The most popular social media tactics are also among the least satisfying. That's one of the findings in a new report from Forrester Research.
The report, "Benchmark Your North American Social Media Efforts [fee charged]," looked at both B2B and B2C digital marketers in the U.S. and Canada. It found that the most used social media tactics are, in order:
- Post updates to branded Facebook page
- Respond to customer questions and comments on Facebook
- Market on LinkedIn
- Customer ratings and reviews on our sites
- Promote our updates on Facebook
- Market on Twitter
- Branded blog
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Branded community or forum
- Buy paid ads on Facebook
- Market on YouTube
- Market on Google Plus
- Create custom tabs and/or apps on Facebook
But, the report noted, marketers "too often flock to tactics that are easy to roll out and administer, and they ignore the social tactics that work best."
For example, only 57 percent of respondents use ratings and reviews, although that tactic has the highest satisfaction rate among marketers because it can directly drive purchases for products sold online. However, implementing and administering ratings and reviews in product pages, the report noted, can mean a significant budget outlay, which is the reason for the low adoption rate.
LinkedIn: Most Value
The second highest level of satisfaction: branded communities, which only slightly more than half of marketers use. Again, online communities can be expensive, but the report points out that it can lead to increased lead generation, conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
Other tactics with high satisfaction rates among marketers include branded blogs and word of mouth social media marketing. Overvalued: marketing on Facebook brand pages . Least satisfaction: social advertising on Twitter.
Twitter "fails to live up to the hype," and satisfaction with Facebook is highest for engagement, such as answering questions. YouTube, although it gets over a billion unique monthly visitors, is not frequently employed by marketers because of the cost of creating video content, though it has a high satisfaction level for those who do use it.
LinkedIn, the report found, provides the most value, even for B2C marketers. However, it is underutilized.
Kim Celestre, the report's author, explained this B2C marketing on the professional site. She told CMSWire that "some consumer brands, particularly luxury brands, are appealing to individuals with senior job titles" on the site. Plus, there are companies targeting college students on the site who are focused on career development.
She also noted that marketers' own sites can provide the greatest satisfaction for tactics used there. On their own sites, Celestre said, marketers have more control "over how it is deployed and where it is displayed" – something they seldom have on the large social media venues.