Back in April, Satya Ramaswamy discussed the top nine ‘social media faux pas’ businesses should aim to avoid, but gave no mention to the lack of a social strategy.
Was it because the idea was one that shouldn’t even be entertained? If that was the case, not all organisations got the hint; in fact roughly one-fifth, to be exact, have yet to develop a social media strategy to help them avoid committing any of Ramaswamy’s so-called faux pas.
According to a report from C4B, social media remains as much of a minefield as ever for many businesses. Not only do 20% not have a strategy for using social, but only 31% consider themselves as active users of social media as a marketing platform.
This is compared with 67% in 2013, suggesting that 36% of businesses either consider themselves inactive in the space in 2014, or have given up on regular use of social networks altogether.
“I find it a real eye-opener that social media was a more popular tool for businesses in 2013 than it is this year,” Ian Simpson, managing director of C4B. “Does it imply that many businesses have made an attempt before giving up? You would expect all companies to have social media included in their marketing mix.”
“Companies who don’t have a social media strategy are missing out on a key method of communication with their customer base. Social media helps to provide a bridge between you and the consumer. Some people are reluctant to pick up the telephone for a minor query, and this is something that social media can help with. A simple question from a customer, followed by an accurate and timely response, will help to form a bond and demonstrate that you value their feedback and interaction.”
C4B’s research included 300 UK organisations drawn from a mix of B2B and B2C backgrounds, spanning across various sectors.
It found that social media is still only the fifth most effective marketing tool for businesses, with networking considered the number one driver. Facebook is still deemed the top rated social network for business use (40%), followed by LinkedIn (35%) and Twitter (33%).
Google+ as an effective marketing tool is on the increase, with 17% of businesses using it this year as opposed to less than 5% last year.
“The significance of Google Plus’ entry this year can’t be ignored,” Simpson added. “Whilst Facebook and Twitter, with their widespread consumer appeal, and LinkedIn with its B2B benefits are obvious players, Google Plus is definitely on the rise. The positive SEO effects of using the platform means that businesses really should be considering Google Plus as a serious marketing channel if they want to improve their position in Google search rankings.”
About Chris Ward
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.