Yesterday, I posted some of the results of a recent study conducted by Regus, a worldwide office services firm, of more than 15,000 businesses worldwide about their use of social media and its success in helping acquire new customers. The study also highlighted a number of other factors, including:
- 27% of respondents reported having a formal marketing budget line associated with social marketing, ranging from 19% in businesses in the Banking & Financial Services sector to 38% in Media & Marketing and the Retail industry. More than half (52%) the companies surveyed in China have such funding built into their formal budgets.
- When asked about the main reason for involvement in social networks, more than half (58%) cited keeping in touch with business contacts. 54% said they use business social networking to join special interest groups and/or gather useful business info.
- 51% reported using social networks to organize or connect with consumer groups, with businesses located in India, South Africa, and China more likely than average to do so (71%, 66%, and 65% respectively).
I have to agree with the study’s authors that it remains difficult to adhere to the long-held belief that social networks have little-to-no influence on ROI when faced with the results showing customer acquisition being tied directly to social networking in combination with the increasing evidence of budget being allocated to the development of social networking. One strength of this study over others is its concentration on worldwide trends and social hot spots, which show that there are parts of the world outside of the US where businesses have more invested in social networking and are seeing more concrete results from it.
Again, if your want to take a look at more of the results, you can download a PDF copy of the summary of results from Regus.