Corporate Eye

State of Social Media Marketing and Advertising 2014

facebook ipad mobileNearly two out of three brands (61.7%) want to acquire customers through social media but fewer than one in three (28.9%) want to provide customer care through social media. That’s just one of the results from Social Bakers’ State of Social Media Marketing 2014 report. Research from Brand Keys released earlier this month shows that engaging brands are winning customers and loyalty, but based on these results, few brands understand the connection.

In addition to missing the link between social media marketing and customer care, brands are also missing the connection between social media marketing and competitive social analytics. Social Bakers found that nearly nine out of ten marketers (86.2%) believe that competitive social analysis is important, but fewer than one in three (31.2%) invest in social analytics tools. Instead, most are using free tools (or no tools at all).

Marketers are also surprisingly inefficient in their social media marketing. A total of 41% of marketers who responded to the Social Bakers survey exclusively publish content directly to social media platforms rather than using publishing tools that can streamline processes, improve collaboration, track performance, and more.

Of the more than 500 marketers from 82 countries and 20 industries (including small companies with fewer than 50 employees and large companies with greater than 5,000 employees), Social Bakers learned that Facebook is by far the social media marketing focus for 2014 with 81.2% of marketers stating it is a high priority for them. Twitter ranked second with 43.7% of marketers stating that it is a high priority for 2014, and YouTube ranked third with 29.7% of marketers identifying it as a high priority this year. Instagram ranked fourth (19.1%), followed by LinkedIn (16.7%), Google+ (14.1%), Pinterest (7.4%), and Tumblr (3.5%). As Carly Guglielmelli, Social Bakers Social Media Manager, said, “The data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.”

Looking at the Social Bakers State of Social Media Advertising 2014 report, 14% of companies with greater than 5,000 employees reported that they do not have a social ad budget this year. That isn’t the only red flag in the report. Social Bakers also found that most marketers don’t (or can’t) differentiate between Facebook News Feed (native) ad placements. Given the high percentage of Facebook users who access the site using their mobile devices (78% in the United States), dedicated mobile News Feed advertising represents a significant opportunity that is being missed. Couple this with research results from Social@Ogilvy that were released earlier this month stating that organic reach of content published on brand Facebook Pages is plummeting, and the need to shift focus to native advertising through News Feeds (particularly mobile) is even more apparent.

Taking a look at Twitter advertising, the results of the Social Bakers research show that only 23% of marketers who responded to the survey advertise on Twitter, which is significantly lower than the percentage that advertise on Facebook (92%), YouTube (35%), and LinkedIn (24%). However, it’s important to point out that Twitter advertising is still growing. If Twitter advertising rates continue to fall and its offerings expand, including geographic offerings, we may see this percentage increase in the future.

What do you think of this data? Any surprises? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Judit Klein

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.