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SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReportCoverEvery year since 2009, Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner has conducted social media study with marketers to find out the impact of social media on their business growth.

As far as I can tell with all indicators, social media for business is on the rise. Since the first study 6 years ago, the numbers have had an upward trend. Here is a summary of the social media research findings as compared over the last 5 years.

The most significant finding revealed was that “92% of marketers said that social media was important to their businesses.” In 2009 was 88% of businesses surveyed were using social media to market their business.

The Age Old Question – How Do You Measure Social Media ROI

This year 37% of businesses surveyed reported they are able to measure their effectiveness on social media which is up from 26% in 2013. This still remains a big question, but even though marketers haven’t mastered measuring the return on investment, they cannot stay away. However, as you will see later, there are clear benefits that marketers are receiving including increasing their bottom line.

Is Facebook Marketing Working?

Marketers are still wondering about this. In fact, the survey indicated that 58% of marketers are uncertain or show that their Facebook Marketing efforts are NOT working.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Despite these two important questions of ROI and effectiveness of Facebook marketing, businesses are showing an increase in benefits over 2013 and in general a general increase over the last six years in the following areas.

92% say that social media is generating exposure for their business (up from 89% in 2013, 85% in 2012 and 2010, and 81% in 2009)

80% report that social media is increasing website traffic and subscribers (up from 75% in 2013, 69% in 2012, 72% in 2011, 63% in 2010, 61% 2009)

66% report that social media has generated leads (up from 61% in 2013, 58% in 2012, 51% in 2011, 52% in 2010  48% in 2009)

And the bottom line…

50% report that social media has improved sales (up from 43% in 2013, 40% in 2012, 43% in 2011, 48% in 2010, 35% in 2009)

SocialMediaImprovesSales     SocialMediaIncreasedLeads

What I love about this survey is that 53% of the 2,887 survey respondents work for small business or are self employed.

To get the detailed analysis with demographics of business types, the white paper is an excellent resource. Through May 30, 2014 you can download the report here.