Evidently there is much more to understand about how these channels can be leveraged, and there is clearly still a lot of opportunity in this space.
Is social business a laggard?
Also of note from the study:
- Facebook is the #1 most important social platform, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube
- 56% of businesses cite LinkedIn as a part of their social strategy
- Pinterest and Google Plus are networks that businesses would like to grow on this year
- Most popular ROI metrics include followers/likes, click-through, and brand mentions
- 73% of businesses don’t measure social media ROI
From a snapshot like this, it’s hard to argue that businesses are keeping pace with social media audience. Take Pinterest for instance:
You can see that Pinterest’s accelerated growth began in the last half of 2011, yet businesses are only making it a larger part of their social media budgets in 2013. Granted this may be an easier call in hindsight, but Pinterest has been legit for a long time.
The inclusion of LinkedIn is also a curiosity. The study mentions LI as a lead generating vehicle (which IMHO is its most appropriate business utility), but is that what we consider”social” and should it be bucketed with social media ROI?
Notice also that there’s no mention of Instagram or Tumblr, either. Ignoring these seems to indicate serious risk aversion around social media. For businesses fearful that they missed their window of opportunity, the good news is that the window appears to be wide open.
Guy Kawasaki may be a sage?
In the book What the Plus?, Guy Kawasaki describes Google Plus as a “land grab.” And as Google Plus has matured as a network, it’s clear that he was right.
What this study appears to indicate is that there is a secondary land-grab for businesses that substantially lags user adoption. If true, this could be a phenomenal opportunity for socially adept businesses to grow their audience ahead of their competition, even while lagging users a bit.
Of course there’s still the problem of identifying and measuring value in these networks. The solution for that is a bit more complicated….