Social media now captures 13-24% of total marketing budget, but must extend far beyond the marketing department, according to new research.
This new research from Hootsuite shows that while 73% found that social media empowered them to reach prospective customers more efficiently than other media, 63% found social media helps to improve the efficiency of those other media.
The Hootsuite Social Transformation Report provides an in-depth analysis on how a social media presence can lead to organisational transformation—especially relevant in the fast-changing global landscape of 2020.
The report, developed in partnership with Altimeter Group, reveals that when social media is widespread and integrated across the organisation, as a tool to build strong relationships, the value derived from social media is transformative.
While social is great at connecting businesses to employees, 65% of Hootsuite users also said social media extends to relationships with their community, 31% said to their employees, and 23% to their partners.
Of organisations Hootsuite defines as having ‘mature’ social media capabilities, 61% found social helped build strong relationships that benefited their business. That number dropped to 35% for ‘immature’ brands, showing the gap between brands with strong social strategies and those without is startling.
The report also found:
• Of organisations that encourage their employees to post company content through an advocacy program, mature organisations were 2.3 times more likely to report that their employee advocacy program showed improvement in brand health
• These mature users were also 3x more likely to say they have improved brand sentiment during COVID-19
• Brands have often lost sight of one of their most potent attributes: the ability to engage, have a conversation and develop a relationship
• 38% of respondents reported that they can attribute value to business outcomes driven by social media (such as leads, sign-ups, donations, downloads, and purchases)
• Combining social media with other digital practices increases the efficiency of marketing campaigns by amplifying the impact of other digital channels, such as websites and email marketing
“Hootsuite’s findings show that the days of social media being used solely as a megaphone by marketing teams should be over,” said Tom Keiser, CEO Hootsuite. “To realise its full value, social needs to be connected into the lifeblood and workflow of the entire organisation, not just the social media marketing department—and be completely focused on the customer and the customer’s experience. Every single employee should be involved in forming and executing on the company’s social media strategy.”
“Along the way, we’ve lost sight of one of social media’s most potent attributes: the ability to engage, have a conversation, and develop a relationship,” said Charlene Li, Senior Fellow and Founder of Altimeter and co-author of the Social Transformation Report. “Our research found that focusing on social media’s relationship power led to greater brand health and deepened employee engagement across all channels—not just social media.”
Altimeter and Hootsuite interviewed leaders at nine organisations that exemplify a high level of social maturity and surveyed 2,162 respondents about the use and effectiveness of social media to better understand its changing scope. The analysis showcased that to maximise the power of social media, an organisation must take the time to listen to its audience, build strong relationships, and integrate social into all aspects of the business as a strategic communications tool.
“This study confirms what we’ve focused on all along as a partner to our customers in their social media maturity journey,” said Keiser. “For social platforms to work for organisations, they need to do more than simply post to the social platforms but also leverage social listening, use data to make better social decisions, integrate with their existing tech stacks, and seek the training and education to achieve their overarching business goals.”
“Adopting mature social media practices is a stepping stone towards broader digital transformation—an urgent priority for many organisations as they prioritise digital resiliency in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Ed Terpening, Senior Industry Analyst at Altimeter and co-author of the Social Transformation Report.