It is clear that social media is increasingly becoming an important part of the marketing mix. Today, Social Media Examiner has released its 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report , an annual report surveying marketers about the role and application of social media in marketing. This year's report surveyed more than 3,300 marketers. While I encourage you to read the entire report, below you can find an overview of the key findings and data points.

10 Key Social Media Marketing Stats

1. 90% of Marketers indicated that social media is important for their business.

2. Only one-third of social media marketers want to know how to monitor and measure the return of investment of social media.

3. 58% of marketers use social media for 6 hours or more each week.

4. 77% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing in 2011.

5. 70% of marketers want to learn more about Facebook.

6. 69% of marketers want to learn more about blogging.

7. The number-one advantage of social media marketing is generating more business exposure, as indicated by 88% of marketers.

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8. Only 28% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing.

9. 32% of the surveyed marketers said they have less than one year of experience with social media.

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10. B2C companies were more likely ( 50% ) than B2B ( 42% ) to increase their use of online ads.

Marketing Takeaway

While individually all of this data is interesting and important to marketers, it is vital to look at it holistically to identify major changes in the marketing industry. When looking at this data in its entirety, we see the maturation process of a still young marketing transformation.

The rise of online video in marketing can be attributed to marketers who already have experience with creating text-based online content and are now ready to tackle producing and distributing video content which has a more challenging set of content creation hurdles. Additionally, video content creation has been made easier with smart phones and compact video cameras that are now capable of capturing high-quality video at tradeshows and other offline events.

Another sign of maturation of the social media marketing industry is the reported amount of time marketers spend on social media marketing efforts. It important to note that not only is the majority of marketers now spending more than 6 hours a week on social media, but that time investment seems to underline that marketers are starting to understand the time and commitment needed to be successful with social media marketing.

The low percentage of companies outsourcing social media exposes two issues: social media may be better suited for internal marketers and many marketing agencies are struggling with integrating social media marketing into their existing service offerings.

What did you think of this data?

Originally published Apr 7, 2011 1:09:00 PM, updated October 20 2016