 – INFLUENCE. When all of these things are done well, some organizations become participants in the shaping of opinion within an audience. The outcome is that the business’ social credibility is developed into authority on topics and they become a thought leader. These movements deliver the marketing outcomes we’re all looking for.

My sense is that the social media marketing industry averages a score around level 3, Engagement. Sure, there are “unicorns” out there who are absolutely standout in their efforts, though rare. As an industry, indicators appear as though programs are huddled into stretch goals to better integrate social media marketing into larger digital strategies (Scale) and find fundamental measurement capabilities and KPIs.

Of particular concern, I have also seen a large number of marketing organizations try to bypass Level 3, Engagement, by shifting focus and resources from organic social engagement to paid programs. I firmly believe in the value of paid programs but believe that the combination of the two strategies are much more powerful. Yes, the organic social engagement strategy has become increasingly difficult; however, without it, the resulting strategy ends up looking more like a legacy “push” program and misses the true promise of engagement. To make my point let’s examine a parallel concept, paid search.

What would a search program look like if all you had was a paid effort and no SEO? Sure, the paid program will deliver value but will also miss many other dimensions of value – for example, some people prefer organic results, and the combination of paid and organic produce better overall results. The same is true with social media marketing. Some people will click on your ads but a click on a paid ad is not the same outcome as a share or like on a post that you craft.

While social media possesses the greatest opportunity to actually fuse engagement between a brand and their audience, it’s also among the hardest of channels for marketers to accomplish this objective. Why? It’s not easy to succeed and scale on both the paid and organic social paths. Hard doesn’t mean impossible.

As you’re thinking through your 2016 objectives, consider the hierarchy model shown above. Where does your program sit on this continuum? What do you need to do to get to the next level? Don’t try to boil the ocean, find a manageable set of objectives to accomplish. For all but the “unicorns” who read this article, most would benefit from prioritizing a mix of these activities:

I hope 2016 is a great year for you and your social media marketing program. Following these simple guidelines will definitely build momentum for your earned and owned digital strategy. Best of luck!

Featured Social Media Marketing Trends from 2016 DMA Statistical Fact Book

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