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Companies’ use of social media: a new battlefield

In a study by IBM released this week, corporate executives acknowledge that the new wave of corporate marketing now lies with social media but many are slow in adapting.

Eighty-two percent of surveyed chief marketing officers (CMOs) reveal that they are planning to increase the use of social media within the next three to five years. This shows that corporations are already aware of the need and importance of using social media to their advantage. However, among the 64 countries and 19 industries included in the study, over half of the total 1,700 CMOs admit that they are unprepared to handle social media that is paired with the growing demand of customer collaboration.

Majority of the respondents in the survey mentioned that significant adjustments are inevitable in their respective organizations. The big shift to social media tools is staying further away from the traditional brand and product marketing schemes.

According to IBM’s Carolyn Heller Baird, the nature of customer-seller relationships is undergoing permanent change with the establishment of social media. The global director of the study added that around 90% of this real-time information released in the study is considered as “unstructured data.” Baird said that for those who can effectively exploit this new insight source will then be able to convert this into higher revenues, improve brand value as well as renew customer relationships.

An obvious change in the system of things is with the power of customers, who are now taking the driver’s seat in the direction of the companies selling their beloved products. Through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, customers can easily and immediately provide feedback and suggestions regarding specific companies and their products and services.

There is a struggle in the response of companies with the changing landscape according to IBM. Among the respondents, only 26% presently track blogs. Forty-two percent currently track third-party reviews while 48% track consumer reviews.

Analyst Zeus Kerravala shared that a lot of new adjustments should be done by companies to cope with the balance of power change. New skills, tools and approach to marketing are among the changes to be made.

ZK Research’ Kerravala mentioned that in his own research regarding the matter, it was evident that they have similar results. He said that executives know that social media is important but they are unaware on how to maximize its value. Kerravala suggests that these companies should seek other corporations who are already doing well with handling social media and learn from them.

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  • John

    It’s certainly no secret that social media is the latest craze for marketers to intergrate themselves into, and I believe it’s safe to say that this isn’t just a “fade” that will be gone tomorrow. Even if a company’s target market demographics don’t presently include a large segment of social media users, it will in the very near future.