While social media as we know has been around for a number of years, it’s only been a few since companies considered it part of its communications and marketing strategy, and even fewer since many actually started integrating social media and tracking its impact on engagement. Yet, it’s never too late to learn from our mistakes.
Time, Money, Strategy
According to R2integrated’s results from its most recent Cross-Channel Brand Targeting and Tracking research, businesses not only understand that social media requires a healthy investment of time and resources, they realize that they may not have allocated proper time and resources to begin with.
When asked what is the biggest mistake you have made with social media, a majority of respondents (37.8%) said not allocating proper time and resources, while 29.7% said not having a strategy was their biggest mistake.
While most businesses surveyed said that they used social media primarily for publishing content (31.1%) as well as lead generation and business development (27%), 50% admitted that only 1% to 10% of their company’s total annual budget for paid media is dedicated to the social web.
3% said that 76% to 90% of their budgets were. Most don’t expect these numbers to change dramatically in the next two years, despite what they’ve learned.
Smaller Companies = Highly Integrated Strategies
It’s not surprising that disconnect exists between what companies understand and what they do. However, R2i’s research highlights an interesting correlation between smaller companies and the amount spent on social media. Companies with fewer than 500 employees were most likely to describe their social strategy as "highly integrated" across marketing channels, while in companies with more than 500 employees, only 5% did.
But what do they really mean by “highly integrated”? More than half of the respondents’ efforts are allocated to the “main four” brands (blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), while only 7.1% are incorporating mobile social and 36% of efforts are spread across the web.
When it comes to content, about a quarter of companies are providing unique content for mobile users. Just over half integrate third-party content within their branded properties, and 62% syndicate content through third-party platforms, which include streaming video, image and graphics and downloadable PDFs.
Shift Your Strategy
What does this all mean? It means that companies are getting wise to the benefits of social media, and, as a result, are investing more time and money, as well as developing intentional strategies. Yet, there are still challenges and companies are struggling to successfully integrate social media into all areas of customer engagement.
As social web expands across mobile devices, it’s essential that companies are able to shift their online presence accordingly. The good news, of course, is that it’s possible. In fact, small- and medium-sized businesses have the advantage as they are able to better leverage their resources to accommodate social media trends.