The continuing growth of social media marketing

23 01 2011

Subject: The continuing growth of social media marketing

Social media marketing is becoming an important cog in the wheel of many companies’ overall marketing plans. According to HubSpot.com, U.S. advertisers spent $1.7 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) in 2010 on social media marketing. Of that, 53% was spent advertising on Facebook. Globally, companies spent $3.4 billion on social media marketing in 2010.

Pepsi — a staple of Super Bowl ads for decades — has announced that it will not run any ads in this year’s game. Instead, the company will invest more heavily in social media campaigns.

So what are the most popular social media channels for large companies? HubSpot reports that 65% of Fortune Global 100 companies maintain a corporate Twitter account, 54% host a Facebook page, 50% have a company YouTube channel, and 33% run a company blog.

Having a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog is one thing. Keeping it active is something else entirely. Of the companies cited earlier who use T witter, 82% post multiple tweets per week. Among corporate YouTube users, 68% upload at least one new video per month. On Facebook, 59% post at least once per week. And 36% of corporations with blogs update those blogs at least once every month.

While HubSpot focused its research on larger corporations, social media marketing is ideally suited for small businesses, too. The cost of getting started is minimal, and commitment can grow and scale over time.

If you aren’t using social media marketing, I recommend you start. If you can’t commit too much time, that’s ok. Start small, and build your efforts as time allows. Begin with a Facebook page for your company, a blog (like this one), or a Twitter account. Make a plan for adding new content regularly. And engage with customers who engage with you online.

Once you’re started, include the address for each of your social media channels on your website. Add your Twitter name to your business cards. And begin to engage with your customers and prospective customers through social media. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’d like to see more from the HubSpot study referenced in this post, visit:
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/8594/Social-Media-Marketing-By-The-Numbers-Infographic.aspx

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