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An increasing number of companies realise they have to be where their customers are  on social media – 61% use Facebook, 44% have a Twitter account, 30% are present on LinkedIn and 23% use YouTube.

A new survey from InSites Consulting shows that companies find it very important to be present on social network sites. However, this does not always mean their method is well thought-out. A mere 10% of the companies are integrating their social media approach into their overall corporate strategy. 45% are currently experimenting or taking their first steps on the social web. Three in ten UK are not even doing anything on social media.

“A huge number of companies feel the external pressure to be present on social media. Unfortunately this only too frequently results in corporate pages where nothing is really happening. So they create enthusiasm in their customers which in the end turns into disappointment,” states Prof Steven Van Belleghem, partner at the research agency InSites Consulting.

Half of UK companies listen to what consumers say about them on social network sites. “Social media make conversations between consumers very transparent. It is the first time that a company can quite easily discover what people are saying about its products and services. An increasingly growing group is strongly interested (with good reason) in this real-time feedback from the market,” declares Van Belleghem.

Answering questions via social media is very successful. 71% of companies indicate always dealing with questions or complaints sent to them via social media. Only 43% of the companies in this survey also talk to consumers.

Chances are that there will soon be a digital gap in the corporate world. This survey has shown that companies which are already investing a lot in new media will do so even more in the future. Companies which are not investing much yet are not intending to do so. “Even though there is a clear digital evolution among clients, there are still companies that are not convinced that they too have to go with the evolution. The risk for these companies is that, in a rather short term, they will miss out on an important target group,” concludes Van Belleghem.

 

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