Companies still not strategic around social media strategy: Report

New Altimeter Group report on the State of Social Business finds only half of senior executives are informed, engaged or aligned with social strategy

Most organisations are at an ‘intermediate’ stage when it comes to social business maturity, and less than one-fifth can boast of being truly strategic in executing social strategy, a new report claims.

According to Altimeter Group’s The State of Social Business: 2013: The Maturing of Social Media into Social Business, the lack of clear leadership, organisation and strategy means many organisations are still experiencing ‘social anarchy’ when social media strategy is siloed or uncoordinated.

Just over one-quarter of respondents were found to have a holistic social media approach, and nearly half claimed top executives are not informed, engaged or aligned with social strategy (48 per cent).

Altimeter’s formula for understanding an organisation’s social media prowess is divided into six stages: Planning, Presence, Engagement, Formalised, Strategic, and Converged. Currently, 80 per cent of respondents claim to at least have a presence in social, but only 17 per cent consider themselves to be at the higher end of social business maturity. Only 3 per cent claimed to be at the ‘Converged’ stage, while the majority are either at Engagement or Formalised (26 per cent of respondents each).

The research group claims these steps are a good way for organisations to measure and track their strategic social media progress.

Employees also continue to lack sufficient training, with the result that social media policies remain a significant risk area, the report authors stated. The latest report found just 18 per cent of companies have employees with a good or very good understanding of social media policies, and 39 per cent are offering ad-hoc education around social media training. Twenty-two per cent don’t have any training.

Coping with social media’s unpredictability
Tapping into social experience: Tourism Australia’s CMO Nick Baker
Aussie brands failing to embrace digital real-time customer service

Across respondents, three-quarters reported having a dedicated social media team, with 40 per cent reporting to marketing, followed by corporate communications/PR (26 per cent). The report noted there are 13 different departments around the organisation with staff working on social initiatives, adding further weight to the relative immaturity of social media strategy.

In an indication of how important social is becoming, however, Altimeter found more organisations are committed to increasing social media headcount across the organisation, with the biggest jump not surprisingly being in companies with more than 100,000 employees. In these organisations, an average of 49 full-time employees support social media, compared with 20 in 2010.

In organisations with fewer than 5000 employees, the average number of staff dedicated to supporting social media is 3.1.

In addition, 61 per cent said social strategy is connected to business goals and outcomes, and 52 per cent claim to have articulated a long-term vision for how social media will improve customer relationships.

Another notable result is that 34 per cent of respondents have clear metrics being used throughout the organisation that associate social activities to business outcomes.

Topping the list of social priorities are engagement, integrating data and training/education. When it comes to the top three external social media objectives, content marketing leads the list (57 per cent of responses), followed by sustaining an ongoing dialogue and engagement with customers (50 per cent) and listening/learning from customers (41 per cent).

Altimeter Group’s latest report combines surveys of between 65-144 companies in the US with at least 500 employees from both Q4, 2012 and Q3, 2013.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Non-linear transformation: The internal struggle

Let’s face it, transformation is messy. Every business is different, with a set of specific challenges based on a mixture of external (the market, competitors, regulation) and internal factors (technology, people and process investments over time).

Neil Kelly

Partner, transformation, Wunderman Thompson

7 ways to champion a human centred design culture

Human Centred Design (HCD) has come a long way in the last decade with many forward-thinking organisations now asking for HCD teams on their projects. It’s increasingly seen as essential to unlocking innovation, driving superior customer experiences and reducing delivery risk.

Shane Burford

Head of research and design, RXP Group

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Hi Jennifer,Fascinating read about design-led companies!If you would like to learn more, our Design Thinking and Innovation programme mig...

Andrea Foster

How to spot a ‘design-led’ versus ‘design-fed’ company

Read more

ABC web-site not easy to use/navigate. Even getting this far in sign-on to ABC My Space was problematic - it was asking for my password,...

Vee.

How the ABC used an online community to help build a movement

Read more

Thank you for your feedback, Astha! Always appreciated.

Vanessa Skye Mitchell

5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Read more

Hey Vanessa, thanks for providing us the things marketers should know about data privacy. This was really an informative post.

astha sharma

5 things marketers should know about data privacy in 2020

Read more

Well, that's good to know that. Any other news you want to share here? I can't wait to see more.

Phil Godfrey

Queensland appoints first chief customer and digital officer

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in