More Women Have Accounts on Pinterest and Instagram

Women are more likely to have accounts on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter

Women continue to lead over men on most social networks, according to a March 2013 survey of over 2,500 adult US internet users from internet advertising network Burst Media. Facebook remained the leading social network by a wide margin, and females were 6 percentage points more likely than male internet users to have an account on the site.

Google+, a social network which had been somewhat marginalized after a lackluster start, is proving itself in US user figures. The site had the second-highest number of account holders among both men and women, leading Twitter by approximately 10 percentage points for both genders. About one-quarter of male and female web users were on the site.

Women more likely to have accounts on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter

On Pinterest, the skew toward women has been well documented and remains firmly entrenched. More than one out of five female respondents had an account on the network, compared with 5% of men. About 6% of both men and women were on Instagram, with slightly more women on the site. On Twitter, penetration rates were also very close, at 17% of women vs. 15.5% of men.

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Best Social Media Marketing Tactics

Marketers are zeroing in on the best social media marketing tactics to accomplish their goals, what their biggest challenges are and how to most effectively track their performance. 
According to a February 2013 survey of marketing professionals around the world by Ascend2, most respondents, both in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies considered customer engagement to be the primary purpose of their social media marketing respectively 43% and 55%). Website traffic also ranked second for both types of marketing professionals.leading objectives of social media marketing professionals in 2013

Lead generation was more important for B2Bs than B2Cs. Twenty-nine percent of B2Bs used social to generate better quality leads, and 27% sought to get more leads with the tactic.

Search engine rankings remain an important part of businesses’ digital strategy, and social media plays a role here too. Approximately 25% of both B2Bs and B2Cs used social media outreach to improve search rank.

Increasing sales revenue was a goal for over one-third of marketers for both B2Bs and B2Cs (33% and 39%).

40% of respondents cited creating articles and blog post content respondents cited creating articles and blog post content as the best way to achieve their social marketing goals. These tactics fall directly in line with driving the goal of customer engagement. Other forms of content creation also ranked high, including research and whitepapers for B2Bs, and video and audio for both types of companies.

B2Cs found advertising on social networks to be a much more effective strategy than B2Bs did.

Most effective social media marketing tactics

The top three most effective social marketing tactics were also the most difficult tactics to execute. These findings mirror growing research that while content marketing is one of the latest and greatest marketing tactics, it is also difficult and time consuming to produce.

Most difficult social media marketing tactics to implement

As to what obstacles stood in the way of marketers achieving their social goals, the greatest percentage of respondents (42%) cited staff limitations—not having enough personnel to create the content or drive the continuous engagement that powers social.

Nearly two out five respondents, the next greatest percentage, said difficulty measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social channels was a major obstacle in their social efforts.

When marketers do set out to measure social performance, the greatest percentage—over 60% on both the B2B and B2C sides—said they looked at website traffic. This metric may be somewhat basic, but it is also direct and easy to measure. The same goes for tracking search engine rankings, which was the No. 2 response. These responses show that even as marketing tactics have become more sophisticated, marketers still turn to tried and true methods to quantify ROI.

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Do CMOs Have The Wrong Priorities?

A recent study by Forrester Research show that CMOs are more interested in launching new products and acquire new customers than keeping the ones they already have.

CMOs ranked customer retention 5th, increasing customer lifetime value came 8th and increasing customer satisfaction and advocacy 9th, which is surprising since retaining customer and increasing their lifetime value is a lot cheaper than gaining new customers. The same goes for increasing customer satisfaction.

In addition, studies have shown that satisfied customers are easier to turn into evangelist is a lot more effective than traditional marketing at generating revenues.

The study begs to ask, do CMOs have the wrong priorities?

CMOs top priorities

Social Recruiting, Social Job Search

A recent  Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey shows that:

  • More than 90% of employers used social recruiting in 2012.
  • Two-thirds of companies recruit candidates via Facebook, more than half use Twitter to find talent and nearly all use LinkedIn.
  • 43% of respondents felt that the quality of applicants has improved thanks to social media.
  • 20% said it takes less time to hire when using social recruiting.

Local Marketing Not So Local

According to the CMO Council and Balihoo, brands still struggle with local marketing. Between keeping control over the brand, compliance with corporate directives and the necessity to adapt their effort to local markets only 7% consider their local marketing effective.

Driving customers into store locations is an essential step in the path to purchase, and local advertising is one of the best ways to reach consumers “on the ground.” A February 2013 report by the CMO Council and Balihoofound that local marketing is increasingly happening at the digital level, with the greatest percentage of respondents (27%) reporting that increasing digital investment was the biggest change in their local marketing strategy in the past year. But the study also found that brands are at very different stages in terms of their integration and execution of local marketing.

Just over one-third of those surveyed thought their local capabilities were growing, while 15% of marketers reported struggling or underperforming in their local efforts. Only 7% considered themselves highly evolved in their local outreach.

As brands make a greater push into local marketing, one of the major difficulties they face is executing at the regional level while keeping a corporate focus and quality control on local efforts.

Half of US brand marketers surveyed managed local sales and engagement efforts at the corporate level. In addition, one-third reported a combination of corporate-level monitoring of local efforts, along with franchise and outside network management. To develop local marketing strategy, three out of five marketers said that the CMO or corporate marketing team set local priorities.

Local marketing not do local

Communicating the message of the brand at all levels remains a top priority: 81% cited uniformity of the brands’ values and promises as a goal for the year, and 64% wanted to eliminate customer confusion that conflicting execution caused. This suggests that brand consistency will continue to be more important than incorporating local-level insights and ideas into marketing efforts.

Small Businesses Increase Content Marketing Efforts

Many small businesses are already using some form of content marketing to promote themselves—74% as of a January survey of US small businesses by BusinessBolts.com. It’s a tactic that must be paying off, because three-quarters of small businesses also said they planned to do more content marketing this year than last—and just 4% said they had no plans to do any content marketing at all.

Small Businesses change in content budgets 2013

Articles and blog posts were the type of content most favored by small businesses—74% have promoted their business using articles, and 64% through blog posts. Slightly under half were publishing social media content and about two out of five used email newsletters.

Small businesses spent an average of 6.9% of their annual marketing budgets on content marketing last year, according to a November study conducted by Ad-ology Research.

Ad-ology found that US small businesses were spending a greater share of their budgets on content marketing than on social media advertising. This suggests that small businesses may be more focused on using social sites to publish owned content rather than paying for advertising on the networks—a trend at some larger businesses as well.

But small businesses in particular seem to rely on content marketing because it can be extremely cost effective. A majority of the small businesses surveyed by BusinessBolts.com estimated they spent less than $100 on content marketing per month; just 11% spent more than $500.

Statistics on Social Media and Purchasing Habits

Social media is not a replacement for traditional marketing; it is only another tool in your marketing toolbox. You might ask the reason you need to engage with social networks at all. Some statistics on social media and purchasing habits:

  1. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. (HubSpot)
  2. 49% of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants. (Mashable)
  3. 58% of Facebook users expect offers, events or promotions when they become a fan. (HubSpot)
  4. 81% of U.S. survey respondents say friends’ social media posts have directly influenced a purchase decision. (Forbes)
  5. 15.1 million consumers go to social media channels before making a purchase decision. (Knowledge Networks)

What does one take from all of this? First, you do not control your brand anymore, not in the traditional sense. Consumers are talking about your brand (your restaurant) whether you like it or not, so it is up to you to engage the “community.” Even if you are not using any social media channels, check out your business listing on websites such as Yelp and Local.com. You will see reviews of your establishment, and, yes, some of them are negative. Knowing the above statistics, you need to engage the community. If a user gives you a rave review, thank the person. If the review is negative, you need to address it and not arbitrarily dismiss it. Show the consumer you care!

What will be the big social media trends for 2013? Let’s start with mobile. More than 100 millions users have a smartphone. Mobile Internet is due to overtake wired use by 2015. Are you ready? The second big trend is video. This is such a no-brainer, especially when combined with the growing use of mobile devices.

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