Susan EtlingerThe 2015 State of Social Business: Priorities Shift from Scaling to Integrating  


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By Ed Terpening


For executives and strategists involved in digital marketing, social business strategy and digital transformation.


Executive Summary

It has been more than 10 years since social media began to disrupt organizations. In that time, it has gone from being a “bright shiny object” that confounded business leaders, to becoming a widely adopted means of customer engagement. Having mastered the nuts and bolts of social media, today’s social strategist is focused less on scaling social engagement and instead looking inward, partnering with leaders to help social business cross silos, support a broader digital vision, and achieve new levels of employee engagement and advocacy. This will require leadership to articulate a social business vision beyond marketing and communications, while also ensuring a governance structure is in place to keep an increasing number of autonomous departments and employees acting together to support a unified, cross-channel customer (and employee) experience.

Our analysis is based on interviews with thought leaders, brands, technology vendors and a survey of 113 strategists (social, digital and/or heads of social) at companies with more than 250 employees.


Key Findings

• 82% of businesses report they are either fully integrated, in the process of, or planning the integration of social with digital in 2015. But only 36% believe they have in place a multi-year digital strategy that includes social initiatives.

• Across all organizations, only 27% reported that executives at the VP/Director level were active on social, with a measly 9% reporting participation from the C-Suite. 

• Interest in employee advocacy has grown 191% since 2013, with 45% of respondents naming it a top external objective.

• 38% of responding organizations plan to spend more than 20% of their total advertising budgets on social media channels in 2015, up from 13% a year ago.

• 55% of respondents named developing an integrated digital content strategy as a top social business priority for 2015.





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