UK marketers struggle with social media

18 May 2009

LONDON: Over 65% of marketers in the UK say they have not yet established how best to use social media as a communications tool, but 86% agree the medium has long-term potential as a means for brands to connect with consumers.

Social media has become increasingly popular with both companies and consumers, but best practice strategies for advertisers are still emerging as the medium continues its rapid development.

According to a survey from McCann Erickson Bristol, 72.8% of British marketers utilise Facebook in conducting one or more aspects of their duties, a figure which falls to 42.4% for Twitter, 40.2% for LinkedIn, 28.3% for YouTube and 14.1% for Flickr.

The primary function of social media was said to be for PR or profile-raising purposes by over 50% of those surveyed by the Interpublic Group agency.

By contrast, 48.8% of participants argued the main use of social media was "networking," compared with 30.5% attributing this role to "advertising", and 25% mainly using such services to carry out surveys and research.

A total of 43.2% of marketing professionals said they make posts on Twitter "once a week or less", compared with 5.4% doing so once a day.

Some 13.4% post between two and five daily "tweets," a figure falling to 8.1% for six to ten posts a day, while 29.7% of marketers "have a Twitter account but it is not active."

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff