Half of British businesses have not implemented formal social media strategies, according to a LinkedIn poll of 102 UK marketing directors conducted by London B2B PR and social media agency, TopLine Communications.
When asked to describe their company’s approach to social media, 34% of respondents reported this to be basic, whilst 17% cited theirs as non-existent. 33% considered theirs to be good, and 14% deemed theirs pioneering.
Heather Baker, Director of PR at TopLine Communications and editor of the The B2B Guide to Social Media , comments, “2010 has marked a noticeable shift in the way businesses are approaching social media. Last year, many brands were reluctant to experiment with social media as they simply could not see the value.
"Now there is an undeniable acknowledgement that companies across all industries need to have at least a presence on social networks. Over the next year the trend is set to continue, and I predict that by the end of 2011, a company page on LinkedIn will be as important as a website.
“Those with consumer audiences have been quicker off the mark, setting up Facebook fan pages and Twitter campaigns centred on popular culture, targeted at a demographic that has already embraced social media. In a business-to-business context progress has been slower, primarily because many organisations simply do not know where to start.
"They are unsure how to identify achievable objectives or allocate resources and overwhelmed by the rate at which new networks, applications, platforms and tools are popping up. When they look for support, they find an enormous choice of social media consultants, but struggle to sort the credible suppliers from the thousands of people with Twitter accounts jumping on the social media consulting bandwagon.”
Another survey of over 450 UK B2B marketers for www.business.com found that 56% of respondents plan to increase the resources allocated to social media efforts during 2010, with 30% intending to spend more on social media programmes.
Baker concludes: “We have set up the B2B Guide to Social Media to provide a starting point for marketers and managers looking to implement business-focused social media plans. Increased knowledge on the subject will prevent them from being misled into paying huge retainers for consultants who speak the jargon but do not work to objectives or deliver tangible results.
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