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February 17, 2012

Marketers don’t know social media

A study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing revealed that out of nearly 1,000 marketers surveyed, a third reported that social media was not effective at all.

By Vinod

The research reveals that large businesses were not using social media on a daily basis, suggesting that many businesses are unaware how social media works and how to leverage it in order to see positive return on time and investment.

Nearly 40% of businesses surveyed reported that they used Twitter and FB once a day or more with an average of 37% using it several times a week to once a week. 25% reported using the social media platforms even less.

These findings show that marketers are struggling to understand the benefits of frequently and consistently engaging on social media platforms.

UK Head of Display for YouTube, Dara Nasr, told CBR that Social media marketing within businesses is essential.

"25% of all online activity is social media. If more and more people are spending time online in social media, that’s where they’re spending their leisure time. That’s the whole point of marketing: to hit people where they’re spending their time."

The CIM research revealed that YouTube was the social platform used the least among businesses suggesting that the high cost of creating video content for YouTube is a reason many businesses may prefer to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Nasr, however, told CBR, that many businesses may not regard YouTube as sole social media platform.

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"You have to look at it in the context of the Social Media Benchmarks study – it would suggest that [users] don’t always see YouTube as a social platform… I think that it’s not so much that they’re not using it, it’s just not really seen as a strictly ‘social media’ medium."

The research also revealed that many marketers believed social media lacked commercial potential and could not help with gaining new customers. This suggests that marketers may be confused on how to fully utilise social media, as one of the main reasons many people use social networking sites is to meet new people.

Research by CIM also revealed that the majority of businesses thought posting content was more important than listening on social sites. One of the most beneficial aspects of using a social media platform is discovering new ideas and marketers are missing out on utilising this unique aspect of social media.

Social media is an investment that requires continuous attention. The level of engagement needed for social media does not typically accompany that of traditional media and businesses need to realise this aspect.

In response to the research released by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, LinkedIn’s EMEA marketing solutions director offered a simple way for marketers to look at using social media saying: "Social media is like teenage sex, everyone wants to do it. When they do they’re a bit disappointed, but they practice and it gets much better."


Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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