Business.com: 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study

BusinessCOM SM Report Business.com recently released their 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study.   The objective of the study was to assess current trends in the use of social media in North American businesses.  

The results of the study were based on the 2,948 valid responses to Business.com’s survey during August and early September, 2009 and the report provides an interesting view into where businesses are finding value in social media across different activities and sites. 

The report is organized into two sections. The first section discusses how business people utilize social media today to find business-relevant information.  The second section covers corporate social media initiatives, benchmarking experience with social media for business (both respondent and company), top social media activities and how companies judge social media success today.

Highlights

Nearly 65% of respondents reported using social media as part of their normal work routine, including reading blogs, visiting business profiles on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn or using Twitter to find information and/or communicate about business-related matters

Among those using any form of social media to find business-relevant information, the most popular activity is attending webinars or listening to podcasts (69%) followed by reading  ratings/reviews for business products or services (62%). The least popular activities are saving business-related links on social bookmarking sites (28%) and participating in discussions on 3rd party web sites (29%).

Major Findings

  • Over 1900 participants in the study indicated that they work for a company involved in social media initiatives. 92% are directly involved in planning or managing these initiatives.
  • On average, these individuals spend 18% of their time in any given week working on these initiatives.
  • 71% of the companies surveyed have less than two years of experience with social media.
  • The average company in the study is currently involved in 7 different social media efforts.
  • Top activities include – maintaining company related accounts and profiles on social media sites (70%), followed by monitoring company-related mentions on social media sites (60%) and maintaining one or more company blogs (60%).
  • 66% of social media initiatives are driven by marketing, followed by 23% by customer support and 8% by product development departments.
  • On average, companies use four different metrics to measure their social media initiatives – web site traffic, engagement with prospects and customers, brand impact – basically awareness and reputation, quantity and quality of leads
  • 80% maintain a presence on Facebook.
  • 56% have a company account on Twitter.
  • A typical company in the study, maintains a presence on three different social media sites. 
  • 47% of companies in the study upload content to one or more content sharing sites. So, although they may have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, some companies may not be regularly sharing content. Over commitment to many social media initiatives at any one time has been sited by numerous case studies as a driving factor behind poor social media performance.  
  • YouTube is the leading business content sharing site; used by 65% of those in the study that share content online.

Report’s Table of Contents

The report table of contents below can give you a feel for the type of information in the report:

  • Beyond Chatting with Friends: Social Media as a Business Resource
    • Who Uses Social Media as a Resource for Business Information?
    • Most Popular Social Media Resources for Business
  • Most Useful Social Media Resources for Business
  • Current State of Corporate Social Media Initiatives
    • Respondent and Company Experience with Business Social Media
    • Top Corporate Social Media Activitie
    • How Companies Judge Social Media Succes
    • Initiative Detail: Managing Business Profiles on Social Media Site
    • Initiative Detail: Participating in Q&A Site
    • Initiative Detail: Using Social Media Monitoring Tool
    • Initiative Detail: Sharing Business Content on Social Media Sites
    • Initiative Detail: Business Content Bookmarking on Social Media Sites

The full report can be downloaded via the following link:  http://www.business.com/info/business-social-media-benchmark-study

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