Cover Story: Annual Trends Survey 2011
Websites, Email, Social Media:
The Promotional Leaders
When it comes to how respondents promote themselves, websites, email and social media were the leaders. The majority of respondents considered their own website as their main promotional channel (73 percent), followed by email (62 percent) and social media (43 percent).
Despite the growing popularity of social media as a promotional channel, only 51 percent of respondents said they have a set social media strategy in place. What's more, 19 percent cited social media as the top challenge their business will face in 2011. Of the 49 percent of respondents planning on hiring more staff this year, 42 percent said those hires will be in the social media marketing space.
Social media is also gaining ground in budget spend. A whopping 55 percent of respondents said they'll increase spending on social media this year, while 38 percent will spend the same amount and only 7 percent will decrease spending on the channel.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said the main objective of their social media efforts is customer engagement. Other objectives for the channel include using it to drive web traffic to their main website (59 percent); generate sales (53 percent); customer intelligence acquisition, including customer feedback and ratings and reviews (40 percent); customer service (39 percent); drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores (28 percent); and a tool for segmenting and targeting (21 percent).
ROI readers have a bigger presence on Facebook than Twitter, with 84 percent on Facebook vs. 57 percent on Twitter. Forty-one percent of respondents said they have and use company blogs, 22 percent are on LinkedIn, the same percentage as YouTube, and 9 percent still use MySpace.