Hootsuite partnered with Altimeter Group to better quantify how sophisticated organizations are using social to deepen customer relationships, increase brand value and media efficiency, and accelerate broader digital transformation. The report surveyed 2,162 marketers and conducted in-depth interviews with leaders working in large enterprise organizations with complex social media strategies.
Here are the findings –
Helping organizations build stronger relationships is social’s unique power
- Mature organizations extend social’s value beyond customer relationships.
- 64% of respondents agree with the fact that sustained engagement is required in order to deepen relationships.
- Organizations’ brand health closely reflects their ability to build deep, strong, relationships with customers. 84% of mature organizations saw significant success in the usage of social media, in improving key brand health metrics, such as relevancy and positive sentiment.
- 51% of B2C respondents agree that they’re able to attribute value to relationships developed via social media as opposed to only 37% of B2B respondents.
- Only 28% of all respondents believe they have mature social media practices in attributing value to business outcomes driven by social media.
- 10% feel they have mature practices around integrating social data into enterprise systems like Adobe, Marketo or Salesforce.
- The study highlights that organizations are addressing this shortcoming by integrating their social media activities with their CRM platforms.
Social media drives brand value and operational efficiencies
- As social media strengthens relationships, it also creates operational efficiencies and contributes to key business results.
- Organizations with mature social media programs for employees reported many benefits, including an increased sense of connection among employees, higher customer satisfaction, and improved overall brand health.
- Social media is also part of a broader digital ecosystem that delivers essential efficiencies. 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.
- 78% of respondents agree that the use of social media has improved the brand health measures of an organization.
- Of those organizations that empower their employees to post company content through an employee advocacy program, mature social media practitioners were 2.3 times more likely to report that their employee advocacy program showed improvement in brand health, making it a cost-effective complement to other brand-building measures.
- Mature users were also three times more likely to say they have improved brand sentiment during the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating the resilience needed to weather economic cycles.
- Of the organizations with an employee advocacy program, the most significant benefit seen by 28% of respondents was increasing the reach of messages without having to use social media ads.
- 69% of respondents agree that social media helped them prepare for Covid-19’s impact on business disruption, by maintaining customer/ audience relationships via social.
- Most organizations saw an increase in engagement, and amid growing urgency to adopt more digital channels, many increased their use of social advertising and video. Mature organizations saw increased activity and also reaped much higher benefits.
Accelerate digital transformation by driving organizational change with social
- Altimeters’ research has found that the top reason why digital transformation projects fail is that they focus primarily on the “digital” technology and not nearly enough on the “transformation” of the organization.
- Mature organizations have social media programs throughout the organization.
- The transformative power of social media begins with its widespread adoption across the organization. While it may start primarily in marketing or communications, many mature practitioners have seen other departments use social media.
- 66% of respondents agreed that their social media programs have helped prepare their organization for broader digital transformation.
- Implementing social media in organizations creates cross-departmental alignment, with social initiatives typically involving many departments from communications and marketing, to sales and human resources.
- Broad adoption of social media prepares organizations for the multidisciplinary approach needed for digital transformation; with steering committees, working groups, and employee engagement already in place, organizations with mature social media practices can better support the organizational changes needed for digital transformation.