The State of Corporate Social Media 2011

The State of Corporate Social Media 2011

state-of-corporate-social-media-2011Most 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?

social-media-practitioners.jpg

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.

social-media-staff-seniorityNow 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.

the-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.?

social-media-budgets89% 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.

social-media-marketing-strategy

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.

measuring-social-media

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.

social-media-roi

This data is self explanatory.  Hiring social media agencies, consultants and technology vendors varies among organizations globally.

social-media-agenciesThis 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.

social-media-communications

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.

social-business-book

About Michael Brito

Michael Brito has been making things happen online since 1996 with a legit hustle. He gets mad when the 49ers lose, really mad. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

  • http://dbthomas.com/blog David B. Thomas

    Great stuff, Michael. Thanks for sharing it. I'm amazed to see the number of people who say they are measuring the ROI of their social media activities. I wonder what we would find if we dove into how they're doing it.

    I also wonder about the percentage of people doing social media outside of marketing or communications. Are those people sanctioned social media practitioners in HR, tech support, customer service, sales, etc., or did people choose that answer because they meant, “We've got people all over the company doing it, but we haven't figured out who or where they are yet.” Probably a combination of both.

    I'm looking forward to your book!

  • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, I would bet it's a combination of both. The enterprise is still in chaos and will stay that way until they can figure out how operationalze social behind the firewall.

    I hope you are well my friend and congrats on the move to Radian!

    Best,
    Michael

  • http://zachcole.com Zach Cole

    These are terrific findings, Michael! One thing that caught my eye was the pie chart in 4a. I found it interesting that such a large segment of US social media efforts are run through marketing departments (as compared to Europe's social media efforts). However upon examining the chart, the slice for “marketing” in 4a. is larger than 50%, yet “marketing” only accounts for 43%. Also the total percentages in that chart add up to 105%.

    Otherwise, this looks like an amazing report with very cool insights. It also shows that there is clearly a great potential area for growth in corporate social media.

  • adamsclay

    I found it interesting that such a large segment of US social media efforts are run through marketing departments . I also wonder about the percentage of people doing social media outside of marketing or communications.

  • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

    thanks for the comment Zach. Yeah, ownership of “social media' as a reporting function varies in the enterprise. In my experience, corporate communications usually manages it; even though “social” should be everyone's job. : )

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri J

    Michael,

    Nice to see you here, as I see your face from time to time in a Facebook group. :)

    Great post — thanks for compiling the data in such a great way!

    Your statement: …”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.”

    I agree with you. With all technologies available, paired with the trend of utilizing part time or freelance work (in other industries), it surprises me that more companies are not utilizing outside agency help more often.

    Quality folks are out there — The key is appropriate screening and communication. A quality professional will bring quality work, which should equal a commensurate ROI.

    Thanks again,

    ~Keri

  • http://aqualung.typepad.com/aqualung/ aqualung

    Couple of things: while being prescriptive that the content should be produced internally (i.e. be “authentic”) involves some generalisations and assumptions in the absence of knowledge of any particular case, that would be my starting position, and I would only view agency-generated content as acceptable in social media content in a few edge cases – otherwise it's a bit like being married by proxy. If you're not personally involved, it's hardly genuine.

    The other thing I “hear” in your post (and I will freely admit I may be off target here, as I haven't read all your writing) is the assumption that “social media” is only useful in customer/consumer interactions (e.g. marketing communications). Now, I understand that this IS your interest, so I'm not upset that you focus there – but it's “social” media; it's about people, not brands, and is as applicable internally and with suppliers (i.e. the other direction in the value chain) as it is with customers and consumers. There is nothing about social media that limits it to brand-building exercises (yes, marketing and communications IS a valid theatre for it – just not the only one) – it's about conversations and relationships between people that are useful in any business application.

    OK – I'll get off the soapbox now :)

  • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

    Hi Keri — thanks for the comment. : ) Hope you are doing well.

    Michael

  • http://www.britopian.com Michael Brito

    thanks for your comment. I hear you loud and clear. Of course, the essence of this post is certainly marcom related. I would ask that you maybe read a few more post or even check out the synopsis of my book, which talks about humanizing business operations. That, my friend, is what I am passionate about. Marketing communications, engagement, etc. is just a small sliver.

  • http://aqualung.typepad.com/aqualung/ aqualung

    “Humanizing business operations” certainly resonates better with me :)
    My apologies for taking you “out of context”, but I see a lot of marcomms-based “social media experts” with a very narrow view, and (as you may have guessed) it's a pet peeve of mine. No harm, no foul – and I'll keep an eye out for the book!

  • http://jasonkeath.com Jason Keath

    Love the data but not sure how much faith to put in it when it is only from 100 “corporate practitioners” surveyed and no other detail on the company types.

    They are the right questions to ask.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual office assistant

    Its good investing in Social media. Social Media platform is ideal for different uses and should therefore have a customized strategy. Due to the rapid rise in popularity and relevancy many online marketing companies now offer Social Media Marketing and strategy development services which are paramount to the success of Social Media as a viable marketing channel.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    Thanks for sharing these stats. This post definitely points out the dilemma that many companies have with social media. They recognize that it's important and have committed to investing time and money in it, yet some don't even measure it, mostly because they don't know how. While social media ROI and success can be hard to measure, it's important to still have a strategic plan about what to get out of it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael for sharing these stats and I’d say USA, Europe or elsewhere makes no difference – businesses are still unsure on how they would measure their social media campaigns’ ROI and yet, they feel that they have to make their presence known on the Social Web, means that all of us are testing the waters to see if our efforts will gather us the sales we want to generate.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael for sharing these stats and I’d say USA, Europe or elsewhere makes no difference – businesses are still unsure on how they would measure their social media campaigns’ ROI and yet, they feel that they have to make their presence known on the Social Web, means that all of us are testing the waters to see if our efforts will gather us the sales we want to generate.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing these statistics. This message points certainly a problem that many companies have with social media. They recognize that it is important and is committed to investing time and money in it, but some do not even have the measure, mainly because they do not know how. Although the ROI of social media success can be difficult to measure, it is important to continue the strategic plan of what needs to go.
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  • Anonymous

    Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Thank you very much for sharing this knowledge.this graph really conveyed the part which i was looking for.

  • Anonymous

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