Lee Odden

2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

2014 Social Media Marketing Industry ReportMike Stelzner over at Social Media Examiner has published the 6th Annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report based on a survey of over 2,800 marketers.

It’s a pretty robust report at 50 pages and covers the gamut of social media marketing topics from the most important social platforms for marketing to the most important social content types to the ways marketers will be changing their approach to social media in the future.

Some of the highlights include:

  • 92% of marketers say social media is important for their business (up from 86%)
  • 58% of marketers say original written content is the most important form of content
  • 68% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogging
  • 61% of marketers plan to increase Google+ activities in 2014
  • 6% of marketers are podcasting and 21% plan to increase podcasting activity
  • Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most important social networks for marketers
  • 64% of marketers plan on increasing their use of LinkedIn

You really get a lot of details in this report on all major social networks and activities including Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Forums, Podcasting, Snapchat and categories like mobile, social review sites and social bookmarking.

SME also asked some great questions about time spent on social, measuring ROI, outsourcing, types of content, integration with other marketing tactics and what other forms of marketing that social media marketers were using.

Top Goals and Benefits of Social Media Marketing

The top benefits cited for social media marketing include top of funnel objectives like increased exposure (92%) and increased traffic (80%). While that is to be expected, what is interesting is that the more time marketers have been at social media marketing, the more social media helped them improve sales.

benefits of social media marketing

The breakdown between B2B and B2C social platforms that were most important to marketers was interesting as always:

Top B2B Social Media Platforms:

  • 33% LinkedIn
  • 31% Facebook
  • 16% Twitter
  • 11% Blogging
  • 3% Google+
  • 3% YouTube

Top B2C Social Media Platforms

  • 68% Facebook
  • 10% Twitter
  • 6% Blogging
  • 6% LinkedIn
  • 2% YouTube
  • 2% Google+
  • 2% Pinterest
  • 1% Social Review Sites (Yelp)

The amount of importance placed on Facebook isn’t surprising given their popularity. I guess Marketers have resolved to accept Facebook as an advertising platform more than an organic social network.

Another interesting point is that only 11% of B2B marketers and 6% of B2C marketers find blogging most important while 68% say they plan on increasing their use of blogging in the coming year.

Recent UMass Dartmouth studies show the biggest increase in Fortune 500 companies blogging in their 2013 report so blogging is definitely a future area of focus. Marketers are optimistic about blogging, but I think shiny social network syndrome has them distracted from the true value blogging brings to social media success.

There’s a lot to digest and a lot of insights to be gleaned so be sure to get your copy of the report over at Social Media Examiner.

In the meantime, what are the primary benefits you are seeing from social media and networks? Are you integrating social across marketing and communications or is it treated more independently?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Those numbers don’t surprise me. Our clients that are active in content marketing, blogging and social media have all shown increased visitor numbers from platforms where content is shared. This is most likely going to continue to trend because the Internet is connecting people more efficiently than ever before.

  2. Thanks so much Lee for writing about my report

  3. Hi Mike and Lee,

    That blogging marketer crowd will increase as they focus on the importance on building a brand on an owned platform. Neat share here.

    • Owned is harder that just buying audience but in the long run, of course, it costs less and provides greater impact. Both FTW

  4. Avatar Tom Leonard says

    Lee, thanks for the great information. It is surprising that YouTube ranks way down there Google+ and Pinterest. I think this is one of the best opportunities out there for any brand with quality video – or the ability to create it. It is obvious from this information that they would stand out on that platform.

    • I agree, there are definitely opportunities for companies who can take risks to do something different or more creative on some of the more visual channels. Fear and lack of imagination are bigger obstacles than the competition in that sense.

      • Avatar Tom Leonard says

        Focusing is definitely an issue. When I was at Warner Bros. recently doing social media marketing we left YouTube for last after Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. That was strange for being a video content company. Great opportunity there.

  5. It is true that Facebook is ranking number one in social media marketing in 2014.A new survey shows that when it comes to generating leads and sales, Facebook gets top marks among business-to-consumer
    marketers while LinkedIn does well for the business-to-business marketer.
    Twitter comes in as a strong second place winner for B2C leads. I am surprised to see only 2% B2C find Pinterest most important …howz dat???

  6. I think Social Media is becoming a must and companies can no longer afford to ignore it. There will be companies that embrace it fully and do well by it, and there will be companies that ignore it. Ignore it at your own peril.

  7. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are indeed the most used B2B and B2C social networks.
    For 2015, Instagram and Pinterest may be big winners, as they can show customers products photos through posts with hashtags. Marketers are using them for photo contests or products showcasing, by showing how customers use their products, in a social Instagram wall on their website for example.

  8. Thanks for this incredible post. Through social networking sites, companies can interact with individual followers. Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. In this competition Facebook and Twitter is mostly used in B2B and B2C social networks. Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking.