IDC surveyed six vertical markets to take the pulse on how these different groups are using social media. The survey found some level of adoption happening across the board, particularly in the retail sector. Some of the report’s findings include:
- Top Reason Companies Adopt Social: To increase awareness of their products and services
- Top social media challenge for businesses: Keeping current with posted content
- Top budget item for social media: Social networking accounts
- Top business group/department using social media: Marketing
Eileen Smith, Program Manager, Global Technology and Industry Research Organization at IDC, said that ”Industries that are consumer focused such as communications, media and recreational services are spending a larger percentage of their IT budget on social media as it is easy for them to make the shift to adopting the way consumers communicate. However, there are early adopters in vertical markets such as insurance and professional services. Emerging uses in the construction industry for instance demonstrate how B2B organizations can leverage social media as a powerful collaboration tool to share project and material data, submit bids and review designs.”
Another survey by Leger Marketing of Canadian companies found that about 55 percent of companies there are using social marketing, primarily for market research, company promotion and client relations. That survey identified two main obstacles with social media: being able to come up to speed and stay current with the technology, and then being able to make sure that their social media strategy effectively addresses the needs of the business plan. Among companies that use social media, half are spending less than two percent of their total marketing budget and investing less than five hours a week on building their online presence.
Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, said that ”The social media landscape is changing constantly, making it difficult for companies to not only determine which channels to focus on but also how to effectively measure the impact of their efforts.”