Social media platforms are the most commonly-used new business tools by agencies, finds a new survey from RSW/US and Mirren. But, few of the 87% of respondents leveraging social platforms find them to be effective in drumming up new business, with Facebook in particular seen as overrated. Among the agencies using social, Facebook (21%), LinkedIn (21%) and Twitter are the 3 most-used social media platforms, but among their users, less than 1 in 5 rate them as being effective. And when asked which platform was most over-rated, respondents chose Facebook (45%) first, ahead of Twitter (21%) and Pinterest (12%).While most LinkedIn users were cool on its potential to drive new business, respondents overall see it as a far better choice than other social media sites: 63% favor it as the most effective social media platform, with Twitter (13%) and Facebook (10%) trailing distantly.
The study also identified other new business tools in use by agencies. The following list highlights these tools, as well as the leaders in each category:
- SEO tools, used by 65%, has Google Analytics as the most commonly used tool, although only 39% of users rate it effective. By contrast, 52% of Adwords users rate it as being effective.
- Meeting/webinar platforms are also used by 65% of respondents, with those agencies typically turning to GoToWebinar (35%) and WebEx (30%). The former has the edge in effectiveness ratings among users (59% vs. 44%).
- Presentation software, used by 64% of respondents, sees PowerPoint as its leader for usage, although Keynote rivaled it in effectiveness ratings.
- Research services are used by 60% of the respondents, and 41% of those find them to be effective. While Hoovers (17%) and Forrester (17%) are most commonly used, Mintel was rated as the most effective.
- Project management/collaboration tools (59%)
- Email/auto-responder services, in use by 55%, are rated as very effective by 55% of users. MailChimp is the most-used email service, followed by Constant Contact, with the former more highly rated by its users.
- Survey software are leveraged by 54% of respondents, who most commonly us SurveyMonkey/Zoomerang (79%). Only 45% of SurveyMonkey/Zoomerang users find it to be effective, though, with the small amount of SurveyGizmo and Survey Analytics users more pleased.
- Social monitoring tools are being used by 53% of respondents, with HootSuite the leader in terms of adoption. Among users, Tweetdeck has a slight edge on HootSuite in effectiveness ratings, with Klout relatively far behind. Sysomos is the most highly rated by its users.
- CRM software, used by 45%, appears to be a fragmented market, with the leader, Salesforce, only used by 39% employing a CRM. Just 37% of CRM users believe their systems is effective at managing the new business development process.
- Prospect contact/list building services, in use by 43%, shows The List as the most popular, although Access Confidential is most highly rated by its users.
- Inbound marketing platforms are only used by 22% of respondents, with 43% finding them effective. Marketo was seen as effective by a far greater percentage of its users (71%) than HubSpot (39%).
About the Data: The 2013 Mirren-RSW/US Definitive Guide to New Business Tools uses data gleaned from close to 300 agency executives about the effectiveness of different new business tools they use to support their business.