Ashley Zeckman

Report: Social Media Examiner 2016 State of Social Media Marketing

Ashley Zeckman     Social Media


It can be easy to get caught up in the buzz of new social media marketing platforms and content types (live video ring a bell?). But what are today’s marketers implementing the most and experiencing the most success with? The answers might surprise you.

Social Media Examiner recently released their 2016 State of Social Media Marketing Industry Report which dives into the responses of over 5,000 marketers who share their top priorities, successes, failures and outlooks for social media marketing.  This post will dive into a few of the highlights that I found most interesting from this year’s report.

#1 – Not All Marketers Implementing Social Media Analyze Success & Measure ROI

Social media marketing still seems to hold a mystery for a lot of marketers. Of those surveyed in this report, only 19% strongly agree that they regularly analyze their social media activities. Additionally, only 41% say that they are able to measure the ROI for their social media activities.

In order for marketers to be effective with any aspect of their digital marketing approach, a close eye to the data is essential. By closely watching this information, marketers are better able to adapt and evolve their strategies to meet customer need.

#2 – Some Marketers Are Facing Declines in Website Traffic via Facebook

Social media can be a great source for referring traffic to a brand’s website. But just like those above that are not measuring the ROI of their social media, many aren’t sure if referral traffic from Facebook has declined or not. However, 23% have noticed a decline in traffic in the past 12 months.

#3 – Social Media Marketing is Becoming More Difficult

Social media is a quickly evolving beast. Platforms are constantly changing algorithms, releasing new features and “changing the rules”. That requires marketers to think on their feet and quickly adapt their approach at the drop of a hat. According to this survey, 40% of marketers believe that social media has become increasingly difficult in the past 12 months.

#4 – Many Marketers Are Spending Under 6 Hours a Week on Social Media

A successful social media marketing strategy requires commitment. Building an audience in general, let alone one that is engaged and interacts with your brand takes time, and an ongoing investment of both time and often budget.

However, 37% of marketers are spending a maximum of five hours per week on their social media efforts. That means, at most they are spending 1 hour a day managing their social media accounts.

Today’s customers expect swift responses from the brands they follow and interact with online which would be extremely difficult to master in only 5 hours a week.

#5 – The Top Reported Benefits of Social Media Marketing Might Surprise You

Increased exposure for the business is listed as the top benefit of social media marketing by an 89% of respondents. The other benefits that made the top of the list include:

  • Increased Traffic 75%
  • Developed Loyal Fans 68%
  • Provided Marketplace Insight 666
  • Generated Leads 66%

#6 – The Super 3 Still Reign Supreme

Even with the increasingly popular use of platforms like Snapchat and vine for brands across the globe, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are still the most commonly used social media platforms by marketers. From 2015 to 2016, both Twitter and LinkedIn faced a slight decline while Instagram gained a few points.

#7 – The Outlook for Paid Social Media

Many social networks are increasingly making it more difficult for brands to maintain the organic reach that they used to. That change has required an investment in paid social media to become more of a necessity than a luxury.

An overwhelming 87% of marketers invest their budgets in Facebook ads versus the next platforms coming in at 39% (Google ads), 18% (Twitter ads) and 17% (LinkedIn ads).

#8 – The Difference Between B2B & B2C

One of the biggest contrasts within this report is the importance of different social networks for B2B and B2C marketers. The top three social networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) both rank high for both types of marketers, but the order of importance is vastly different.

What Does the Future Hold for Social Media Marketing?

Next year, we may begin to see some of these responses shift as more and more marketers begin adopting the use of platforms like Snapchat and SlideShare. We cannot be certain what the future will hold for social media marketing, but we do know that marketers are finding it to be a value tool for interacting with and engaging their audience. Social media marketing is here to stay.

If you’re like to read the full report, visit Social Media Examiner.

2016 Social Media Marketing Report


PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Social media is the most efficient marketing channel that can be accessed that has a large number of potential consumers in the market. Although some might argue that it’s easier than other channels, it requires the same amount of dedication and commitment as well as other marketing campaigns.

  2. Avatar Mayank Batavia says

    Hi Ashley
    Quite insightful! thanks!

    Here’s an article I wrote a few days back, comparing 2015 and 2016 reports!