New Research Suggests That Marketers Don’t Fully Appreciate The Potential Of Social Media.

“Social media is like teenage sex, everyone wants to do it. When they do they’re a bit disappointed, but they practice and it gets much better.”

Well, that’s the view of LinkedIn’s EMEA marketing solutions director. He was speaking to the Computer Business Review at the time and giving a response about a report on the importance of the social media for business published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The gist of his criticism appears to be that he views the patent lack of enthusiasm for social media amongst marketers and top businesses as surprising. Just because a business might not fully understand the social media, doesn’t mean that it’s not got potential.

Nothing is ever perfect at first.

It’s natural to fumble about in the dark when you first embark on a new venture, but if you stick at it, it will get better. Practice does make perfect after all.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing report revealed that out of nearly 1,000 marketers surveyed, a third reported that social media was not effective at all. The study also showed that large businesses were not using social media on a daily basis. The findings suggest that these businesses don’t understand how the social media works and don’t appreciate how to make it work to their advantage and gain a positive return on time and investment. Surprisingly just under 40% of the businesses surveyed admitted that they only used Twitter and FB once a day. 37% used the media several times a week to once a week; whilst 25% reported using social media platforms even less. The bottom line appeared to be that many businesses fail to understand the importance of frequent and consistent engagement on the social media.

Speaking to Computer Business Review, Data Nasr, You Tube’s UK head of display confirmed that in his opinion social media marketing within business should be essential:

“25% of all online activity is social media. If more and more people are spending time online in social media, that’s where they’re spending their leisure time. That’s the whole point of marketing: to hit people where they’re spending their time.”

Interestingly, the CIM research revealed that YouTube was the social platform least used by businesses, and suggested that the high cost of creating video content for YouTube is a reason many businesses may prefer to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. However, Nasr believes that the reason for this reluctance is because many businesses mistakenly do not see You Tube as a social media platform:

“You have to look at it in the context of the Social Media Benchmarks study – it would suggest that [users] don’t always see YouTube as a social platform… I think that it’s not so much that they’re not using it, it’s just not really seen as a strictly ‘social media’ medium.”

The most surprising element of the study was the revelation that many marketers believed social media lacked commercial potential and could not help with gaining new customers. Obviously anyone familiar with social media will be able to spot the flaw in logic here. The problem is these marketers don’t understand the medium and have no idea how to make it work to their best advantage. One of the main reasons many people use social networking sites is to meet new people.

The research also revealed that the majority of businesses thought posting content was more important than listening on social sites.

One of the most beneficial aspects of using a social media platform is discovering new ideas and therefore marketers are missing out on utilising this unique aspect of social media. Social media is an investment that requires continuous attention and engagement. Social media skills need to be worked on to become worthwhile. Those businesses that put in that effort will inevitably reap the greatest rewards.

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