Social Software in Business Survey

BabsonMzingaMzinga and Babson Executive Education recently conducted a survey on social software in business and the results became available this month.

The highlight of the survey for me was that 61% of the companies in the survey use social technologies as an ongoing part of their business.

However, several challenges emerged in terms of budget, resources and ROI.

Only 55% of the companies reported that they devote part-time or full-time resources to manage and drive their social media initiatives and only 40% have devoted budget dollars to social media efforts.   To me, this seems like many companies are paying lip service to social media or implementing it haphazardly instead of fully embracing social media and making it an integral part of their corporate DNA.

Measuring ROI remains a challenge for most companies as only 16% are able to measure ROI for their social media programs.  This means that software vendors and analytics vendors need to do a better job of making it easier to capture, measure and analyze metrics from social media.

When you look at how businesses are using social technologies, Marketing tops the chart at 57% penetration.  There remain significant opportunities for growth in the customer service and sales areas which only have 29% and 21% penetration respectively.  These areas are also where the ROI numbers should be more concrete and easier to measure too.

"What Areas of Your Business Are Using Social Media" -- Mzinga-Babson Social Media Survey -

"What Areas of Your Business Are Using Social Media" -- Mzinga-Babson Social Media Survey

I was pleased to see that the most mentioned social media applications and technologies matched my own list.  The survey respondents listed blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, chat and standalone community sites as their most used technologies.

Mzinga Chairman Barry Libert (@blibert) also added his own commentary and predictions in his blog on the Mzinga website.

Barry predicts that:

1.  Brands will strive for deeper user engagement within social networks and online communities.

2. Strategy and metrics will become more closely integrated

3. Bigger budgets will be devoted to social media initiatives

You can read a summary of of the report from eMarketer or visit the Mzinga website to download the entire seven-page Social Software in Business report.


One thought on “Social Software in Business Survey

  1. Not surprising, though. Studies have repeatedly shown that a great many companies don’t do a good job of listening to their customers.

    One of the greatest returns that a company can achieve is to find out why people are contacting your service and support centers and make the product/service changes that will reduce those calls. In my experience, few companies do this well.

    The gains from social media insights are real, but may have a fuzzier ROI. I also think that there’s been a lot of over-hype on actual returns from social insights.

    Just my $0.02!

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