KPMG: How businesses are making the most of social media

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More than 70 percent of organizations operating around the world are now active on social media. Many are finding significant benefits and unexpected risks along the way. KPMG surveyed more than 1,800 managers and 2,000 employees at organizations in ten major markets and found that – in many cases – there remains a significant gap between expectation and reality when it comes to social media. The adoption of social media is widespread for businesses in the emerging markets of China, India and Brazil who – on average – are 20 to 30 percentage points more likely to use social media than counterparts in the UK, Australia, Germany or Canada.

In part, this may be attributed to the emerging markets’ lower dependence on ‘legacy systems’ that – in more established markets – tends to bind organizations to their long-established channel strategies, as well as the rapidly declining cost of internet access and devices in the developing world.

Emerging markets

57 percent of respondents suggested that they were either in the process of expanding or about to initiate plans to leverage social media as a catalyst to developing new products or services. Respondents were clear that an ability to identify new opportunities is the most important factor for ensuring success in social media. Interestingly, less than one in ten suggested that securing dedicated funding for social media programs was a critical requirement. According to respondents, social media programs tend to deliver significant returns to the business, often outweighing the risks. In fact, almost 80 percent of respondents say that they have either personally seen or organizationally measured all of the key benefits that were anticipated from their program.

Employees, managers and social media

According to KPMG’s research, four out of ten managers in the USA and Australia believe that their organization’s employees are using social media multiple times a day. But this was in direct contrast with employees’ own reports on their frequency of use at 14 percent and 16 percent for the USA and Australia respectively.
Additionally, managers tend to have higher usage of social media at work than their employees. More than 85 percent of managers reported using social media at the workplace a few times a week or more, compared to 75 percent of employees. Employees were also much more likely to never use social media than the managers, with almost 14 percent of employees reporting that they never use it compared to just 6 percent of managers.

Full report on SlideShare