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Over 80% of marketers don’t believe that social media currently has a significant impact on their brand.

According to research by communications group Creston, just 14% of the 250 marketers surveyed believe social media has a significant impact on their brand, and 60% don’t currently have a social media strategy for their business.

The findings follow research by new media age which revealed that 74% of brands don’t have a presence on social media site Twitter (nma 10 December 2009).

The Creston research revealed that despite the majority of marketers being unconvinced of an immediate need for a social media strategy, 88% said it would have an impact on their brand’s reputation in the future.

Don Elgie, CEO of Creston, said the research showed that social media was more than a fad but that marketers weren’t recognising the impact it was having on their businesses already.

“Social media is being recognised as here to stay, but the issue is that only a small number believe it’s a major force on business at this time. There’s a big disparity between current and future,” he said.

Ilana Fox, outgoing social media manager at ASOS, said, “Negative sentiment on the internet will already be affecting companies’ business, and if brands don’t get involved in the online conversation about their products and services they stand to lose credibility with their online reputation.”

The report found that currently just 41% thought social media could affect share price, while 59% thought it would have some impact on share price in the future.

Ciaran Norris, head of social media at Mindshare, said, “To think it won’t affect share price is incredibly naive and companies need to address this.”

Marketers said a lack of support at board level (58%), need for resources (56%), lack of experience (46%) and no understanding from the business (55%) contributed to why they lacked a social media strategy.

Alex Miller, head of Jam, the social media division of media agency i-level, said, “I’m surprised at the lack of understanding and knowledge. Clearly education needs to be done. Agencies should be helping to show clients the impact on the wider business and not just marketing.”

The research found social media lies mostly within the marketing team, with 55% of companies’ marketing budget going on social media and 50% believing marketing has the most relevance to social media.


Published 14 January, 2010 by NMA Staff

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