Despite the hype and increased investments, it seems that enterprises are still struggling to make the most of social media according to a global trend report published on Tuesday by IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services.
Entitled Mastering Digital Feedback: How the best consumer companies use social media, the research shows that while social media is being taken seriously by most enterprises - more than two thirds have at least one FTE committed to social media, and the average company will spend USD 19 million on it and employ 56 people - significant benefits are not being achieved most commonly due to information not reaching the right functions.
Satya Ramaswamy, Vice President and Global Head of TCS Digital Enterprise at TCS said: "Despite ready availability of digitized consumer-to-consumer interactions in social media, its use by companies is today largely limited to being a mechanism for B2C marketing.
"It is time enterprises took a multi-layered approach to social media and learnt to harness its power across the enterprise in critical revenue drivers such as new product design by incorporating feedback from social media in these important business functions.
"Breaking down the organizational silos is key to realizing the full power of social media. In other words, organizations need to be social and share internally to really use the power of social media externally," he said.
Among other significant findings from the research was that only 27 percent of R and D/product development and 37 percent of product management departments regularly view social media comments from consumers.
This is partly because social media activity is most commonly owned by marketing, customer services and sales.
The result of siloed ownership is that only 42 percent of enterprises view their organizational structure for social media activities as effective or highly effective.
Leaders spend an average of USD 28 million on social media activity; twice as much as laggards, the study showed.
Leaders also go beyond just having company pages on social networks; 81pc have corporate blogs, 77 percent have mobile apps for consumers who use social media, and 61pc have online video channels.
Despite only a small percentage of enterprises seeing significant business benefits, businesses are often getting a positive ROI for social media activity, 38 percent; that is more than double the number of companies with a negative ROI. However, 44 percent of enterprises have not measured ROI at all.
The media and entertainment industry has the highest percentage of companies that have been using social media the longest to engage with consumers; most insurance companies are relatively new to social media.
Maturity correlates with how effective enterprises are at breaking down siloes, a key factor in successful social media activity, the research showed.
Media and entertainment enterprises are least likely to centralize activity; whereas new comers to social media like travel, high-tech and telecoms enterprises are most likely to decentralize their social media activity.
The TCS Global Trend Report on social media surveyed 655 enterprises globally with average revenues of USD 15.6 billion and is the fourth TCS global trend report in the series.
--IBNS (Posted on 02-10-2013)