oana vasiliuSocial Media Examiner released days ago the Social Media Marketing Report. I made a selection of the themes of the report, which you can find it here.

Top 10 social media questions marketers want answered

#1: MEASURE: How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?

The number-one question marketers want answered is how to track the ROI of social media. For the past three years running, this question has been number one. A sampling of the questions in this category include:

• What is the best way to measure the ROI of social media marketing?
• How do I track social media performance and make good business decisions?
• What are the best measurement tools?
• Are there any industry benchmarks against which to measure our practices?

#2: TARGET: How do I find my target audience with social media?

Marketers want to know how to locate prospective customers via social media. Here are some of the questions related to this category:

• Which social networks does my target audience use?
• How can I understand the social media habits of my target audience?
• How do I target potential clients in a specific region or industry?
• How do I get noticed by my target audience?

#3: ENGAGE: What are the best ways to engage my audience?

Many marketers want to understand how to cultivate loyal fans. Here a few sample questions in this category:

• How do I create engaging content that will keep people following our social media channels?
• How do I get my Facebook fans to participate more on our page?
• How do we engage our followers with limited company resources?

#4: SELL: How do I sell with social media?

Many marketers want to know how to monetize their social media activities. Here are a few sample questions in this category:

• Can I generate profit from social media efforts?
• How do I speed up the sales process with social media?
• How do I get sales when “social” is not supposed to be sales-oriented?
• How do I best monetize my social efforts?

#5: TIME: How should I best use my time to maximize my social media results?

Marketers are still interested in how to manage the time required to conduct social media marketing. Below are a few related questions in this category:

• What are the regular activities I should structure into my day and week?
• How do I plan my team’s social media time more effectively?
• What tools can help me maximize my time spent on social media?

#6: STRATEGY: How do I create a social media strategy?

A significant number of marketers are seeking ways to use social media to strategically support business objectives. Here are some sample questions:

• How do I create a social media plan?
• What departments should be involved when creating a social media strategy?
• How do I use social media to grow my business?

#7: TACTICS: What social media tactics are the most effective?

Marketers are looking for proven tactics to speed them along their social media paths.
Below are some sample questions asked by marketers:

• What works best?
• Who is doing social media the best?
• How often should I post?

#8: TOOLS: What are the best social media management tools?

With so many social media platforms and potential campaigns and objectives, many marketers are looking for tools to manage their efforts. Here are some of their questions:

• What are the best tools for managing all of our social media efforts?
• How do I automate social activities?

#9: USE: How do I use the different social media platforms?

Marketers want to understand how to use and optimize their experiences with major social media platforms. Here are sample questions from this cluster group:

• How do I use YouTube in marketing?
• How do I use Google+ to reach my customers?
• What do I need to be doing with Pinterest?

#10: SELECTION: How do I select the right social platform for my business?

Marketers are trying to understand the advantages of each social platform and how to select the right one(s) for their business. Below are a few related questions in this category:

• Which social platforms are the most important for my business?
• Which social networks are here to stay and which should I put the majority of my effort into?
• What are the best uses of each platform?

The top 10 social media questions marketers want answered can be summarized in the following keywords: measure, target, engage, sell, time, strategy, tactics, tools, use and selection—in that order.

The top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic. A significant 85% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Increasing traffic was the second major benefit, with 69% reporting positive.

Nearly two-thirds of marketers are using social media to gain marketplace intelligence (65%). Tied for fourth place, 58% of marketers indicated generating leads and developing loyal fans were benefits of social media.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, with Facebook leading the pack. All of the other social media tools paled in comparison to these top five. The top five have remained virtually the same since 2011.

We added a few new categories this year, including Google+, photo sharing sites (such as Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram) and daily deals (such as Groupon and LivingSocial). We also removed MySpace from our study.

I found it quite interesting. You ?

Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.