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Report: 97% of Marketers Use Social Media

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The overwhelming majority (97%) of marketers participate in social media, according to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Report. Published by Social Media Examiner, the 6th annual study is based on input from more than 2,800 marketers and provides insight into how social media is used to promote businesses.

If your law firm is a newcomer to social media marketing, the report offers plenty of compelling reasons why you should hop aboard the bandwagon. And if you’ve been aboard for some time, the report allows you to compare your social media activities and outcomes with similarly experienced marketers.

Key Findings

  • Not only are virtually all marketers using social media, but pretty much every one of them (92%) said that social media was important to their businesses. In fact, 63% strongly agreed with the statement “social media is important for my business”—up from 49% who strongly agreed in 2013.
  • Facebook, used by 94% of marketers, was by far the most commonly used social media platform. Rounding out the top seven are Twitter (83%), LinkedIn (71%), YouTube (57%), Blogging (55%), Google+ (54%), and Pinterest (47%). 
  • Marketers deemed Facebook (54%) to be the single most important social media platform for their business. Far behind in the second spot was LinkedIn (17%), followed by Twitter (12%), and Blogging (8%).
  • When asked how they plan on changing their social media use in the coming months, 68% of marketers said they plan on increasing their use of Blogging. Marketers also want to increase their use of YouTube (67%), Twitter (67%), LinkedIn (64%) and Facebook (64%). 
  • The link between marketers’ experience level and their time spent on social media activities was telling: 51% of those with less than 12 months of experience spent 5 or fewer hours per week on social media, whereas 65% of those with 2 years of experience or more spent 6 hours or more per week. Overall, 34% of marketers had a social media time commitment of 1 to 5 hours; 27% had a time commitment of 6 to 10 hours; and 37% committed 11 or more hours weekly.
  • The top benefits of social media marketing, in the eyes of marketers, are increased exposure (92% said their social media efforts generated more exposure for their business), increased traffic (80%), developed loyal fans (72%), provided marketplace insight (71%) and generated leads (66%).

Marketers reported increased benefits across all categories compared to 2013.

Implications for Law Firms
More than 66% of marketers who spent as little as 6 hours per week on social media marketing saw lead generation benefits, improved search rankings, increased traffic, and the establishment of a loyal fan base. A little more than an hour per day on Facebook, Twitter, et al. may be a greater time commitment than you can afford in your busy schedule, which is why it makes sense to outsource social networking.

Before you dismiss such an investment as superfluous, consider that in the Social Media Examiner study, nearly half of marketers who spent at least 6 hours per week on social media efforts experienced reduced marketing expenses. If this seems counterintuitive, keep in mind that social media largely replaces traditional forms of marketing like print ads. But compared to ads that appear in magazines and newspapers, online marketing allows you to reach a much broader audience for a relative bargain.

Just don’t expect immediate results. The study data shows that the best online marketing results are associated with marketers who’ve used social media for one year or longer. In other words, the longer you stay on the social media bandwagon, the more you’ll enjoy the ride.

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