If you’ve heard it once over the last couple of years, you’ve heard it a million times – if you’re marketing strategy doesn’t include social media marketing, it’s time to add it. Even though the majority of people in the US still use traditional search engines to find anything they’re looking for online, users, especially the younger generation, are now discovering websites through social networks.
According to a new report from Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research in 2012, half of all Internet users between the ages of 18 and 23, and 43 percent of users between the ages 24 and 32, use social media platforms as an Internet discovery resource. Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are the preferred methods of discovery for nearly one third of all Americans, which is an increase of 18 percent since 2010.
Simultaneously, 54 percent of American Internet users still used traditional search results to find information they needed. As was expected, that number is declining, and according to the report, represents a seven-point decrease in overall search engine use from 61 percent in 2010.
Even though consumers are quickly changing their habits and behavior, marketers still haven’t caught up with the shift. They continue to prioritize SEO and paid search efforts over engagement with social media. The report recommends, that to turn this around, marketers need to learn what users are really looking for and focus on broader engagement instead of only trying to drive an immediate sale.
Following are more insights from the report:
- Direct marketing does work – 26 percent of users reported that they found website through corporate and branded emails in 2012. This was an increase of 11 points over the previous year.
- Sponsored search results work – 18 percent of users said that paid search results helped them find what they were looking for last year. This was an increase from only eight percent the previous year.
- Links keep users engaged – regardless of their age, approximately 28 percent of internet users found out about new sites from links on other websites they visited.
It looks as though more and more of the younger generation rely on recommendations and referrals over traditional marketing and search engine results. And, paid search engine ads really do work. Social Media Marketing continues its evolution and we need to keep up with its trends and curves in order to have a successful Social Marketing Strategy. So what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to get your social media pages up! Don’t have the time? We can do it for you – contact us today!