10 Social Media Charts – Is Your Brand Competitive?

Social Media: Where Customers And Brands Are  [Research]

As we enter the fourth quarter of 2012, it’s a good time to examine the social media landscape to determine where and how to focus your marketing efforts.

To this end, it’s useful to understand both your social media goals and to create a social media persona for your target audience as part of an effective social media strategy.

Social media where you’ll find your customers

Skip the phone. You’ll find me on social media. Performics found that 50% or more of those surveyed preferred to use social media over phones or email to communicate with friends. One out of five consumers doesn’t like brands on social media according to Performics research. Actionable Marketing Tip: If you’re an entertainment, restaurant, food, celebrity or apparel business, consider ways to actively engage with your fans and other customers since these categories are liked by more than a third of respondents. This doesn’t mean that other businesses shouldn’t use social media. Rather they should determine where their prospects and customers spend their time.

How does your brand stack up across social media platforms?

Here’s how the top 15 global brands on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube stack up based on results from Social Bakers. Interestingly, the top brands vary by social media network. While B2C brands tend to dominate across these four platforms, it’s interesting that NASA is in the top five on Twitter. In part, B2C strength on social media is attributable to the overall strength of many of these brands, their large marketing budgets, their retail footprint, the lower relative cost of social media compared to outbound marketing, and the synergies of their integrated marketing efforts. By contrast, NASA’s appearance on Twitter is attributable to a number of recent milestones. Actionable Marketing Tip: Assess where your competitors are on social media. Are they reaching your prospects and customers as efficiently as you are?

Top 15 Global Brands on Facebook

 Top 15 Global Brands on Twitter

Top 15 Global Brands on Google+

Top 15  Global Brands on YouTube

 Where’s your traffic coming from?

According to Shareaholic, social media platforms can be a good source of traffic. While Facebook still dominates in terms of referral traffic, Pinterest’s referral traffic continues to grow rapidly while Twitter’s traffic has tapered off slightly. Actionable Marketing Tip: Integrate a way for social media participants to find your website or social media outpost from content shared on these venues to increase traffic. (Note: This doesn’t mean using these sites for promotional purposes!)

Google+ gives customers satisfaction

Google+ appears to be gaining traction relative to Facebook in terms of customer satisfaction, albeit slowly, according to data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). One of Google+’s major challenges is Facebook’s large installed base and the work required to change networks.

ACSI results

Don’t code without it – Facebook referenced by one out of five web pages

21.7% of all web pages reference Facebook based on research of 1.3 billion URLs by Matthew Berk of Zyxt Labs. A closer examination of Berk’s results shows that there are close to two Facebook URLs per webpage. While this may seem high, understand that these Facebook URLs can be in the form of a like button or a share. Berk’s conclusion is that people and websites are weaving themselves into social networks.

Two out of three customers don’t trust Facebook

Two thirds of consumers don’t trust Facebook’s use of their data. Given the amount of data social media networks amass from participants over time, trust can make or break a social media network.

Facebook has least trust for data handling

How other online marketers are using major social media platforms

To put this in perspective, here’s how other online marketers use social media channels based on research by SEOmoz, a technology company focused on search.

Blogs, which are critical to business in 2013, are ranked top in terms of content marketing and SEO across all social media formats.  This makes sense given that a blog is a CMS (content management system) that supports search optimization.  Blogs also provide content that’s easily shared across social media and engage visitors through comments. Actionable Marketing Tip: If you don’t have an active blog that supports your product offering, it’s time to add it to your action items.

Interestingly, social media networks are important for brand visibility. As stated above, it’s important to be where your target audience is. If you don’t know where they spend their time on social media, ask them.

Social media has increased in importance because it’s where your prospects, customers and competitors spend their time. Even more important is that it supports other aspects of your integrated marketing plans.

How do you see social media evolving over the next year and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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