If you’re a social marketer who is curious if other marketers have the same woes, or if you’ve ever found yourself asking what your audience really wants from social – then the 2019 Sprout Social Media Index report is for you.
For this report, Sprout Social surveyed over 1,000 social marketers on their social goals, challenges, and expectations, then cross-referenced their responses with those of more than 1,000 consumers to understand what people want from brands on social.
The value of social media is only increasing. It’s important for social teams and marketers to increase their critical thinking regarding marketing strategies and how they align with business goals as we move toward social-first business.
Here are Tech Image’s biggest takeaways from the index:
Marketers struggle to create social strategies to support business goals.
According to the report, nearly half (47%) of all social marketers, from interns to the C-suite, say developing a strategy that supports their organization’s goals is the number one challenge they face.
This is the number one challenge among marketers, so where is the disconnect? 59% of social marketers said that time was the biggest factor keeping them from strategic work, while 45% say other business priorities are keeping them from strategic work. As the value of social media teams grow and as we transition into a social-first business world, marketers are being asked for more strategic work, while the structure of social teams don’t seem to support these growing requests. Social teams are being asked for more than just content calendars, they support various business objectives.
At companies with one to 50 employees, 59% of social marketers say they work on teams of one to two people. Even as the company size increase, social teams don’t seem to grow too much more. What can agencies and brands learn from this finding? Support your social and digital teams!
Social is key in turning consumers into customers and brand advocates.
When a consumer follows a brand on social media, 77% say they are more likely to buy from that brand over another. On top of that, 78% said they would talk about that brand and product with friends and family. These actions from consumers demonstrate exactly why brands should be connecting with their target audience online and why understanding their audience is critical to being able to market to them.
Consumers want to benefit from following or liking a brand’s page. They want something in return, whether that something is knowledge, inspiration, entertainment or company updates.
50% of consumers said they follow a brand on social media to learn about new products, while 48% of consumers said they followed the brand to be entertained. On the other hand, 51% of consumers unfollow brands because of irrelevant content.
What can brands learn from these stats? It’s important to keep your audience engaged, but be sure you’re staying relevant. Establish your brand voice and stay in line with it. Not every viral meme deserves a post from your brand – but relevant ones do, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun.
Sharing social data with other departments is key to helping align overall business goals and showcase the value of social.
Walking clients through key metrics and explaining how they impact different department goals is crucial to show the value of social. In order to do that, marketers need to be honest about what type of return brands can get from social. Once that is mutually understood, marketers and other departments can draft strategies that align their business goals.
Social data isn’t just for social and digital teams, 59% of social marketers say they wish they could influence their sales departments more, followed by HR departments. Marketers know that this data can make a difference in other parts of their business, they just need to present it in a way where other departments are able to digest it.
To read through Sprout Social’s full findings, download the 2019 Sprout Social Index here.