Wednesday, 17 August 2011 03:14

Social Media Denver Report 2011

As marketers absorb evolving social media statistics--including 14% growth (33,330,000 people) in the purchase decision-making influence over the past 6 months--it is increasingly clear that social media is going to play a big role in the future of marketing communications.

In this post, we'd like to share recent study results on Denver area business social media usage. The study surveyed businesses in the Denver Metro area with the goal of understanding how they are using social media to grow and promote their business. We also investigated the challenges and concerns when it comes to integrating social media and business.

Overall the results have been encouraging for social media. Here are some key findings:

  • Marketers place high value on social media: 96% of businesses are integrating social media in their marketing efforts.

  • Measurement and Interaction are the top areas that marketers want to improve on.

  • One of the biggest concerns with social media is commitment and that it is time consuming.

  • Many companies don't have a formal and standard system to keep employees informed on social media trends.

Social Media Usage By Denver Businesses

According to the social media survey, 96% of Denver marketers use social media tools in marketing efforts.  Respondents reports using blogs (26%), Facebook (78%), Twitter (44%), LinkedIn (78%), YouTube (30%), FourSquare (4%).

  • For B2B companies: The usage of LinkedIn is 100% if a company is using any kind of social media, followed by Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and YouTube, of 60%, 40%, 20%, and 20%, respectively.

  • For B2C companies: FaceBook ranks number one among the social media adoption in terms of business usage (87%), followed by LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Blog, and FourSquare, of 67%, 40%, 40%, 33%, and 7%, respectively.

While 96% of respondents have already implemented social media in their marketing activities, only 8% of them actually have a budget for social media related marketing efforts. “With all the discussion and news stories about social media, you would think this would be a big area of investment by now. Social media is still causing a lot of confusion in the marketplace,” says Jim Tsokanos, president of the Americas for MS&L Group. “Even of the companies using social media, almost half believe their company is lagging behind what others are doing. If marketers feel they are behind the curve it’s because they feel overwhelmed by it, don’t get it, or don’t understand how to use it.”

Social Media based Purpose & Improvements

Why Denver-area businesses use social media

The survey shows that the top 2 reasons that B2B companies use social media are for lead generation of 27%, and increasing brand awareness (20%), indicating that B2B companies expect to link social media usage with the bottom line result. The B2C companies on the other hand, consider social media more as a tool to know the consumers. The top 2 reasons that B2C companies use social media are increasing brand awareness of 33%, and the real time customer interaction of 20%.

Other reasons that ranked high included product launch and that "competitors are using it".

Do Denver-area businesses react to social media feedback?

It is not just about why companies are using social media, but actually whether they improve their actions based on feedback they have received via Social Media According to our survey,74% of companies that use social media  utilize variable feedback they receive (Chart on The Right), 63% of companies do not respond to the feedback to help with business improvement.

Improving on marketing efforts and understanding the competitive landscape are the primary business uses of social media. Respondents reported that they were using social media for media relations, market research, reaching key influences, and product/service reviews (statistics vary between b2c and b2b companies).

Challenges

What is holding Denver-area businesses back in social media marketing?

Businesses recognize one of the biggest challenges with Social Media is the inability to make a link to revenue and difficulties encouraging interaction. Reasons for the challenges were usually companies didn't have a specific strategy for social media management. Their time commitment was limited and content consistency problems prevented them from on-going conversations.

Future Social Media Trends

How do Denver-area companies stay informed on social media marketing trends?

Our survey reveals that in the Denver Metro Area, B2B companies have a more formal approach to help staff improve on social media knowledge and experience than B2C companies.  Both B2B and B2C companies realized the potential impact social media could have in the future. When asked what efforts will have the most impact on a company's success in the next year, 26% say Facebook presence and 19% says mobile platform as well as blogger relations.

Appendix:

Survey Participant Demographics

Survey participants-Those who took the survey work for small Denver-metro area businesses with up to 100 employees. 37% of the participants are focused primarily on attracting businesses (B2B), over half (56%) of the participants primarily target consumers (B2C), and the other 8% are equally non-profit organizations and companies target both businesses and individuals.