4.

2 The identity of the survey respondents In analysing the data, it is a good idea to start with the identity of the respondents themselves. As suggested in chapter 3, respondents were given a choice by the questionnaire’s very first question: to identify themselves in one of the following ways:  You are a social media consultant and/or involved in some capacity as a social media advisor to your (or any other) organisation  You work for an organisation that to a greater or lesser extent uses social media as a marketing tool If they ticked the first box, respondents were taken to a further 14 questions; if they ticked the second, a further 20. This sorting device worked well as a reasonably even split developed: 37 completed the first set of questions, 51 the second, a 42/58% balance. The questionnaire asked for respondents to identify themselves by name and by company, although it was stated that this information was “preferred but not essential”. Despite this, 90% gave their names and 88% provided their company’s name. The questionnaire aimed at organisations included more questions on the nature of those organisations as this information was clearly instructive in terms of the research objectives.

4.2.1 The respondent organisations The majority of the respondents were private companies based in the UK, although it should be noted that there was an extremely healthy proportion of US respondents. This may at first seem odd, given that this was a survey generated by a British student at a British

university, but it should really be no surprise given the boundary-ignoring capability of social media (or indeed that the two of the ‘others’ were from New Zealand and Slovenia).

Figure 4.3: Location of organisations using social media

Other 8%

USA 35%

UK 57%

Respondents: Organisations

The pie chart showing the public/private split is best considered when placed next to the data from the similar question in the consultants’ questionnaire. We can therefore appreciate both the sectors worked in by organisations using social media marketing, and the sectors worked in by the clients of social media consultants. Essentially, the two are the same thing, although it could be argued that the clients of social media consultants have potentially invested more seriously in social media in that they are actually paying an outside agency to advise them on it. Interestingly though, the two pie charts are fairly similar, and suggest that the majority of organisations using social media are in the private sector.

Figure 4.4: Sector of organisations using social media

Public 16%

Private 84%

Respondents: Organisations

Figure 4.5: Type of organisations using social media consultants

Public 12% Both public and private 27%

Private 61%

Respondents: Consultants

Digging a bit deeper into the nature of the respondent organisations, the data demonstrates that a majority provide services (46%) in a business-to-business context (46%), although businesses targeting consumers do account for 35%. A range of sizes of companies are also represented, everything from very small businesses to multinationals. The final chart shows that out of 10 employment sectors represented, over a third were in the creative field. This

could to an extent be attributed to the types of person the author is following on Twitter, and it may well be that this chart is more of interest as a footnote and that little significance can justifiably be placed next to it. The latter chart in this section (Figure 4.10) demonstrates the youth of this field, with 78% of respondent organisations admitting to only having introduced social media within the last two years.

Figure 4.6: What the organisations sell

Neither 13%

Products 11%

Both 30%

Services 46%

Respondents: Organisations

Figure 4.7: Who the organisations are targeting

Other 19%

Business-tobusiness 46% Business-toconsumer 35%

Respondents: Organisations

Figure 4.8: Size of organisations by number of employees

Over 10,000 3% 01-10 24%

1,001-10,000 19%

501-1,000 8% 101-500 16% 11-100 30%

Respondents: Organisations

Figure 4.9: Organisation sector

Charity, voluntary or not-for-profit 11% 2% 3% 3% Insurance IT and telecoms Leisure and tourism Information 21% Technology/software Public sector 5% Recruitment 11% 3% Media, marketing, PR, digital and creative Respondents: Organisations Construction and property

38%

3%

Figure 4.10: Length of time using social media

5-9 years 3%

2-4 years 19% Under a year 40%

1-2 years 38%

Respondents: Organisations

4.3 The usage of social media marketing The first key set of data relates to the usage of social media technologies in a business context. In this question, and indeed any question where the percentages do not add up to 100%, respondents were allowed to tick as many boxes as necessary. This was clearly because organisations involved in social media tend to use a combination of technologies and it would have been disingenuous to ask for just one or perhaps a preferred technology.

4.3.1 The technologies and sites being used by organisations Figure 4.11 shows that the vast majority (94.6%) of organisations involved in social media marketing are using social networks, the clear leader over blogging (67.6%) and video (62.2%). This data is supported by Figure 4.12, which pinpoints social networking site Facebook as the most popular social media site used by organisations, ahead of YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn, all some distance back with around 50%. This chart also amply demonstrates the breadth of sites being used: of the 20 options given, only the Google-

operated social networking site Orkut received no votes. Among the sites provided by those respondents who ticked ‘Other’ were Typepad, Zoom, Last.fm, Wikipedia, Pipl and Xing.

Social networks 94.60% Blogging Video Photos RSS Social bookmarking sites Microblogging Podcasts Wikis Other 8.10% Respondents: Organisations 21.60% 67.60% 62.20% 54.10% 48.60% 40.50% 40.50% 37.80%

Figure 4.11: Social media technologies used by organisations

Facebook YouTube Twitter LinkedIn Flickr Wordpress Delicious StumbleUpon MySpace Reddit Digg Other Ning Slideshare Bebo Yammer Blogger HubPages Squidoo Orkut 8.10% 5.40% 2.70% 2.70% 2.70% 0.00% 37.80% 29.70% 29.70% 27.00% 21.60% 21.60% 21.60% 18.90% 16.20% 16.20%

86.50% 56.80% 56.80% 54.10%

Figure 4.12: Social media sites used by organisations as a marketing tool

Respondents: Organisations

4.3.2 The effectiveness of social media marketing sites Both organisations and consultants were asked to quantify what they considered to be the most effective social media sites from a return on investment perspective. This is of course a highly subjective notion and is difficult to measure in any way scientifically. However investment, whether determined in a financial or other resource sense, is a significant determinant of social media usage and uptake and it was judged that this was a useful question to ask. As both sectors of the questionnaire contained this question, it is appropriate to merge the charts and draw comparison between the two. Twitter was determined the most effective

by both organisations and consultants, with 40.5% and 54.9% respectively. Facebook and LinkedIn also received a consistent show of approval from both sectors. In terms of differences between the two, consultants found YouTube much more effective than organisations (41.2% compared to 21.6%), and blogging platform Wordpress was considered the third most effective by consultants with 35.3%, but only received 10.8% of the organisations’ vote. A far greater spread of boxes were ticked in this category by the consultants, 17 against 10 ticked by the organisations, which could be assigned to the reasonable conclusion that consultants would be aware of more sites and generally more knowledgeable about their usage. It is also interesting to note that over a third of consultant respondents, 37.8%, decided that the answer depended on the industry.

YouTube Yammer Wordpress Twitter StumbleUpon Squidoo Slideshare Reddit Other Orkut Ning MySpace LinkedIn HubPages Flickr Facebook Digg Depends Delicious Blogger Bebo Respondents: All Organisations Consultants

Figure 4.13: Most effective social media sites in terms of ROI

4.3.3 The least effective social media marketing site Figure 4.14 seeks to identify the least effective social media marketing sites, as determined by the consultants. This question was left out of the organisations’ questionnaire as they were not deemed in the best position to be able to answer it in any meaningful fashion. Similarly to Figure 4.13, a sizeable proportion of the consultants (37.3%) determined that the effectiveness of a site depended on the industry. In terms of specific sites, MySpace was identified as the least effective, with 27.5%, followed by Facebook (17.6%), Orkut (15.7%) and Bebo (13.7%).

Other Depends on the particular business or industry MySpace Orkut Bebo Blogger HubPages Squidoo Ning Wordpress Yammer YouTube StumbleUpon Reddit Digg Slideshare Flickr LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Respondents: Consultants

11.80% 27.50% 15.70% 13.70% 5.90% 3.90% 5.90% 9.80% 0.00% 5.90% 0.00% 5.90% 9.80% 5.90% 2.00% 7.80% 7.80% 5.90%

37.30%

Figure 4.14: Worst performing social media sites in terms of ROI

17.60%

4.3.4 The sites that will grow and decrease in popularity over the next 12 months The consultants were asked for their verdicts on which sites would demonstrate the fastest proportional growth, and the fastest proportional decrease, in business usage over the next 12 months. This could also be interpreted as an indication of effectiveness. Again the results were merged (Figure 4.15). Twitter was again the clear leader, with 84.3%, followed by YouTube (64.7%), Facebook (52.9%) and LinkedIn (51%). Facebook had the most mixed response from the consultants, with 25.5% also predicting it would decrease in business usage over the next 12 months, an interesting point considering Figure 4.12, which placed Facebook well ahead in terms of actual usage. It was MySpace however that received the biggest thumbs-down from the consultants, with 52.9% believing it would decrease in business usage over the next year, against only 3.9% who thought it would grow. Other notable trends include the resounding vote of confidence for Wordpress, with 45.1% believing it would grow and no respondents at all suggesting it will decrease.

None Other MySpace Orkut Bebo Blogger HubPages Squidoo Ning Wordpress Yammer YouTube Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Digg Slideshare Flickr LinkedIn Twitter Facebook 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

Figure 4.15: The social media sites that will grow and decrease the most over the next 12 months

Fastest growth Fastest decrease

80% 90% 100% Respondents: Consultants

4.3.5 The sites organisations intend to try for the first time over the next 12 months A further indication regarding the future direction of social media marketing can be seen from Figure 4.16. In this instance, it should be noted that the answer “Other” drew such a high proportion of responses chiefly because no option for “none of the above” or similar was provided; this was probably an oversight. Of the 16 people who ticked “Other”, 11 said that either they had not yet decided, or that they were not intending to try any of the sites listed.

Aside from that issue, Twitter (21.6%) proved the site most likely to be used by organisations over the next year, followed by YouTube (16.2%).

Other Twitter YouTube Flickr Facebook MySpace Wordpress Delicious Digg LinkedIn Orkut Squidoo Ning Yammer StumbleUpon Blogger HubPages Reddit Slideshare Bebo

40.50% 21.60% 16.20% 10.80% 10.80% 8.10% 8.10% 8.10% 8.10% 8.10% 5.40% 5.40% 5.40% 5.40% 5.40% 2.70% 2.70% 2.70% 2.70% 0.00%

Figure 4.16: Social media sites the organisations intend to try over the next 12 months

Respondents: Organisations

4.3.6 The popularity of social media marketing measurement sites This question, which surveyed the consultants only, indicates that Google is dominating the market in terms of social media measurement tools. A vast majority used Google Analytics (88.2%) and Google Alerts (80.4%). Of the range of ‘Other’ answers put forward, social media monitoring company Radian6 was the most popular.

Google Analytics Google Alerts Technorati Any Twitter tool Other Blogsearch BuzzMetrics Hubspot Blogpulse Yahoo Web Analytics Omniture DoubleClick Core Metrics Techrigy Cymfony 23.50% 17.60% 15.70% 15.70% 15.70% 11.80% 11.80% 5.90% 5.90% 3.90% 3.90% 49.00% 45.10%

88.20% 80.40%

Figure 4.17: Tools used to measure performance

Respondents: Consultants

4.4 The adoption of social media marketing The remainder of the survey set out to discover the reasons and motivation behind the adoption of social media marketing by organisations. It did this by investigating reasons for non-adoption, initial motivation and primary benefits of usage, the effect on other marketing channels, and the impact of the recession. 4.4.1 Reasons for not adopting social media marketing Both sets of respondents were asked for the primary reason, in their experience, for businesses deciding not to adopt social media as a marketing tool. In the case of organisations, this is more likely have been interpreted to have meant other organisations that they were aware of, and perhaps even reflected their own reasons before deciding to

use social media. In the case of the consultants, it is likely that their answers referred to a wider group of organisations. After merging the results, it is clear that the most popular reason for all respondents relates to ignorance about the benefits social media might have. A total of 48.1% of organisations and 45.1% of consultants cited this as the key reason. Interestingly, many more organisations pointed to nervousness of the consequences of getting involved (21.6% compared to 5.9% of the consultants). The consultants also provided a long list of ‘Other’ reasons not provided by the questionnaire. These included:     Lack of measurability Too time-consuming Inadequate resources Reluctance of management to change

Figure 4.18: Reasons for not adopting social media marketing

Other

Concentration on other marketing channels

Unsatisfactory previous experience Organisations Belief that it was not appropriate for their industry Ignorance about its potential benefits Consultants

Nervousness about its potential consequences Respondents: All

4.4.2 Initial motivation for the organisations adopting social media marketing This sought to identify the reasons behind the respondent organisations’ decision to use to social media marketing, a decision that according to Figure 4.10 was most likely taken within the last two years. This focused in on the reasons why an organisation would use social media as a marketing tool, not in this instance for any other reason, such as increasing productivity or collaboration. The data shows that almost a third of organisations, 29.7%, initiated social media marketing as a way of increasing awareness of their business within the marketplace. The second most popular reason was increased lead generation and/or profitability.

To increase awareness of business within market To increase lead generation and/or profitability To improve networking/engagement with customers To increase website traffic Other To reach a particular market segment To improve understanding of company's reputation To improve internal communications To increase RSS subscribers To improve search rankings for your keywords To increase the relevancy of the website traffic 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 8.10% 8.10% 5.40% 13.50% 13.50% 21.60%

29.70%

Figure 4.19: Initial motivation for investing in social media marketing
Respondents: Organisations

4.4.3 Direct benefits of using social media marketing Where Figure 4.19 concentrated on the motivation behind initially using social media marketing, Figure 4.20 looks at what has actually happened – whether that motivation has

materialised into tangible benefits. Both sets of respondents were asked for this information, so the consultants will clearly be talking about the benefits experienced by their client base. Although a number of organisations said it was too early to identify clear benefits (note that none of the consultants ticked that particular box, probably because they could draw from a wider field of experiences with their clients), their responses demonstrate greater variety than Figure 4.19. Increased awareness within the marketplace is again highlighted, but by a smaller majority than Figure 4.19 and there is now a greater variety of other reasons. There are two clear benefits to social media marketing according to the consultants: an increased awareness of your business (31.4%) and improved networking or engagement with customers (33.3%).

Figure 4.20: Primary benefits of using social media marketing

Other It's too early to tell

Better internal communications Improved networking/engagement with customers Increased RSS subscribers Improved search rankings for your target keywords Increased relevancy of website traffic Increased website traffic Increased lead generation and/or profitability Increased awareness of your business within market Respondents: All Organisations Consultants

4.4.4 The effect of social media marketing adoption on other media channels This question was designed to elicit some indication of whether social media is adding to the marketing spectrum or, rather, replacing more established techniques and channels. The data shows that although 37.8% of organisations are choosing simply to add social media to their armoury, the remaining majority are cutting back in other ways in order to facilitate the new style of marketing. The main losers are direct mail and print advertising, with 18.9% each, but no other form of marketing is remaining unscathed.

Other None of the above Cold calling Untargeted email marketing Direct mail Trade shows and/or exhibitions Television/radio advertising Print advertising 5.40%

13.50%

37.80% 13.50% 18.90% 10.80% 10.80% 18.90% Respondents: Organisations

Figure 4.21: Cut back in marketing channels as a result of social media investment

4.4.5 The impact of the recession Both sets of respondents are unanimous in their opinion that the recession is going to have a positive effect on social media marketing (Figure 4.22). A total of 91.9% of the organisations, alongside 84.3% of the consultants, believed it would have a direct effect on the new channel’s popularity.

Asked to expand on the reasons for this in the only joint question of the survey, 41.6% pointed to its cost-effectiveness, with the declining effectiveness of other marketing channels claiming 19.5% as the second most popular explanation.

Figure 4.22: Will the recession increase popularity of social media marketing?

Yes

No, the recession won't affect it

Organisations Consultants

It will decrease in popularity

Respondents: Organisations and Consultants

Its cost-effectiveness The declining effectiveness of other marketing channels Its ability to generate new leads and customers All the hype surrounding it currently Other 41.60% 19.50% 14.30% 10.40% 7.80% 6.50% Respondents: All

Figure 4.23: Reasons for SMM benefitting from a recession

Its measurability

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