Most of my career was spent working for some pretty big companies here in Silicon Valley. Over the last decade, I have worked for Hewlett Packard, Yahoo! and Intel and have learned some interesting things along the way about corporate culture, business processes and attitudes towards corporate social media. This is why I am excited to read reports such as this because it really provides insight into corporate social media initiatives such as human resource planning, social media team structures, organization models, technology, budget allocations etc.
The report was facilitated by a research firm based out of the UK called Useful Social Media. I have never heard of the firm before reading this report, but I am impressed with the data and findings. Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite wrote the foreword and the report itself was sponsored by the Hootsuite so that in itself lent credibility. You can download the report here by entering some basic information.
Here are some key findings of the report which I found interesting and noteworthy:
41% of the companies report that there is no staff dedicated to social media. Seriously?
Of those companies that have social media staff members, 46% are managers, 14% are executives, 20% hold the director title, 8% are VPs and 12% are CEOs.
Now this is interesting. Of the companies that participated in the study, 4% have a dedicated social media team and/or departments; 43% report into the marketing organization, 15% work within the corporate communications teams and 35% are randomly scattered across the organization. This is actually a good sign and illustrates that companies are empowering their employees to engage externally with the social customer. These are the inner workings of a social organization.
77% of those companies in the survey indicated that social media budgets will increase. This is a good sign, but my only questions is what the budgets will be used for i.e. internal business operations, community engagement, hiring, technology vendors, paid media within social media networks, etc.?
89% of those in the survey indicate that a social media strategy is becoming more important the company’s overall marketing strategy. I wonder though when it will be come more important to a company’s business strategy? Time will tell.
Only 40% of the respondents feel confident in measuring social media. This is a problem. Yes, social media is difficult but there are social media measurement philosophies and tactics that can be thought through.
Additionally, of that 40% that are measuring social media, 45% are assigning an ROI to their social marketing efforts. This certainly makes sense since many business leaders are demanding it.
This data is self explanatory. Hiring social media agencies, consultants and technology vendors varies among organizations globally.
This is an interesting data point. The actual report titles this portion “authentic corporate voices” indicating that if agencies are writing social media content on behalf of a brand that it’s not authentic. I actually disagree but that’s an entire blog post.
Many of the topics on corporate social media featured in the report are also covered in detail in my upcoming book, Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization scheduled to be released in July 2011. You can pre-order by clicking on the below book cover. Thank you.