Almost nine in every ten U.S. companies of 100 employees or more will use social networking for marketing purposes this year, suggests a new study from eMarketer.
This represents an eight percentage point gain on 2011, and a leap of some 31 percentage points since 2009, to current figures of 88 percent.
The problem? With so little upside left, eMarketer expects growth of just three percentage points by 2014.
Are we nearing the point of saturation? It certainly appears that way, looking at these charts.
Judge for yourself – there’s a definite flattening underway.
Facebook remains the number one social marketing tool for brands, with 83 percent using that channel this year, and 88 percent targeted for 2014. Twitter currently commands 53 percent of marketer attention, but that number is expected to rise faster than Facebook over the next two years, growing eleven percentage points to 64 percent.
YouTube’s upside potential is seen as limited over the same period, largely because video marketing has a niche appeal to select industries.
Of course, this study is looking at the larger businesses – still plenty of growth potential for SMBs.
The challenge for corporates now will be less about growth, as there’s limited upside there, certainly in the USA, and more about maintaining and delighting current audiences with new, innovative social campaigns, strong products and first class customer service. Better get your thinking caps on, guys and gals.