Nearly 45% of people have increased their social media usage over the past year, the study found, highlighting the increased power social holds for both consumers in everyday society and for marketers in obtaining data and driving business results. But according to Sprout Social's 2019 Index, despite social’s positive influence across an organization, 53% of C-level marketers say proving the value of social to those outside their department remains a challenge.
Key findings from the report include:
Social is becoming the most powerful tool for businesses to reach their goals, but marketers struggle to prove its worth. Ninety percent of social marketers agree investing in social media has a direct impact on their business revenue and 71% agree they are able to provide helpful insights to teams outside of their departments. Yet, 53% of C-level marketers say proving the value of social to those outside their department remains a top challenge and 31% find it difficult to secure budget and resources for social media.
Social listening is crucial to better understanding target audiences. Forty-three percent of all social marketers say a major challenge is identifying and understanding their target audience. To address this concern, marketers turn to social data: 63% of practitioners believe social listening will become more important in the coming year.
Discounts and sales may prompt purchase, but entertainment and inspiration gains greater interest on social, a total flip from last year. More than two-thirds of consumers (67%) said they will engage with social posts that are entertaining, while only 37% said the same about posts that included discounts or sales. That’s a big shift from the 2018 report, where 67% of consumers said they were most likely to engage with discounts and more than half (51%) said they would share posts promoting sales.
Live video, user-generated content and Instagram Stories top the trends charts for social in 2019. Forty-five percent of consumers said they want to see live video from brands in 2019, followed by 24% wanting more user-generated content and Instagram Stories