Look Ma, No Hands: More Than Half Of Companies Say They Are Using Social Media With No Strategy
While 78% percent of corporate respondents say their company is using social media, only 41% say they have a strategic plan in place to guide such activity, according to a new study from marketing firm Digital Brand Expressions.
Of those companies that have some semblance of a social media strategy, 94% say that marketing activities are included in the plan; 71% said public relations were factored into the equation; and 55% say that they use social media for sales-related activities.
"It's fairly well established that social media is a channel that businesses must participate in, leaving CEOs with the new challenge of planning and implementing brand aligned initiatives enterprise-wide," said Veronica Fielding, president and CEO of Digital Brand Expressions.
Even for the firms that do have a strategic plan in place, only 29% reported distributing policies and/or communications protocols to employees via social channels. "This leaves the majority of organizations exposed to problems arising from employees saying the wrong things in the wrong ways to the wrong people at the wrong time," according to the report.
Meanwhile, most companies appear to be shooting from the hip, with no cohesive game plan or measurement systems in place. Even among those with a plan, few have written policies and communications protocols in place, leaving the organization exposed to problems arising out of employees communicating in ways that inadvertently hurt -- rather than help -- their company brands.
Among those companies that are presently executing social media plans, 69% have set up metrics/tracking methods to measure ROI of such activities, while 71% plan for ongoing monitoring of brand reputation across the social media landscape.
Another 71% claim to be preparing and distributing protocols and policies for ongoing communications, including how to respond to positive/negative comments on social media Web sites.
Also of note, the majority -- 74% -- of respondents said their marketing departments should be responsible for the creation and maintenance of all strategic social media plans. About half -- 51% -- said their corporate communications team should be in charge of such efforts, while 28% said their executive team should lead all social efforts.
Of the 100 companies that DBE surveyed in May, the majority -- 49% -- were made up of less than 50 employees; 32% had 50-999 employees; and 19% were made up of more than 1,000 employees.
Note, 6/23: This last statistic has been amended from a previously published version.