We showed you in an earlier post that your target audience is using social media. SocialMediaExaminer.com's 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report provides similar information and further outlines exactly how marketers are using social media to grow business.

The report reveals that over 90% of marketers are using social media, and among them, 56% are spending more than six hours per week and 30% are spending eleven or more hours per week on social media, although many have been using it for only a short time (a few months).

The report answers many of the common questions marketers have about using social media, but perhaps most importantly, names the benefits of social media from a marketing perspective. The benefits include:

  • Increased exposure
  • Increased traffic or subscribers
  • Forging new business partnerships
  • Improving search engine rankings
  • Generating leads
  • Sales
  • Reduction in marketing costs
Increased exposure, lead generation, and improved search engine rankings are arguably the most important benefits for senior living marketers. 85% of respondents said that social media helped to increase exposure for their business. 54% said it helped to improve their search engine rankings, and 52% said social media helps generate qualified leads. Increased exposure is somewhat intangible, but search engine rankings and leads are concrete benefits that are pretty easy to measure.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs led the pack of most-used social media tools. For marketers who have been employing social media for years, YouTube and other online video also becomes an important component -- and 73% of overall respondents said they plan to increase their online video usage in the future.