eMarketer: Integrating Social Media into Business Process a Challenge

Internal changes can better integrate social media into companies’ marketing mix

DECEMBER 30, 2011 – Integrating social media into overall business processes is a challenge for many companies. Marketers, often having led the way in social media usage, must work with other teams and senior executives to bring about change within the company in order to integrate social throughout the organization.

InSites Consulting surveyed senior marketing managers in the US and UK and found that only 14% of respondents said their companies had completely integrated social media into their business processes. Meanwhile, 23% were working to integrate social media, 24% were in a pilot phase of social media, 26% were taking their first steps and 12% were doing nothing with social media.

Marketers also cited the top barriers to integration of social media, with 48% saying their company did not believe there were financial benefits, 42% believing that their products and services were not suited for social media and 39% responding that their company lacked top management support.

When it comes to integrating social media into the overall business, companies must evolve and change structurally, culturally and on a personal employee level to succeed. InSites Consulting asked marketers about these changes and many US respondents (69%) said they agreed that personally, employees were open towards new technologies and social media. Culturally, 57% of US marketers said their companies did not have a social media policy, but used a code of conduct.

Structurally, 69% of US respondents said they agreed that their company was trying to incorporate social media into existing marketing plans and 64% said that both the company had a dedicated person or team working on social media and it was very clear who managed social media projects.

As companies and marketers continue to make structural, cultural and personal changes in response to its growing importance, social media will become a greater part of the organization, encouraging integration among other aspects of the business process.

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