Social media marketing and the ability for businesses to gauge its contributions to sales were among the most frequently discussed topics in internet marketing this week. Industry analysis along with new announcements from Google relating to Google+ and Analytics will likely change the ways consumers and web marketers approach social.
In terms of industry trends, Social Media Examiner recently released its Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012, which detailed a number of trends and practices that have become the norm for businesses using the channel.
As companies work to develop their presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks, they find that it has myriad benefits for their organization. Aside from the increased appeal to prospects and greater website traffic, it can be an easy way to improve the visibility of a business.
Successful social media campaigns complement other web efforts, such as content marketing, by providing links to website content. As fans or followers move further through a company’s conversion funnel, they are more likely to make a purchase. Another revelation from Social Media Examiner’s report was that 40 percent of businesses found their efforts in social have led to increased sales for their company.
Brafton reported that, aside from sales, companies have seen wide-reaching effects from social media marketing. Website traffic grew for 69 percent of respondents, while 65 percent found they have learned more about their target audience with social media marketing.
As businesses find new benefits from their social campaigns, many are diversifying their efforts to target a wide range of prospects. Brafton relayed Social Media Examiner found that more than 90 percent of companies active on social are using Facebook.
Twitter and LinkedIn finished second and third in the poll, respectively. While Google+ was not as successful, the platform was the choice of many when asked which social network they hoped to learn more about in 2012.
Social Media Examiner’s report came out shortly before Google announced a series of adjustments to Google+ aimed at making the platform more visual and intuitive for those looking to interact on it.
Brafton reported on Wednesday that the main adjustments were a customizable navigation ribbon on the left, which will allow users to move between different pages more easily. All of the site’s features, such as Hangouts, Circles and Pages, are accessible on the toolbar, and users can arrange the icons for each tool as they like.
Moving away from utility, the changes made images posted to the web larger and more attractive. Interacting with contacts on Google+ is also easier with larger conversation cards.
As Google looks to improve its social platform