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Adoption of social customer relationship management (CRM) systems is low among marketers responding to an Awareness survey [download page] released in September 2012, although a significant proportion are planning to use a system by the end of this year. Only 16% of the respondents said they are currently using a social CRM system, but another 21% plan to do so. 17% claim to be unfamiliar with social CRM, while 46% simply do not use a system. The report notes that adoption is higher among respondents with social media marketing budgets of more than $100,000: 44% of this group have adopted social CRM, and another 26% plans to do so by the end of the year.

March 2012 findings from Nucleus Research suggest that social CRM boosts sales productivity by 11.8%. 21% of social CRM users reported sales productivity improvements of more than 20%, and a further 37% cited productivity gains of 10-20%.

Community Platform Use More Prevalent

Among the types of social platforms identified, 65% of respondents to the Awareness survey indicate they use community platforms as well as social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. A third use collaboration platforms in addition to social platforms, while less than one-quarter supplement their use of social platforms with use of social commerce platforms (23%) and innovation platforms (14%).

As ingrained as is social media use, about 1 in 5 respondents do not currently monitor social media for brand mentions, on par with the proportion who monitor for brand mentions in real-time. Close to 3 in 10 do not monitor social media industry conversations, compared to just 12% who monitor them in real-time.

Among those monitoring social media, free tools are more popular than paid tools (86% vs. 54%).

Most Perform Social Media Marketing In-House

The Awareness study finds that outsourcing of social media marketing activities is quite low. Just 22% either outsource (10%) or plan to (12%) this year outsource social media measurement, while 1 in 5 do (10%) or plan to (10%) outsource social content creation. Just 1 in 10 outsource brand monitoring, with industry or competitive monitoring (8%), competitive audits (8%) and content publishing (7%) seeing even lower levels of contracting.

A HubSpot report from April 2012 found social media marketing to be the most common online agency service offering.

Other Findings:

  • The most commonly-used social marketing platforms among respondents are Facebook (89%) and Twitter (84%), followed by LinkedIn (77%), YouTube (71%) and blogs (61%). 39% say they use Pinterest, while a further 24% plan to do so this year.
  • 53% of respondents report 2 or more accounts on Facebook and 13% have more than 5.
  • 45% say they have 2 or more accounts on Twitter, while 11% have more than 5 profiles.

About The Data: Awareness surveyed 469 marketers from a cross section of industries, company sizes and levels of social marketing expertise. Respondents also came from a cross-section of executives, managers and those who support the social marketing functions within their organizations.

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