Social media adoption relatively high but integration low, hampering businesses’ ability to benefit from the platform
According to an April survey conducted by InSites Consulting and SSI, business executives in the US and several countries in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK) reported that a majority of their companies were active on social media websites, but lacked complete social media integration in day-to-day business practices.
The top four social media platforms included Facebook (used by 61% of respondent firms), Twitter (39%), LinkedIn (29%) and YouTube (24%). By country, Facebook adoption was highest in the US and the UK, at 80% and 61%, respectively.
Blogs were the only other platform to break into double digits, at 17%.
According to the report, even though a majority of companies were active on social media, more than half were only in the beginning stages of integrating social media into their daily business practices. In fact, almost a third (29%) said they were doing nothing with social media.
Respondents in France and Germany were at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of social media integration. More than half of business professionals in Germany, 52%, reported that they were at least running a pilot social media program, and 13% reported having full social media integration. Those in France, on the other hand, were the least likely of all the countries polled to have a social media aspect to their business: 46% of respondents in France reported no social media plans at all.
Social media, according to InSites, can act as a social glue, alarm system and customer feedback loop for companies. Steven van Belleghem, managing partner at InSites, told eMarketer that integrating social media into existing campaigns can increase reach and add an element of structural collaboration with customers.
“A lot of companies see social media marketing as something that is done next to other marketing, which is a missed opportunity. Social media can add two important dimensions to bring value to any brand,” said van Belleghem. “The first one is reach, and the second, often overlooked dimension is the ability to collaborate with your customers. Structural collaboration can lead to the integration of the voice of the customer in everything you do, decreasing the gap between the market and your company—in the end, your customers are your best consultants.”
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