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Almost nine in 10 companies use LinkedIn as part of their social media strategy, according to a new study from King Fish Media, Hubspot and Junta 42.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Near Universal
Results from “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability” indicate that 87% of companies currently use LinkedIn as part of their social media strategy, while 12% plan to in the next 12 months. Similarly, 84% use Twitter and 16% plan to in the next 12 months, and 78% use Facebook and 22% plan to in the next 12 months.

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This means that within 12 months, usage of all three of these social networks will be near or at 100% in corporate marketing strategies. While corporate blogs (65%) and YouTube (47%) have lower current usage rates, high percentages of companies planning to use them indicate their usage will also be universal within 12 months. YouTube has the highest planned usage rate (53%) of any social network listed.

MySpace Usage Low
In contrast, only 9% of companies currently use struggling social network MySpace, with another 9% planning to in the next 12 months. While news aggregate sites such as Stumbleupon, Digg and Reddit, as well as bookmarking sites such as Del.icio.us, have current usage rates under 40%, usage of both types of social network is expected to more than double in the next 12 months, bringing them near or above 80% usage rates.

Most Marketers Use Branded, Expert Content
When asked what types of content they have used for social media campaigns, 73% of companies said branded content they create and 72% said expert content.

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No other type of content came close to being used by this many companies. Barely more than half (51%) of companies have used the next-most-popular form of social media content, videos. Less than half have used user-focused content such as case studies (45%) or reviews (41%).

Direct customer interaction is not currently a popular form of social media marketing content. Only 17% of companies have used pre-/post-sales Q&A, with 22% using games and contests and 29% using forums.

SocNets Strengthen Customer Relationships
Although relatively few companies have used social networks for direct customer interaction, 77% say establishing closer relationships with customers and prospects is an extremely important potential benefit of social media marketing programs. This is closely followed by identifying new customers and prospects (75%). Developing an audience for content and lead generation, both identified as extremely important by 69% of respondents, are the next-most-popular marketing benefits from social networking.

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While companies see potential for social networks to help find and develop new customers, they are less likely to see introducing new products (49%) or entering new geographic regions (39%) as extremely important benefits of social networking.

Twitter Use More than Doubles
One likely reason Twitter is expected to become a universal part of corporate marketing programs within the next 12 months is that usage of Twitter has more than doubled in the past year, according to new data from comScore.

In June 2010, nearly 93 million internet users worldwide visited Twitter.com. This marked an increase of 109% from the previous year, as the social networking site achieved strong gains across all global regions.

About the Data: The survey was created by King Fish Media and hosted online by from April 15 to June 1, 2010. Email invitations were sent out directing respondents to the survey by King Fish Media and the two survey co-sponsors: HubSpot and Junta 42. In addition, the link was sent out via social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The survey was completed by 457 respondents primarily split between corporate management and marketing/sales management. The data was compiled and tabulated by Datastar.

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