In a previous post we looked at the top 25 industries using social media, as presented in the NetProspex Fall 2010 Social Business Report. In that report, there is also a section on social media usage by job function. I found the results to be interesting and daunting all at the same time. As companies continue to adopt social media marketing as a viable practice, so must the number of employees inside an organization using social media increase. This is not to say that all employees should be updating their Facebook status 20 times per day, but there are some socially acceptable activities that can impact your social networking efforts, which all levels of employees can contribute to.
Here are some notables from that report:
- Not surprising that roughly 68% of Marketers and CMOs top the list of job functions currently using social media.
Next in line, and at an almost equal usage of approximately 67%, were Human Resource professionals. With LinkedIn becoming heavily used by professionals to present resume-like material, as well as recommendations – and the ability to dig into prospective employees’ “personal behaviors” via sites like Facebook and MySpace, this number is not at all surprising.
- Also near front-runners on this list included Communications, PR, IT, Sales, Tech Support, Customer Service and those in a Chief Information Officer role. Percentages range anywhere from 25-40% for social media usage.
- Everyone else in the report was below 20% on the list. The report noted that CEO scored below Customer Service, which does not surprise me, but I was disappointed to find roles like Administrative Assistant, General Level Employee and Research & Development on the bottom half.
I am a B2B social media marketer, so it does not surprise me that my role appears at the very top of this list. Perhaps at SIGMA we are a unique breed, but many of our C-Level folks have embraced social media usage, and are beginning to step out of their comfort zones a bit for positive change. It is a challenge to educate and promote proper social usage company wide, as many of the mid-level staff do not see the need or reason to participate.
The proof is in the numbers. As you begin to roll out social media efforts inside your organization, monitor and track the results against goals you may have set, whether it’s a document download, site registration, a ReTweet, a blog subscription or any number of goals. The C-Level folks will be the first to jump on board when they see the hard-numbers of how social can increase traffic and visibility, and with long-term, more-targeted use, should ultimately raise brand awareness and grow the sales funnel. The more C-Level folks inside your organization you have behind your social media efforts, the more these standard practices can trickle down inside your entire organization.
Don’t be discouraged when folks don’t jump at the chance to use social networking sites and tools from all levels inside your organization. Don’t be surprised when you are met with skeptical remarks. Don’t be surprised when you are met with complacent resistance to contribute. Track your results, adapt your social media efforts accordingly and repeat. Slowly, but surely, you’ll have folks who are willing to participate, and with any luck, that enthusiasm will go viral inside your company. I firmly believe that B2B companies can realize tangible value in social media use if properly tracked, regardless of your product or service.
The NetProspex report also talked about cities with the most social activity and brands with the most social presence. Lots of interesting insights to be gleaned.
About the Author:
Infographics and Reports are available for download at Oxfordcomm.com/socialreport.