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Hold your breath! Why are we spending so much time doing social media marketing if two-thirds of Americans don’t find it important? Say what?

A recent survey from Ipsos OTX says that only 32% of Americans aged 18-64 rated social’s importance a top-2 box score on a 5-point scale. That makes Americans about 20% less likely than the average respondent across 24 markets to consider social media important to them. 

Other valuable stats as reported by MarketingCharts:

  • Social media scores higher among women (37%) and those under-35 (45%) in the US, but those figures also lag the corresponding global averages (46% and 50%, respectively).
  • American women are 32% more likely than their male counterparts to consider social media important to them (37% vs. 28%).
  • There is a clear downward trend in perceived importance as the age of the respondent increases, from 45% of 18-34-year-olds down to 34% of 35-49-year-olds and 17% of 50-64-year-olds.
  • Respondents from high-income households are 29% more likely than those from low-income households to consider social media to be important to them (36% vs. 28%).
  • Respondents with high levels of education are 24% more likely than those with low levels of attainment to find social media important (36% vs. 29%).
  • Business owners are 57% more likely than those who don’t own businesses to consider social media important to them (47% vs. 30%).
  • Senior executives and decision-makers are also 57% more likely than respondents not in those positions to find social media important (47% vs. 30%).

So, what does this mean?

  • If you’re marketing to American women and Millennial consumers, you should include social media marketing as part of your channel mix.
  • If you’re marketing to American middle-aged and older consumers, you may need to explore multichannel marketing more.
  • If you’re marketing to affluent and educated audiences, social media may be a sound part of your channel mix, but don’t rely on it without other channels.
  • If you’re marketing to business owners, senior executives, and decision-makers, social media marketing is a good bet, also with other channels to round out your mix.

Bottom Line?

Don’t put all your marketing eggs in the social media marketing basket. Consider the other channels your audiences are in and use those, too.

Does this study surprise you? Why or why not?

Ipsos-Importance-of-Social-Media-to-Americans-Oct2013

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