2015 Social Media Content Use [Research and Charts]

4 Key Content Tips To Maximize Social Media Results

2015 Social Media Content UseSocial media runs on content.

Unlike owned and third party media entities, social media provides the platform and related technology that empowers participants to create, comment on and share content with others.

In their 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner broke social media content into 4 categories:

  • Visuals (71%). Encompass a wide range of content such as photographs, charts, infographics, cartoons, and other images.
  • Blogs (70%). Are classified as social media text in this context (not social media platforms as in previous years. (Note: I disagree with this classification since blogs contain the other 3 social content formats and visual social content can be text.)
  • Video (57%). Include film as well as presentations with commentary.
  • Podcasting (10%). This is an audio format.

Commonly used social media content-2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report-Chart-Social Media Examiner-1

To appreciate how marketers rank social media content:

  • 45% consider blogging their most important form of social media content.
  • 34% consider visuals their most important form of social media content.
  • 19% consider videos their most important form of social media content.
  •  2% consider podcasts their most important form of social media content.

2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report-Most important social media content

In part this ranking reveals the increased cost and specific skill set required to create each social media content format. Although it should be noted that there are low priced, easy-to-use tools that aid marketers with limited creative abilities.

Social Media Content Use: B2B VS B2C

When choosing a social media content format, consider both your offering and your target audience. Consider how much information will be needed to support your sale and how it can stand out from your competitors and other content.

  • Blogging is more important for B2B marketers (57%) than B2C marketers (39%). This makes sense. B2B products and services are more complex. Therefore, they require more in-depth explanations.
  • Visual content is more important for B2C marketers (40%) than B2B marketers (24%). B2C marketers must attract buyers’ attention. They use visual content to stand out from competitors. This is key because consumers tend to do their research and buying with very little business interaction.

Social Media Content Use: Small Businesses VS Large Organizations

Company size is often a defining factor in terms of marketing budget. Smaller businesses need to be more focused to maximize their efforts.

  • 57% of solopreneurs ranked blogging as their most important social media content format (79% of solopreneurs blog) versus 29% of businesses with 1,000+ employees (54% of large organizations blog). This is attributable to the larger budgets and greater content diversification.

Social media content use for 2015 and beyond

Here’s what marketers plan to use going forward. Interestingly, there’s not much difference between the first 3 options.

  • 73% of marketers plan to increase their use of visuals.
  • 72% of marketers plan to increase their use of videos.
  • 69% of marketers plan to increase their use of blogging. This is a surprise since blogging is a mature form of social media and content.
  • 26% of marketers plan to increase their use of podcasting. More interesting is that opportunity still exists since 60% of marketers do NOT plan to add podcasting.

4 Key content tips to improve social media results

As Michael Hyatt points out, in today’s environment you need to build your own platform. This provides the power behind your social media. To this end, determine your business goals and know your audience to yield measurable results. 2015 Social Media Content Use

1. Social media visuals

  • Visual content is fast-to-consume, easy-to-share and attracts attention by standing out in a social media stream.
  • Visual content offers a broad variety of options including stand out text presentations such as quotes.
  • Visual content requires creative support and budget to keep them fresh.

Social Media visual experts to follow:

Actionable Social Media Tip:

  • Batch your visual content creation to minimize effort.
  • Leverage free photographs.

2. Social media videos

  • Videos will increase in popularity as social media platforms expand their content offerings beyond text and images. Facebook and YouTube will require advertising support. (Here are 10 tips to be a video director.)
  • Videos require budget, skilled personnel and related support.

Social media video experts to follow:

  • Jay Baer. He’s a go-to expert. Jay has a set of talking heads videos that shows that you don’t need a lot of time or budget.
  • Orabrush. Videos transformed this would be company into a global brand.

Actionable Social Media Tip:

  • Leverage existing video opportunities. Plan ahead whether you’re shooting a commercial, a company video or a conference. Gather additional video content at the same time to minimize costs. Start small with talking heads and expand to education and entertainment.

3. Blogs

  • Blogs continue to be popular since they support your marketing goals with the 5 key types of content.
  • Blogs continue to a top area where marketers need help since you must make your content stand out from the pack. Understand that one of the blogging challenges is the longevity of the top blogs.

Blog experts to follow:

  • Copyblogger and Problogger. These 2 blogs are the must reads for marketers and bloggers alike.
  • Ann Handley. I’m a big fan of Ann’s personal blog. Despite having been part of larger marketing platforms, Ann has been putting quality effort into her blog. Every post has a tidbit worth your time.

Actionable Social Media Tip:

  • Invest in quality blogging regardless of business focus or size! Assign responsibility for your blog to specific employees. Further, don’t just post on your own blog. Enhance your reach by guest posting on other blogs in your category.

4. Podcasts

  • Podcasts are an audio form of social media content that enables you to speak to your audience in a truly human voice.
  • Podcasts require support in terms of editing and building an audience. (Blogs and iTunes help.)
  • Podcasts often revolve around an interview or on-going conversation.

Podcast experts to follow:

Actionable Social Media Tip:

  • Leverage the opportunity to build before the market grows. Pat Flynn attributes podcasting to growing his blog.


When developing your content marketing editorial calendar, determine the social media content you’ll need to support your presence.

Program this content creation into your calendar and budget to ensure that you maximize your marketing results.

What’s your best social media content suggestion and why is it useful?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo Credit: http://www.pexels.com/photo/ipad-tablet-macbook-computer-6508/

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