German firms see social payback

02 November 2012

BERLIN: More brand owners in Germany are deriving a meaningful payback from their social media activities than 12 months ago, according to new figures.

BVDW, the trade body, polled 149 companies from 19 industries, and broke out the findings for the 84.8% of operators now present on such platforms, compared with 72.3% last year.

When asked to assess the return on investment from these efforts, some 45.8% of the firms utilising social sites had yielded largely favourable results, and another 16.7% enjoyed very positive outcomes.

Overall, a 62.5% majority of businesses exploiting this medium stated it had provided tangible benefits, measured against 61.1% in 2011.

By contrast, just 1% of organisations employing social media had seen no tangible advantages, and 4.2% generated a few, disappointing returns, scores coming in at 2.4% and 13.5% respectively in 2011.

An additional 32.3% of respondents rated their experience to date as "mediocre", well ahead of the 23% registered in 2011.

Overall, 74.3% of players using this channel did so for PR purposes, standing at 65.7% for building loyalty, 60.8% for reputation management, 47.6% for market research and 45.4% for advertising.

The core tools currently being utilised incorporated maintaining a profile on sites like Facebook, as pursued by 88.7% of companies, up from 80.1% last year.

However, the number of firms using microblogs like Twitter fell from 61.8% to 55.6% year on year. Uptake levels of video platforms and seeding also hit 41.1%, a total reaching 39.5% for corporate blogs.

Other activities which are witnessing rising rates of adoption included the use of social media newsrooms, now deployed by 12.9% of enterprises, and customer feedback communities, on 18.5%.

Meanwhile, although 4.8% of companies were involved in co-creation and 12.9% boasted their own private online forums, these figures had both declined compared with 2011.

Data sourced from BVDW; additional content by Warc staff