Social media, a key to success

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Nowadays, social media are (or maybe it should be) a huge cornerstone in an organization’s communication strategy; at least it can no longer be ignored. In a study (”Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media & Marketing 2011”, pdf) done by Buddy Media and Booz&Co., the average amount respondents have on social media platforms is 4.6 and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are the most significant ones. The once big and appealing social network MySpace has died a slow death in recent years: a miserable 2% of the respondents make use of this social network.

Especially departments such as Marketing (81%), Digital (62%) and PR (48%) are the most active sections where social media platforms are being used. Product development and IT share last place (8%). As a result, it is not surprising that social media is mostly used for advertising and promotion, as well as PR and customer service, which had a fourth place in the social media leading departments.

There are different reasons why social media is a key to success. The number one critical success enabler is being able to adapt and react quickly to changes. Written below in the graph, you can find other factors. Implementing social media strategies are very useful for companies, for example: brand building (90%), interactivity (89%) and buzz building (88%). Only half of the respondents think social media is beneficial to obtain sales leads.

Measuring the impact of social media on a company is not effortless. The most efficient way is looking at the engagement of consumers. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook this is made possible through forwards, re-tweets, posts and likes. On the other hand, measuring generated sales leads is more difficult. Although social media became a huge value for companies, search or owned sites cannot be left out of the picture.

A third of the respondents have their own social media executive, although 41% in total consider themselves specialists in that specific area. In the last couple of years, social media became an important agenda topic for CEO’s as it is now considered a high-potential business tool. It is therefore a logic result that almost all companies foresee a bigger social media budget. Community managers and creative talents make part of the social media team. Companies are planning to invest more in that last group in the near future.

In the graph below it becomes clear that only a bunch of companies have all the elements, such as social media policies, social media agency partnerships and platforms to share results. Revenue-generating platforms are not a priority to 41% of the respondents.

Study by BuddyMedia