Survey: How Do Businesses Use Social Media?

SEOmoz and HubSpot‘s annual industry survey on the state of SEO and internet marketing, based on responses from 6,491 marketers, has some interesting insights on marketers and how they use social media for business. Here are some key points:

44.4% of the survey respondents felt they had either ‘expert‘ or ‘advanced‘ social media abilities. Thus, marketers are showing increased confidence in the medium, and their competence in it.

Facebook and Twitter, as expected, are the most popular social networks for marketing. However Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn are also popular, as are company blogs. Here is the complete list of platforms:

Company blogs are especially popular – they are used by 76.9% of the respondents for content marketing. This highlights the importance of having a tailor-made platform to showcase your own content.

LinkedIn’s does not feature very high on the list of preferred platforms for marketing – it takes the 5th position – however, 74.1% of the marketers use LinkedIn for branding purposes. This is interesting, as LinkedIn does not have as visually appealing an interface to showcase branding, as other image-focused platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest.

The theory put forward in the HubSpot blog is that this could be branding via employees, as LinkedIn is a great way to focus on the talents that employees bring to a company.

52.3% marketers use forums for customer service. This correlates well with the results of a previous study by Incyte Group, which focused on what consumers want from brand interactions, and showed that rather than have brands be a part of their social networking experience, customers prefer to have company website and branded communities or forums that function in a more open and social way.

60.2% respondents put focus on analytics in their social media management tools. Here are the top functions that tools are required for:

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