Most big companies around the world are using social media for a variety of purposes, but they’re failing to effectively integrate it into their overall corporate strategies, according to a new global survey and study from InSites Consulting. On the positive side, U.S. companies are leading the pack when it comes to basic adoption.
The survey of 1,222 top managers in the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, found that 61% of the companies surveyed are using Facebook, 39% are using Twitter, 29% are using LinkedIn, 24% are using YouTube. As noted, adoption rates among U.S. companies are significantly higher than average, with 80% using Facebook, 45% using Twitter, 48% using LinkedIn, and 31% using YouTube. Interestingly, B2B companies in the global survey were slightly more likely than B2C companies to be using Facebook, with adoption rates of 62% and 60%, respectively.
Just because companies are using social media doesn’t mean they’re using it effectively, however. When asked to assess their progress on social media, the largest segment of respondents in the global survey, 29%, said they were “doing nothing,” while 27% said they were in the “first steps,” and 17% said they were in the “pilot phase.” By comparison, only 15% were “integrating social media” and a mere 12% had succeeded in integrating social media into an overall corporate strategy.
In the U.S., 26% of companies said they were “doing nothing,” 24% said they were in the “first steps,” and 23% said they were in the pilot phase. Only 17% said they were in the process of integrating social media, and just 11% said it was fully integrated.
In terms of purpose, 39% are using social media to help manage customer experience, 24% use it to manage customer conversations, 19% use it to manage content, and 16% use it for collaboration.
Companies are also uneven in giving employees the resources they need to be involved with social media. Only about half -- 52% -- give employees access to social media at work, while only 44% said their company encourages online conversations with customers. And only 41% said their company allows them to talk about their work on social media (perhaps reflecting security concerns).