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87% global businesses see social media as critical: Study

About 90 per cent of global businesses agree that social media is important to staying competitive, according to the latest report by Hootsuite.

Hootsuite released its Social Media Barometer Report, a global survey on the importance and use of social media within small, medium and enterprise organisations across industries.

Examining data from more than 9,000 responses across 19 countries, the annual report found social media to be a critical platform for global businesses to maintain competitive advantage, with social media expected to continue to grow in importance for their businesses and customers, particularly as social media’s use grows beyond marketing to drive value across the organisation.

Seventy-four per cent of respondents agree that social media will increasingly contribute to their company’s bottom line, with 62 per cent of organisations noting social has moved outside the marketing team

“Our social media barometer report confirms what we’ve been hearing from customers large and small; that social media has become a critical channel for delivering a consistent customer experience across a business. With social increasingly how customers consume media; conduct research, ask questions and seek recommendations; make purchase decisions, engage with brands for support and show our loyalty, this is not a surprise. More organisations are discovering the value of social media within and beyond marketing, and the resulting direct impact it has on their bottom line,” said Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite.

Ninety-two per cent of organisations are using social to build brand awareness; 78 per cent to manage their brand reputation; 78 per cent for building and managing an engaged community; 66 per cent to increase lead conversions and sales; 56 per cent to gain market and customer insights; 49 per cent for delivering customer service; 33 per cent to attract job applicants; and 25 per cent to identify crisis and manage communications

About 54 per cent of executives struggle to understand and interpret social data, and 52 per cent struggle to stay on top of key social media trends

While historically, the United States has led the charge in social media adoption, it has become apparent that regions like Asia Pacific are quickly gaining ground.