Business Use of Social Media: 96% Advertising, 86% PR, 75% Customer Service

A new report from Buddy Media and Booz & Company shows that 95% of companies are planning to invest more in social media, and breaks down how companies are planning to direct those investments.  Based on input from more than 100 leading companies, the report looks at the business use of social media:  the platforms being used, which company departments are handling and using social media the most, and measures the projected spend on social media.

The report measures how companies use the various social media platforms:

  • Facebook (94%), Twitter (77%) and YouTube (42%) are the basis of most social media strategies, and have the highest priority
  • Companies use multiple social platforms – 4.6 on average
  • Blogs and company-owned platforms are still important outlets, used by 25% of respondents
  • Location-based social media is only just beginning to emerge as a platform
  • MySpace has faded completely into the background, with only 2% of companies using it
  • These social media platforms are being used for: advertising and promotions (96%), PR (88%), customer service (75%) and market research (56%)

Business Use of Social Media: 35% Have Senior Level Exec Responsible for Social MediaThe research breaks down how social media is being handled within companies:

  • The departments responsible for leading social media are mainly: marketing (81%), digital (62%), PR (48%), customer service (26%)
  • Just over one-third (35%) have a senior-level executive who is responsible for social media company-wide
  • 38% of companies say social media is on their CEO’s agenda

What kind of spending are companies planning for social media?

  • 95% of companies will spend more on social media – of those, 57% will invest in ‘somewhat more resources’ and 39% will invest in ‘substantially more resources’
  • Only 5% of companies expect their investment in social media to stay the same, and no respondents expected their social spend to decrease
  • Of these projected investments, spending is directed toward: hiring full-time employees (57%), services provided by partners (48%), creating more content (39%), and media buys (38%)
  • The portion of digital media budgets spent on social media will grow significantly over the next three years
  • Much of the money (79%) that will increasingly be spent on social is being pulled from other areas of digital media spending, although some (21%) will be pulled from TV spending

How are companies measuring all of this social media spend and effort? Most respondents use a variety of metrics, with the most popular being engagement (forwards, shares, posts, retweets, likes)  at 93%, followed by participation (fans, followers, check-ins, sign-ups) with 92%, reach (uniques, PVs, video views, time spent) with 88%, and advocacy (comments, feedback, participation in polls) at 81%.

See the full report on the business use of social media below.
Booz & Co Buddy Media Campaigns to Capabilities Social Media and Marketing 2011