Social media marketers prefer Facebook now, look to blogging in future

In a May 2013 survey, SocialMedia Examiner found marketers increasingly see the importance of social media for their marketing strategy - 86 percent of marketers surveyed said social media was important, compared with 83 percent in 2012.

Of the social media platforms marketers would choose if they could only pick one, a full 49 percent chose Facebook as their go-to social media marketing campaign. Facebook is likely valued for its ability to harness the site's reported 1 billion active users. However, perhaps surprisingly, only 2 percent of marketers would choose Google Plus as their only social media platform. Though businesses use Google Plus to boost their local SEO rankings, it is clear small-business owners recognize that Google Plus is not popular among regular social media users.

The sites and mediums that seem to be gaining in popularity are LinkedIn, with 16 percent of the vote, blogging (14 percent) and Twitter (12 percent). Blogging might be surprising to some people, but with the imminent release of Penguin 2.0 and other new changes to local search announced at Google's recent I/O developers' conference, developing good content makes sense. Local internet marketing specialists have realized that old SEO tactics will soon be obsolete and content marketing, through blogging or other forms, can boost local SEO rankings by increasing authority and legitimacy. This shift to content creation was well-represented by the survey, as it revealed that 62 percent of social media marketers want to learn more about blogging in the future, the No. 1 answer to that question.

The biggest benefits that marketers reported from their social media campaigns were increased brand exposure, increased site traffic, marketplace insight and the development of loyal fans. On the flipside, only 43 percent of marketers thought social media marketing improved their sales. This might be the case because only about 26 percent of marketers said they can measure the impact of their social media marketing, while 38 percent said they were unable to measure their social media impact and 36 percent weren't really sure if they were capturing their impact.

Finally, many marketers have plans to increase their use of video marketing, with about 69 percent reporting they had future plans to use YouTube for marketing purposes. Additionally, 66 percent of users reported they planned to use blogging to increase their local search rankings.