US Businesses Continue to Get Social

Jun 05, 2016

In our recent survey of more than 400 IT decision makers in the United States, social media was one of the most talked-about technologies. Fifty-eight percent of respondents report that their employees use consumer social media, and 42 percent use enterprise social tools. Roughly a quarter of those not doing so today expect to use social media in the next three years—meaning that by 2019, at least three-quarters of companies will be relying on social for various processes, inside and outside the organization.

Consumer social media is used by all employees in 27 percent of the organizations surveyed; in the rest, it is used based on job role (29 percent) or location (2 percent). It is rated as “important” or “very important” by 41 percent of respondents. Enterprise social tools are used by all employees in 20 percent of surveyed companies; and by employees based on job roles (19 percent) or location (2 percent) in the rest. It is rated as “important” or “very important” by 31 percent of respondents. About one fifth of users of all social media tools use them throughout the day; the rest use them on a daily or weekly basis.

The biggest perceived benefits of enterprise social collaboration include cost reduction, product innovation, marketing effectiveness, productivity, and collaboration. For consumer social media, the benefits include attracting and retaining customers, expanding into new markets, improving marketing effectiveness. Fifty-four percent of respondents say they measure the value of consumer social media; 48 percent do so for enterprise social tools.

Companies use consumer social media for building community, offering promotions, and branding. Inside the organizations, they use enterprise social media for knowledge sharing, team building, and project management. About half of the respondents have a social media policy in place, and many have already assigned employees to monitor and respond to the channel. Fewer companies have integrated the channel into their CRM systems or are using it for analytics.

Social media is seen as increasing brand exposure, attracting customers, and increasing the ability to receive customer feedback. It is less valuable for employee retention and recruiting. Companies are most likely to deploy social media to select teams, but more employees will have access within the next three years. Respondents say social media improves collaboration, helps share institutional knowledge, and supports remote teams. The vast majority of companies see social media tools as either somewhat or highly effective in improving productivity.

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Melanie Turek


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