Insight: Hootsuite’s Social Media Barometer on Leveraging Social Media for Business Goals

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Back in 2009, you may remember adding all your friends on Facebook— then freshly replacing Friendster — with a simple goal, to tell them “What’s on your mind,” share pictures from menial daily trips to your grand travels, and connect with them through messages.

Fast forward to 2018, this tool transcends the personal realm and now touches— or invades even— almost all aspects of every person’s life, family, organization, and business.

Enterprises in the Asia Pacific Region know fully well the necessity of using social media to leverage their business. Especially so, the region is home to the most number of avid social media users.

More than 1.7 billion users are using Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, LinkedIn and other social networks, to connect, discover and share experiences. The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are among the top 10 countries in terms of time spent on social. In the Social Media Barometer Report released by Hootsuite, the leader in social media management trusted by more than 16 million customers and employees, it was analyzed if this immensity in number also translates in to the business value of social media.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS CRITICAL TO BUSINESS

Now indispensable to business, social media goes beyond marketing as it drives value in the business. Analyzing data from more than 9,000 responses across 19 countries, the Socia Media Barometer Report Research reveals that 90% of the respondents see that social media serves a critical platform for global businesses to maintain competitive advantage, with social media expected to grow continuously.

“Our social media barometer report con rms 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,” says Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite.

Breaking it down, the report shows the wide range
of functions social media takes across a business organization. 92% of organisations are using social
to build brand awareness, 78% to manage their brand reputation, 78% for building and managing an engaged community, 66% to increase lead conversions and sales, 56% to gain market and customer insights, 49% for delivering customer service, 33% to attract job applicants and 25% to identify crisis and manage communications

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

Although the impact of social media cannot be ignored, the ways and means on how to maximize its potential still remains a murky area for many executives. The Report shows, 54% of executives struggle to understand and interpret social data, and 52% strive to stay on top of key social media trends.

Although there is no shortage of metrics and tools to measure social media success, 61 percent of respondents in Asia Pacific still find this a challenge. Specifically on the question of social ROI, 53 percent of APAC respondents said their organisations do not measure ROI. While this number is lower than what other regions report, it is still a missed opportunity for brands across APAC.

The problem lies in the way organizations handle social media. At present, the marketing team does not have the sole responsibility for it. There must be group synergy when it comes to taking it to achieve business goals.

As Philip Agnew, Product Marketing Manager, Brandwatch puts it, “Social is no longer con ned to the marketing team, but is rapidly evolving into a vital tool that departments across organisations

depend on to discover key insights. In fact, 80%
of our users at Brandwatch say they share insights with others in their organisations, and 87% say it helps them meet core business objectives. To aptly meet the needs of your consumers today, you need to listen, react and learn from all of your consumer comments online. If you don’t, you’re providing your competitors with a simple opportunity to get ahead.”

However, this is easier said than done. The report shows that 39% of companies in the region don’t have a global social strategy and struggle to coordinate e orts across teams.

LEVERAGING SOCIAL

Any business aspiring to stay ahead of the competition has to step up its social media solutions.

First way to do that would be to overcome the measurement challenge. An organization must choose metrics that align with its specific business objectives. The key is collecting the right data that leads to making informed decisions.

The second practice businesses must have is empowering social teams. Organizations need to ensure they have the right balance of skill between creative thinkers, data analysts, customer services executives and sales people. Teams across the business also need access to regular training, guidelines and data, if social is to help drive broader business objectives.

Intertwined with that is the third step which is encouraging collaboration across departments. Organizations should develop the right processes and governance structures. Roles of everyone involved in social media must be clear-cut in order to drive the social agenda forward and impact the bottom line. Organizations should also appoint internal leaders who can coordinate communications with di erent departments and champion the bene ts of a truly social organization.

The last key to gaining social media success is leveraging new opportunities. The report shows that businesses must explore and go beyond social media advertising, which as of now, comprises the bulk of their social. For example, chatbots, which enable businesses to provide instant responses to customers’ question online. More than half of those surveyed know this advancement, but do not see their companies taking advantage of it. However, this can have an impact on their customers service needs.

Most of the respondents say that in the next coming months, social media will be more significant to their organization as they go for their #BusinessGoals.

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