I just stumbled upon a great social media white paper. The 26 page pdf SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INDUSTRY REPORT: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow is written by Michael A. Stelzer of Writing White Papers. The report surveyed over 700 social media marketers, asking them open ended questions about the industry. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, go here to watch a video that explains some of the highlights. After reading all 26 pages, I do have to say that I am concerned.
I have been told time and time again that the niche service I provide is a much needed one in Sonoma County (and the marketing industry as a whole) and that I need to help bring the Wine Country into the Web 2.0 world. With so many “Social Media Consultants, Guru’s and Marketers” that follow me online, I figured that maybe some of them might actually have some experience with the subject matter that they claim to be an expert on. According to the report, I may be wrong.
The report justified my own personal commitment to social media and gave me a better understanding of what I should expect (or not expect) from my competition (aka those social media marketers that claim to know it all). I have been using social media for years and my time spent on my iphone or on my laptop is almost embarrassingly high. Honestly, ask my friends and they all will tell you I need to have my iphone within an arm’s length at all time. A debate on if this is healthy or not is another subject. Apparently (a positive and a negative for me), my competition isn’t as dedicated and knowledgeable on the subject as I am. Here, I do want to state, that I know not all new social media people can be put into this stereotype and I am sure their are many respectable social media newbies out there. Right now it seems like social media marketing is the hottest trend and everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon.
Some highlights of the report include:
“When asked to rate their experience using social media marketing for their businesses, a significant 72% of marketers have either just started or have been using social media for only a few months. ” What?? I know the industry is relatively new, but a few months, come on!
“There is a direct relationship between how long marketers have been using social media and their weekly time commitment. For people just beginning with social media, the median weekly time commitment was two hours per week. However, for folks who have been doing this for a few months, the median jumped to 10 hours a week. And for people who have been doing this for years, their median is 20+ hours each week.” The longer you have been involved with social media, the more you understand that it does take a lot of time… You also know it pays off.
“The longer you invest, the greater return you are gonna get”
– Michael Stelzer
So, to conclude, I will never claim to know all the answers. That isn’t what social media is about. It is about trial and error…. It is about being able to adapt and react quickly, it is about being honest with your consumers and most important it is about COMMITMENT and PASSION . I am happy to report that I can proudly say I am capable of all of this…. Can a social media guru who just started truly say that?