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What You Can Learn from the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

social-media-marketing-reportDo you ever wonder which social media platform is the most popular among marketers, or which type of content gets published the most on social media? What about which platforms marketers plan to use more in the future? If these are some questions you have, you’ll appreciate the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report that was published by Social Media Examiner earlier this year. Read on to see a summary of some of the most interesting findings.

The Benefits of Social Media

Most marketers find social media to be beneficial, with 89 percent claiming the biggest advantage is increased exposure. About 75 percent of marketers in this report said increased web traffic is another benefit of social media marketing. Getting loyal fans of the brand is a benefit mentioned by 68 percent, and 66 percent said social media marketing has provided them with insight on the market.

Equally helpful is the ability for social media to create leads, which 66 percent said has happened. Additionally, 58 percent said their social media marketing efforts have improved their search rankings. The other benefits mentioned in this social media marketing report include:

  • Business partnerships
  • Thought leadership
  • Increased sales
  • Fewer marketing expenses

The Most Used Social Networks

Given all these benefits, it’s no wonder 90 percent of the marketers surveyed here said social media marketing is essential for their business, and 63 percent said they spend at least 6 hours a week on social media marketing. About 19 percent even spend 20 hours or more each week on social media marketing, so there’s no question that most people use this marketing method quite a bit.

What’s more interesting is which social media platforms they’re using most. Granted, the top choice is not surprising. Take a look at the results:

  • Facebook – 93 percent
  • Twitter – 76 percent
  • LinkedIn – 67 percent
  • YouTube – 53 percent
  • Google+ – 49 percent
  • Instagram – 44 percent
  • Pinterest – 40 percent

What might surprise you is that Snapchat is only used by 5 percent of marketers who took this survey. Considering all the high hopes that many marketing professionals have for Snapchat, this number seems low. Of course, this report found that 51 percent of marketers take the wait-and-see approach when it comes to new social media platforms, and only 6 percent take the leap right away with new platforms, so there may be hope for Snapchat in the near future.

Popular Paid Social Media Options

Again, you probably won’t be shocked by the social media platform that gets the top spot for paid ads: Facebook. But the rest of the choices might be interesting to consider. Here are the top five paid social media choices:

  • Facebook – 87 percent
  • Google – 39 percent
  • Twitter – 18 percent
  • LinkedIn – 17 percent
  • Pinterest – 15 percent

The five least popular paid social media options are Instagram, YouTube, sponsored blog posts, Slideshare, and podcast advertisements.

The Social Networks Marketers Plan to Use More

Just because marketers use Facebook most frequently doesn’t mean they’re not considering other options. Sure, 67 percent of marketers plan on increasing their use of Facebook even more in the future. But at the same time, 63 percent of marketers plan to use YouTube more, while 61 percent want to use Twitter and LinkedIn more. About 57 percent of marketers plan to use Instagram more, and 42 percent want to increase their use of Pinterest.

Around 35 percent of marketers want to increase their use of Google+, but it should be noted that this is a reduction compared to years past, when as much as 61 percent planned to increase their use of this social media platform. So don’t expect to see the interest in Google+ that Google once hoped for.

The least popular forms of social media as far as interest from marketers are forums, SlideShare, social review websites, social bookmarking services, Snapchat, Vine, and geo-location services. But in Snapchat’s defense, 16 percent of marketers want to increase the use of this app, and this is much better than 2015’s mere 7 percent.

The Most Used Types of Content for Marketers

When it comes to the content most marketers put in their social media marketing plans, the clear winner is visual content, since 74 percent use it. A close second option is blogging, which 68 percent use. Videos make up 60 percent, followed by live video at 14 percent and podcasting at 10 percent.

However, when asked what types of content marketers plan to use more in the future, video won, since 73 percent plan to use it more. About 71 percent want to use visual content more, and 66 percent will try to blog more. Expect live video to get more popular soon, since 39 percent of marketers in this report plan to use it more often. Finally, 26 percent of marketers want to increase their use of podcasts.

Do these social media marketing findings match your own experiences? Do any surprise you? Read the full social media marketing report here and then let us know what you think!