UK businesses and organisations are adapting their business strategies to become more social, it has been suggested.
Research commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that 55 per cent have taken this step, responding to the growing popularity of networking websites.
These companies said they had made changes to respond to the new marketing environment, although the survey found there is still some confusion over where social media should sit within the enterprise.
Some 45 per cent of marketing and sales departments are using the medium to raise awareness of their brands but only 28 per cent are actually interacting with their consumers.
According to the IAB, this suggests the core benefits of the two-way communication channel are not being fully utilised.
Some 34 per cent of businesses thought that no one in their organisation was using social media to communicate with consumers or for internal purposes.
This was higher among small and medium-sized enterprises (42 per cent) than large companies (17 per cent).
Barriers to successful deployment
The IAB found that measuring success and proving the tangible benefits of social media are the top barriers to UK businesses becoming more social.
Some 27 per cent of marketers are unsure of how social media success is measured within their organisation.
A further 30 per cent are using key performance indicators and a quarter benchmark previous campaigns with more recent ones (26 per cent).
The IAB said lack of confidence is still evident when it comes to utilising social media within businesses.
A third (35 per cent) of respondents feel confident in communicating with consumers via social media, however 36 per cent said they do not.
IAB research manager Hannah Bewley said the study was intended to identify and "get under the skin" of what UK businesses are struggling with when it comes to adopting social media into their strategies.
"It’s clear to see that resource, budgets and confidence are key challenges," she claimed.
"However, the biggest challenge faced by organisations relates to difficultly in measuring success."
Ms Bewley said the survey revealed some companies are attempting to measure performance, with a quarter undertaking benchmarking against previous campaigns and 17 per cent reporting they capture return on investment.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 1st November 2012
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