Let’s be frank. Marketers can be guilty of having the attention spans of overstimulated toddlers. We’re terminally in love with the shiny razor’s edge, the new hotness, the Next Big Thing.
It’s ironic (and a little tragic) that right about the time a platform reaches critical mass, develops the infrastructure to support advertising, and accumulates enough data to provide useful business intelligence, we’ve moved on to something else.
So it’s encouraging that the latest deep dive report from Spredfast embraces the maturing social media landscape with open arms. The Smart Social Report takes a high-level look at the state of social media marketing, and benchmarks the social maturity of top platforms and brands. Some of the findings are what you might expect, and others are actually quite surprising.
Whaddya mean, “Mature”??
The report used a combination of publicly-available metrics to determine Social Maturity. These included audience size, responsiveness (time to respond to inbound communication), posting volume, use of rich media, and audience engagement. They plotted the metrics on a matrix (say that five times fast) to determine maturity level.
The networks included were Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat. The report looks at 50 leading brands from ten different industries: Retail, Media/Entertainment, Sports, Electronics/Tech, CPG, Financial Services/Insurance, Automotive, Telecom, B2B, Travel/Hospitality.
Reaping the benefits of maturity
At a high level, the report found that the oldest platforms saw the most sophistication. Brands have had time to master these more established social spaces. Thanks to their relative stability and more robust business features, it’s easier to get budgets and resources approved and measure ROI.
It’s also not surprising to learn that different industries have reached maturity at different speeds, arriving in “herds.” And just because a brand has mastered one platform, that doesn’t mean they own the social space.
Spredfast found a high degree of variance across channels, even for the same brand. In fact, it’s possible the most mature brands in a given platform achieved that dominance by maintaining a tight focus on it. The payoff of that focus is accelerated success on that channel, but the cost is fewer resources and less time to devote to others.
Overall, the report provides an interesting overview of the state of social media marketing, with some unexpected (and actionable) insights. For example, they discovered a clear opportunity for brands in one vertical in particular to seize an untapped opportunity on one of the most popular social platforms: Pinterest. You’ll have to download and read the report yourself to find out where that opportunity lies.
There was too much good information in this report for us to fit in one blog post, so look out for our follow-ups that drill down to their findings on two up-and-coming channels: Tumblr and Instagram.
While Spredfast is a sponsor for this post, all our opinions are true and our own.