10 Key Findings From the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Marie Ennis-O'Connor
May 18 · 5 min read

Each year for the past eleven years, Social Media Examiner has commissioned an annual study of how marketers are using social media. This is the longest-running study in the social media marketing industry. Surveying more than 4,800 marketers, it covers all major social platforms, organic and paid activities, video marketing, and more.

The report is free to download until May 31st (click here to download your copy) but if you’re short on time, or you are reading this after May 31, I’ve highlighted some key things you won’t want to miss.

Let’s go ahead and dive right in with that all important question. How well is social media working for marketers and in what areas of business?

1. Benefits of Social Media Marketing

A significant 93% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 87% reporting positive results.

Source: Social Media Examiner

2. Most Popular Platforms

So which platforms are marketers using to achieve these results? Facebook and Instagram are the top two platforms used by marketers, by a long shot. All other platforms lag behind these top two.

Source: Social Media Examiner

How has this changed since last year? While Instagram has grown 7% in popularity, Twitter has fallen by 3%. LinkedIn has grown from 56% to 58% and YouTube from 50% to 54%. Snapchat has declined by 1 percentage point and Pinterest rose by 1%.

3. B2C vs B2B Platform Use

How does the way marketers are using social platforms differ between B2C and B2B?

B2C Platforms

Nearly all business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are focused on Facebook. Interestingly, B2C marketers reduced their use of Twitter (down from 62% in 2018) and increased their use of Instagram (up from 72% in 2018).

B2B platforms

Most business-to-business (B2B) marketers also use Facebook and not surprisingly a significant percentage use LinkedIn. What is surprising to me is the choice of Facebook over LinkedIn. B2B marketers have also increased their use of Instagram in the last year, up from 57% in 2018.

4. Facebook Is Marketer’s First Choice

Despite Facebook’s troubles of late, the platform is still overwhelmingly the first choice for marketers.

Source: Social Media Examiner

5. Social Media Platforms Marketers Want To Learn More About

We asked marketers to identify which social media platforms they want to learn more about. Instagram surpassed Facebook for the first time. Interest in learning more about Facebook marketing dropped to 69% from 79% in 2018. Messenger bots dropped to 45% from 70% in 2018.

Source: Social Media Examiner

B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Instagram (76% B2C vs. 65% B2B), Facebook (74% B2C vs. 62% B2B), and Pinterest (38% B2C vs. 31% B2B), than their B2B counterparts. B2B marketers are far more interested in learning about LinkedIn (71% B2B vs. 50% B2C).

6. Most Popular Video Channels

YouTube was the number-one video channel used by 57% of marketers, followed by Facebook native videos (50%).

Source: Social Media Examiner

B2C marketers use more Instagram stories (42% B2C vs. 32% B2B) and Facebook native video (53% B2C vs. 45% B2B), than their B2B counterparts. B2B marketers use more LinkedIn native video (21% B2B vs. 8% B2C).

The most popular video length was 1–3 minutes (39%) followed by 16–59 seconds (30%). A significant 80% of marketers are creating videos that are 3 minutes or less.

Horizontal video is the most popular orientation (68%).

Marketers mostly plan on increasing their use of YouTube video (71%), Instagram video (69%), and Facebook video (68%). YouTube and Facebook were the top video platforms marketers wanted to learn more about, tied at 75% each.

B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Instagram video (75% B2C vs. 64% B2B) and Facebook video (78% B2C vs. 68% B2B) than their B2B counterparts. B2B marketers are far more interested in learning about LinkedIn video (66% B2B vs. 41% B2C).

7. Live Video Usage

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the most popular live video platform (34%). However, more surprising perhaps, given its popularity, 43% of marketers don’t use live video.

Source: Social Media Examiner

The average duration time of live videos was less than 10 minutes (62%).

8. Most Popular Platforms To Run Social Media Ads

Given its rapid decline in organic reach over the past few years, it’s not surprising that the platform most used by marketers is Facebook (72%).

Source: Social Media Examiner

Instagram ad use rose from 31% in 2018. B2C marketers are more likely to use Facebook ads (76% B2C vs. 65% B2B) and Instagram ads (43% B2C vs. 30% B2B) than their B2B counterparts. B2B marketers are using more LinkedIn ads (24% B2B vs. 9% B2C).

When asked which social media ad platforms they want to learn more about, Facebook took first place at 74%, down from 81% in 2018. Interest in Facebook Messenger ads dropped to 41% from 61% in 2018.

B2C marketers are more interested in learning about Facebook ads (77% B2C vs. 68% B2B) and Instagram ads (70% B2C vs. 57% B2B) than their B2B counterparts. B2B marketers are far more interested in learning about LinkedIn ads (64% B2B vs. 41% B2C).

9. Measuring Return on Investment (ROI) of Social Media

The ROI issue has plagued marketers for years. Only 44% of respondents agreed they were able to measure their organic social activities.

Source: Social Media Examiner

10. Top Questions Marketers Want Answers To

Finally, and of most interest to me in planning my social media workshops, these are the questions marketers are looking for answers to.

Achieving better engagement is the topmost priority for markers, followed by best tactics to use, and organic reach.

Source: Social Media Examiner

What do you think of these findings? Do they correspond to your own business interests? Is there anything you find surprising here?

Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Written by

Social Media Consultant. Keynote Speaker. Digital Storyteller. https://hcsmmonitor.com

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