The 2014 State of Enterprise Social Marketing reveals insights businesses can learn from. It's February and some businesses are still developing 2015 marketing plans. When doing so, it's important to consider what worked and didn't work in 2014. Doing this can help you determine where you should be investing your time and money this year.
This report describes how the world's largest companies are planning, executing and measuring social. Spredfast commissioned research from Forrester Consulting to uncover insights on the state of enterprise social marketing programs at the biggest companies in the U.S. and Western Europe. The survey included companies across eight industry verticals, including Retail, Consumer Product Goods, Technology, Finance, Insurance, Media, Manufacturing and Telecom, with a total sample of 160 participants from the United States and Western Europe in companies with at least $1 Billion in revenue. The result is information on corporate social marketing trends and benchmarks that could help businesses plan for 2015 and beyond. Readers are provided with a look at how the world's largest companies are planning, executing, and measuring social.
The Report Provides Data On A Variety Of Concepts
- Executive-level oversight and priority of social marketing efforts
- The business value of social marketing across different social networks and tactics
- Enterprise companies' top business goals and objectives for social marketing
- How and what companies are measuring to determine the impact of social marketing
- The integration of social marketing across broader (non-social) marketing efforts and owned sites
The Top 14 Takeaways
- 69% of large companies are increased staffing for social marketing in 2014.
- 78% of enterprise companies place the responsibility of social marketing under a CMO, C-Level executive or an executive/Vice President.
- 30% of companies with revenue of $25 Billion or more annually have 25 or more full time employees for social marketing.
- 68% of companies grew their social marketing budgets from 2013 as compared to only a 55% increase in the total worldwide marketing budgets from 2013-2014.
- 73% of companies are continually evolving and defining best practices.
- 100% of the companies surveyed reported marketing department involvement in social media. PR/Media Relations, Legal, and IT are other departments that are highly likely (80% or higher) to have a role in social marketing in some way.
- 69.9% of the companies surveyed said their social media marketing efforts were integrated with broader [non-social] marketing efforts.
- 98.13% of these companies are using at least one major social network for marketing and 41.88% planned to adopt at least one additional social network during the year.
- Brand awareness was the main business objective followed closely by a goal of brand preference.
- 69.4% of the companies said they encourage customers that talk about their company on social networks.
- The most common metrics used to measure the return on investment of social marketing efforts included the growth of fans, followers, etc. as well as comments, replies and sharing.
- 81% of the companies are using web analytic tools to measure the business value social marketing is creating.
- Relevancy and timeliness of content delivered across social channels are being prioritized.
- Curation of social content is the tactic most widely used outside of activity on the social networks at 61%, followed by a branded blog at 53%.
Staffing And Organization
Staffing data ranged from companies with less than three full-time employees to more than 25. Many companies employed part-time employees too, with 31% of the companies reporting that they have 16 or more employees working on social marketing part-time. 33% of the companies planned to increase their social marketing staff by at least 10%.
The Priority Of Social Marketing
Almost 70% of the companies reported their organizations prioritized social marketing based on the way it is organized and executed within their company and 70% reported senior management believes in the value of social marketing. In companies with an annual revenue of $10 Billion or above, the priority of social marketing across the organization and senior management's belief in its value increases to 74%.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I'm encouraged by the data collected. Though social media is still relatively new to marketers, it is clearly part of the enterprise marketing mix. with close to 70% reporting plans to hire more social marketing staff. That said, more than a third planned to grow staff by less than 10%. I would predict similar numbers again in 2015 with the majority hiring more staff and working hard to take advantage of improved technology that allows businesses of all sizes to optimize resources.
The key, as always will be to train employees whether full-time or part-time in order to maximize efficiencies. With more and more brands entering the social marketing world, consumers will continue to have greater expectations about their ability to communicate with the brands they prefer over social channels. Customer service will continue to be an important part of a business's social marketing strategy and a major part of employee training.
It still sounds like content is a crucial part of social marketing success. Brands that find ways to deliver quality content to their customers, prospects and potential referral sources are the brands that will rise to the top in 2015. The delivery of timely, relevant content on a consistent basis will be what separates the winners from the losers in 2015.
I'm also pleased to see the increased attention to measurement practices. Being able to measure the return on investment of the social marketing tactics is something businesses of all sizes are concerned with. The increased interest by enterprise businesses will put pressure on those developing the measurement tools to make it easier to use the data and insights on the Key Performance Indicators to develop tactics that will influence customers. This too is critical to businesses of all sizes.
Overall, I am encouraged by the report and hope there is a similar report prepared in 2015.
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