Growth in the social media marketing space is nearing saturation, with the vast majority of businesses already using platforms like Facebook and Twitter for promotion, according to new estimates by eMarketer. The research firm forecasts that 88% of companies with more than 100 employees will use social networks for marketing this year, with that figure set to rise to 91% next year and 92% in 2014. That growth is down from the double-digital rate experienced in previous years, leading eMarketer to question how much growth is left in the market.
“With so many companies tapping social networks to build brand awareness, gain new customers and keep current ones loyal, how much room is left for growth?” asks the firm.
While it is true that growth in the number of companies, particularly larger ones, using social media for marketing is plateauing, this does not mean the market itself is reaching saturation. The idea of using social media to interact with consumers is still a young one, with companies likely to find new and interesting ways of reaching their customers in the future. Where in the early days of marketing on Facebook brands focused intently on building up their fan base through ‘likes’, there has already been a move away from this to look at how best to engage with those fans. The emergence of sponsored and promoted content is also a relatively new one, with brands yet to fully understand how this can be used for brand engagement. Speaking to StrategyEye, TomTom’s digital consumer engagement manager, Bas Komen highlights that the firm’s whole reason for using social media now is to get an insight into its audience and listen to what they are saying.