**** How are marketers using social media? More and more as it turns out. The Social Media Examiner just released its yearly state of social media marketing report with these findings (emphasis mine):
- Measurement and targeting are top areas marketers want to master: Forty percent of all social media marketers want to know how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and find customers and prospects.
- Video marketing holds the top spot for future plans: A significant 76% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.
- Marketers seek to learn more about Google+: While only 40% of marketers are using Google+, 70% of marketers want to learn more about it and 67% plan on increasing Google+ activities.
- Top three benefits of social media marketing: The number-one benefit of social media marketing is generating more business exposure (reported 85% of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69%) and providing marketplace insight (65%).
- Top five social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order.
- Social media marketing still takes a lot of time: The majority of marketers (59%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and a third (33%) invest 11 or more hours weekly.
- Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, only a slight increase from 28% in 2011.