A study from earlier this year, conducted by the Social Media Examiner (their fifth annual report), provides an interesting overview of the latest trends of social media and how marketers are using these platforms. This high-level survey collects the opinions of marketers and provides insight into the latest shifts in this field. Download the full report here for free.
Some of the major findings include:
1) De.licio.us, DIGG, Friendfeed, etc., are rapidly falling out of favor where marketers are concerned; the most popular bookmarking sites are currently: Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and StumbleUpon.
2) Forums (24% in 2011; 16% this year) and geo-location services such as Foursquare (17% in 2011; 11% this year) are also in decline.
3) Respondents with more than five years experience are far more likely to use LinkedIn than the average respondent (92% vs. 70%).
4) Marketers who spend more than 40 hours a week on social media are more heavily focused on Pinterest, Google +, Instagram and YouTube than those who spending six hours a week or less on social media marketing.
5) Biz-to-Consumer marketers have adopted Facebook at a greater rate than Biz-to-Biz marketers; however, the opposite is true for LinkedIn. Although Facebook is the most important social platform for a strong majority (67%) of B2C marketers, Facebook and LinkedIn are tied among B2B marketers at 29% each.
6) 67% of marketers plan to increase their Twitter activities. This is a significant majority, but is down slightly from 69% last year and 73% in 2011. Younger marketers are much more likely to use photo sharing sites such as Instagram than their older counterparts.
7) The report says 80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial in the near future.
About the Data: Of the 3025 marketing participants in the study, 56% primarily target consumers and 44% target businesses. 72% of the respondents are aged 30-59. Females represented 62% of the survey sample. 57% are in the U.S., with the U.K. (9%) being the next-most heavily represented country.