According to a recent report by Econsultancy, almost two out of three companies describe the extension of their activity in social media as “strong” (21%) or “medium” (43%), which represents an increase in 21% compared to last year 2010
At the same time, the report notes that with this increase there is a fall in the proportion of companies that say that they ‘have only experimented with social media’, which indicates that sellers and companies are moving beyond Experimentation through these channels to grant them a predominant role within their organization and marketing strategies.
The same pattern is detected on the supply side: while fewer agencies say that their customers are experimenting with social media (46% this year vs. 56% in 2010), a greater proportion say that their customers make strong bets (39 % versus 34%), or have been heavily involved (13% compared to 8% the previous year) in these media.
The maturation of Social Media Marketing is probably due to the positive effects that sellers are observing. According to a report developed by SocialMedia Examiner, 88% of merchants and companies believe that their efforts in social media have generated greater exposure for their businesses, while 72% have experienced an improvement in traffic and subscribers. In addition, according to a Webmarketing report123, social media has proven to be valuable, and 55% of merchants said they closed some type of business thanks to them.
In the Econsultancy report, we found that 87% of respondents use Twitter as the main marketing and communication platform, compared to 82% who use Facebook to do so. The other giants of social media: YouTube (69%) and LinkedIn (57%), are also frequently used by most companies.
Compared to last year 2010, the proportion of companies using Twitter increased by 5%, while the popularity of YouTube grew by 19%, while that of LinkedIn was 12%. Of the four main networks, only Facebook’s penetration grew less, only 2.5%, while Foursquare doubled its popularity.
According to the report, compared to last year, more companies are using Facebook for a variety of purposes ranging from marketing and sales to brand surveillance, reputation and customer service. While its most popular use remains as that of a marketing channel, a notable increase of 12% in its use for other purposes was detected among 75% of the companies.
For example, this year, 52% of businesses and brands use the social network to react to customer service problems and queries, which represents a significant increase compared to 29% that did last year. A similar proportion of 51%), used to obtain customer feedback against 37% in 2010, while customer service also experienced another great jump, from 28% to 49% in the last year.
As with Facebook, the greatest increase in how Twitter is used has been seen in terms of customer service, which went from 35% to 50%, while 77% use it as a marketing channel and the 74 % to present new contents and news.
Although Facebook and Twitter have gained widespread use among companies, most believe that they can do a better integration of their use. At least 50% believe that it can improve the use that is given to Twitter, although this figure is well below the 59% who had commented the same in 2010. Regarding the growth of Facebook, it is presented more moderately , because 27% of these companies say they are using the social network compared to the 25% that already did in 2010.