Enterprise-level companies of over 1000 employees now average 178 corporate-owned social media accounts, according to a survey released in January 2012 by Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group. The average enterprise company owns the most accounts on Twitter (39), followed by blogs (32), Facebook (30), and LinkedIn (29). Companies were also found to have an average of 23.4 forum, message board, or community accounts, and also held multiple YouTube (9.4), Foursquare (6.3), and Flickr (3.8) accounts. The study did not include employee accounts or Google+ accounts.
Coordinated Approaches Lacking, but Objectives Met
Data from “A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation” indicates that only 48% of the companies surveyed reported having a coordinated approach to social media deployments across the company. Additionally, just 49% said they have a social inventory to centralize awareness of existing social assets with the company. Even with these concerns, 7 in 10 said that their social media efforts are meeting their business objectives.
Adoption of Software Management Tools on the Rise
Within this environment of social account proliferation, Altimeter suggests that companies are turning to social media management systems (SMMS), defined as software tools that use business rules and approved employees and partners to manage multiple social media accounts. Although the market is still immature, at 30+ vendors, 64% of the survey respondents have adopted a SMMS, representing a 23% increase from 52% last year. Altimeter notes that many enterprises are likely using freemium versions that lack the capabilities needed by sophisticated enterprises.
54% of the respondents indicated monitoring to be a top need for SMMS. According to a survey conducted in May and June of 2011 by WebLiquid and RSW/US, marketers who pay for social media monitoring tools are twice as likely as those who use free tools to find them extremely valuable, while hardly any marketers find their tools to have little to no value whether paid or free.
Program Managers Looking to Streamlined Solutions
Among the social media program managers surveyed by Altimeter, the most popular method cited for managing the increase in volume of customer conversations in the next year were streamlining with internal processes (59%), empowering the crowd to respond to each other (44%), and streamlining with new technologies (33%). A further 29% said they would hire more staff, while 7% said they would respond to fewer conversations. Almost one-third said they did not know yet how they would manage.
About the Data: Altimeter’s data is based on a Q2 2011 survey of 144 enterprise-class corporations.