Marketers Adopt Social Media for Consumer Insight and Internal Collaboration

In a recent survey from the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Social Media Council, in partnership with HeadMix, 60% of DMA members representing nearly 40% of the Fortune 100 said that social networking can influence their company’s brand awareness in a significant way. Roughly 15% acknowledged social networking platforms as a core part of their business, 35% verified that trials of social networking programs are underway at their companies, and 25% said that they are currently evaluating their social media strategies. At the same time, though, most respondents classified their knowledge of social media as either beginning or average, and less than 25% said that they are “actively engaged” in social media.

Social media can also capture consumer insights, more than 45% of respondents said. However, among those surveyed, social media was not a dominant means for soliciting feedback; rather, traditional methods such as online customer satisfaction surveys, direct feedback from employees, and online customer forums remained the chief sources of insight.

Interestingly, respondents also highlighted internal collaboration as a benefit of social media. More than 70% currently use external social networks for better teamwork among employees, and more than three-fourths claim that these tools, including blogs, Twitter, RSS feeds, and mobile applications, have internal value.

Despite the high interest in social media, however, some companies have been reluctant to fully embrace it for its lack of quantifiable business value and security and privacy concerns. Other barriers to adoption respondents identified include opportunity for abuse by employees.

-Amanda Richter

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