Marketing professionals study indicates social media trends | Miratel Solutions

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5 key findings from new social media study are valuable for nonprofits

It is very encouraging to see nonprofits continue to close the gap in successfully using social media to build their engagement and nonprofit fundraising when compared with their ‘for profit’ counterparts. Understanding marketing trends is an important element for all charities both large and small when seeking methods to deliver key messages and improve communication with your audience.

One very valuable report has just been published and it’s well worth taking the time to digest some of the data and see how it applies to your scenario. The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner is an important bellwether to examine what marketers’ intentions are and in practical terms there is no real reason that most if not all marketing tactics can apply equally within the nonprofit world. The report is compiled from responses provided by more than 2,800 marketers and answers literally dozens of questions and concerns that you might have about social media trends in the immediate future, here’s a look at five of them.

64% of marketers spend 6 or more hours per week on social media marketing: As the chart below shows a large number of people employed in marketing are spending significant amounts of time per week working with social media. You’ll see that a core 47% of those surveyed are spending 6 to 20 hours per week and you’ll also note that one in five spend more than 20 hours per week. The chart demonstrates that the size of the business has a significant impact on the total time dedicated to social media which is as you would expect.

all data courtesy of social media examiner

all data courtesy of social media examiner

Blogging is increasing: Although blogging wasn’t deemed the most important method for social media for the last four years (last year’s top 3 were Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) there is a strong indication that marketers are showing a growing reliance on their blog. In fact 68% indicated intending to increase blogging frequency and 16% to maintain the same output. Over the last three years blogging has moved from fourth to top spot on this study for having the greatest likelihood of increased output. Worth noting is that business-to-business marketers are still more likely to blog (74%) compared with business-to-consumer (63%) although I think that is an opportunity missed for the latter.

Original visual content is key: The way people use the internet, what they share and engage with and even the devices they use to view the web keeps changing. Marketers feel that original visual content is the most important thing to create and share at present, whether it be infographics, exclusive charts and data, exclusive photographs or video. People are more and more likely to engage with visually captivating content and even more so if it has been created expressly for use on your site. Infographics are the most obvious example of this but each and every time you create something exclusive you’ll typically see great value from it whether it be via your blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other channel.

Most marketers wanting to learn more about Google+: It’s an interesting and recurring theme that many social media experts are still waiting for Google+ to fully join the top tier of social media use and interaction and data shows that it is still growing and far from peaking. This is in contrast with Facebook where a number of marketers are beginning to slowly reduce or plateau their efforts. Google+ remains an important part of social media when it comes to search engine ranking and as long as Google continues to dominate with more than 75% of all North American searches I think Google+ will continue to gain in importance. The survey shows that more people want to learn more about using Google+ (65%) than any other social media platform, LinkedIn was second with 57%.

Social Media efforts help search engine rankings: More interesting data is that the consensus feel that social media does help with search engine rankings and traffic – the most telling statistic is that the longer a company has used social media the more likely they were to agree/strongly agree that social media efforts help keyword rankings with 76% saying so when they have used social media for 5+ years. In contrast for those who have used social media less than a year only 44% feel it helps with rankings (see chart below).

all data courtesy of social media examiner

all data courtesy of social media examiner

Very importantly there is a direct correlation between the time spent per week on social media efforts and the impact on search engine rankings. Naturally there is a concern about committing a great deal of time to these tasks but consider that the survey is taking the opinions of very seasoned marketers and there is a strong case to be made for increasing that effort if possible. Finding the right balance of time spent and which tools to use should remain a key objective for your nonprofit.

The report provides much more similar detailed data, all of it worthy of consideration and I hope much of it valuable to your efforts in driving your nonprofit onward. If you found something especially beneficial please be sure and let me know.


Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services

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