According to the latest research, there is a maturing occurring in what people expect from this technique.
There is nothing rare about research being conducted on the results that are being generated by social media marketing, but what is starting to become quite interesting in this domain is the change in the expectations surrounding the results that the technique will generate.
Now that the channel has been used for a few years, it is becoming possible to view its trends.
Some patterns have started to emerge as the very latest in studies have been released by the researchers at the Pivot Conference, and their publication, the “State of Social Media Marketing 2012-2013”. Though the research did provide a large amount of detail as to the breakdown of the use of the strategy over the last few years, it is the trends that are being viewed as the most worthwhile.
For example, many of the respondents in this study changed their feeling that social media marketing success must be gauged by sales.
In 2011, the respondents stated in 100 percent of the cases that an increase in sales was the top goal for any campaign using social media marketing, either for their own company, or those of their clients. However, that opinion has changed dramatically since that time, as in 2012, it was recorded that less than 50 percent of the participants felt the same way. This year, it appears to be climbing again, and is currently settled at the 56 percent mark.
The data from the study also showed that there were tremendously high expectations of the performance of social media marketing in 2011 and a withdrawal of that belief in 2012. This year, there seems to be a rebound in the faith that marketers have in the technique. This occurred in nearly every response area of the study.
Many are interpreting this as a sign that social media marketing as a technique is now maturing, and that the understanding and expectations surrounding it are starting to become more realistic and steady. It has moved beyond the tremendous hype and has survived disappointment and is now starting to level off to a degree that is often seen in areas that are more established.