New Study On Social Media

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

A new report by Booz & Co., New York, based on interviews with executives of 100 leading companies, indicates that more than 90% of major brand owners are now using social media, mainly for advertising and promotions (96%), public relations (88%), customer service (75%), market research (56%), and – perhaps surprisingly – for sales and commerce, only 48%.

Social media is primarily drawing on digital media budgets (79%), likely shifting funds away from digital advertising vehicles such as display. When asked from which other media budgets does Social draw from, the answer was TV (21 %), Magazines (15%), Outdoor (6%), Newspapers (6%) and Radio (5%).

Most companies claim to use multiple social media platforms. The sample was an average 4.6. Not surprisingly, Facebook and Twitter are by far the most highly used platforms at 94% and 77% respectively, followed by YouTube at 42%. Location-based social media is still considered an emergent. Blogs and branded platforms scored 25% each, LinkedIn posted 13% and the location-based Foursquare received 8%. MySpace had a minimal 2%.

Social media is headed by the marketing departments in 81% of corporations. Overall, a third of companies reported that they have a company-wide head of social media. The portion rises to 41% among companies that consider themselves ‘best in class’ or ‘strong’.

When it comes to measurement, 38% of firms tracked transaction data, versus over 80% for monitoring advocacy, participation, engagement and reach. However, 44% of the sample expected to have revenue-generating platforms linked to social media in two years time. Companies are apparently still trying to ‘crack the code’ on the measurement of social media.

Companies clearly intend to spend more on social media in the future with 39% planning to up their spending in it substantially and 57% planning to allocate more resources.

These are only a few of the highlights from the extensive study.

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