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1
T Cm Ca  Sca Ma Bsss Acats:
separating the biz from the buzz
Sca Ma Ta // .B
 
WhiTepAper Survey
The Coming Changein Social MediaBusiness Applications
 
Separating the Biz from the Buzz
by Josh Gordon
 
2
T Cm Ca  Sca Ma Bsss Acats:
separating the biz from the buzz
Sca Ma Ta // .B
introduction
Four actors are driving this trend. First, due tothe rapid rise in the popularity o social media,the number o potential customers engaged onsocial media sites was previously underestimatedby many organizations. Second, in the currenteconomic downturn, where there are ewercustomers in general, nding them and engagingthem are much higher priorities. Third, there isnow a “Main Street” acceptance o social mediaas a powerul persuasive tool. Regardless o political aliation, managers everywhere recentlynoticed that the largest and most successulsocial media campaign in history helped electBarack Obama President o the United States.Finally, there has been a breakdown in traditionallead-generation programs. With more customercontact moving online, it is easier than ever or aclient to ignore messages rom potential suppli-ers. Social media can help break the ice.
 Why this study?
Social media is getting a lot o media coverage, butall the attention does not necessarily make it easierto understand which unctions are actually useulin business. This study was designed to providemanagers with guidance in that area by measuringwhich social media tools are being used right now,and by whom. A look at what other businesses aredoing can oer perspective, as well as a bench-mark or managers to compare their own organiza-tions’ progress and opportunities.In order or a benchmark to be useul, it must bespecic and detailed. To that end, I have dividedthis survey into three parts. Part I is an overviewo both current and uture intended business useo social media. Part II ocuses on the businessuse o Twitter, and Part III examines the businessuse o social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn,with a separate ocus on the our general businessunctions that social media serves: sales, market-ing, public relations, and internal communications.
Part I: Overview
Marketing and Pr are currently the lead-ing business uses o social Media; sales and collaborative work lag behind.
Social media is being used in business most otenas a marketing and public relations tool, whileuses in sales support and collaborative work lagbehind. Almost three quarters o respondents saidtheir organizations use social media or branding,and two thirds use it or public relations. Only 38%are using it to support collaborative work, and onlyabout one in our use it to support sales eorts.
 a shift is coming
in hoW orgAnizATionS uSe SoCiAl MediA
Introduction
table o contents
itct ...............2pat i .........................3pat ii ........................5pat iii .......................7i Ccs ............11
Companies have been using social media primarily as a general communicationstool—mostly or public relations and marketing. That’s about to change, asbusinesses discover its value as an essential tool or customer engagement—providing lead generation, immediate customer contact, and customer interaction.
Methodology:
Social Media Today is anonline social communityocused on issues in thesocial media world. Thissurvey was conducted o itsmembers and visitors whoare actively involved proes-sionally in social media. The results shown here arebased on a sample o 632survey respondents, col-lected between March 13,2009, and April 4, 2009.
 
3
T Cm Ca  Sca Ma Bsss Acats:
separating the biz from the buzz
Sca Ma Ta // .B
part i: ovvw
looking to the uture, “lead generation”is the toP business unction or which or-ganizations Most want to use social Media.
Organizations have shited priority. With theeconomic downturn, “lead generation” has movedto the top spot as the business unction organiza-tions are “most considering” or the uture. Thetwo currently most requently used unctions,branding and public relations, ollow behind. Thisis a highly signicant shit, and is reinorced byother ndings in this survey.
when coMPeting or custoMers,sMaller organizations use socialMedia More requently
 The smaller the company, the more requently socialmedia is used to improve external communications. As we compare social media usage at smaller com-panies with 1 to 10 employees to organizations withover 1,000, there is a steady decrease in the percent-age o usage. Companies with 10 or ewer employ-ees are about 30% more likely to use social mediaor public relations, branding, and understandingcustomers than companies with over 1,000 employ-ees, and twice as likely to use it or lead generation.Where larger organizations have more resourcesto touch their customers, such as corporate ad-vertising, social media may not be as big a priority.However, with less money or outreach programs,smaller companies can make big inroads byocusing more on social media.
larger organizations use socialMedia More requently or internalcoMMunications.
Organizations with over 1,000 employees are twiceas likely to use social media or internal communi-cations as companies with 1 to 10 employees, androughly 18% more likely to use social media orcollaborative work. Larger organizations have morecomplex and geographically dispersed communica-tions challenges. In addition, they oten have moresophisticated IT support. They need the communi-cations services more, and they have the technicalsupport to take advantage o them.
“The smaller thecompany, themore requentlysocial mediais used toimprove externalcommunications.”
pbc atsBala atSas stustacstms
70.6%76.5%66.1%27.1%63.8%69.6%73.0%58.3%25.2%57.4%59.1%67.7%45.2%29.0%55.9%51.9%59.3%29.6%17.3%49.4%
o t 10ms11–100ms101–1,000mso 1,000ms
o  m   , p         m -   m.
laat
25.4%
Ba
17.3%
pbcats
16.8%
itacmmcat
1.8%
Sas st
6.3%
Cabatwk
7.9%
imatsa
11.2%
ustacstms
13.3%
 a  ,          m  mp?
Baimat sapbc atsusta cstmsla atCabat wkita cmmcatSas st
0 20 40 60 80 100
25.8%32.1%38.4%54.9%56.6%65.8%70.5%71.8%
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