Market Data

State of Social Report 2011

By Econsultancy,

Econsultancy's State of Social Report, produced in partnership with LBi and bigmouthmedia, is the most comprehensive study of its kind around the strategies, tactics and websites companies are using to harness social media for marketing, sales, customer service and other business objectives.

The research is useful for those who want to get an overview of what businesses are doing with social media and enables companies to benchmark themselves in terms of budgets, resourcing, metrics and barriers to success ... plus much more.

The 70-page report, also summarised in PowerPoint presentation format, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 companies and agencies carried out in September and October 2011. Respondents include client-side digital marketers and communications professionals, as well as digital and PR agencies. The report, which follows a similar study in 2010, contains year-on-year trend data.

The findings are divided into the following sections: 

  • Social media activity
  • Platforms and networks 
  • Resourcing, agencies and technology
  • Budgets, effectiveness and measurement
  • Integration, barriers and trends 
  • International campaigns 

Report highlights include: 

  • More than half of company respondents (52%) say their organisations use Facebook for reacting to customer issues and inquiries compared to only 29% last year.
  • The smartphone is overwhelmingly deemed to be the most persuasive device for social media, according to 73% of company respondents.
  • When asked to describe the value they get from social media, some 37% of companies report they are unable to measure (and ‘the jury is still out’), compared to 47% in 2010.
  • Some 39% of companies do not use any kind of buzz monitoring tool, including free tools.
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) say their organisation considers the effect of social media on SEO.

Table of contents 

  1. Executive Summary and Highlights
  2. Introduction by LBi and bigmouthmedia
  3. About Econsultancy
  4. About LBi and bigmouthmedia
  5. Methodology and Sample
  6. Findings
    1. Social media activity
      1. Extent of social media activity
      2. Senior management interest in social media
      3. Types of content created
      4. How well different areas of social media are covered
      5. Change in social media focus
    2. Platforms and networks
      1. Websites and platforms used
      2. Use of Facebook
      3. Change in the use of Facebook
      4. Use of Twitter
      5. Managing brand presence on Google+
      6. Have you moved quickly enough on Google+?
    3. Resourcing, agencies and technology
      1. Number of people dedicated to social media activity
      2. Social media ownership
      3. Implementation of training and governance models
      4. Effect of social media on SEO
      5. Managing out-of-hours social media
      6. Agencies involved in social media and online PR activity
      7. Use of online reputation and buzz monitoring technologies
    4. Budgets, effectiveness and measurement
      1. Level of spending on social media marketing
      2. Understanding of social media ROI
      3. Expected change in social media spending over next year
      4. Value gained from social media investment
      5. Metrics for assessing social media success
      6. Justifying social media spend
    5. Integration, barriers and trends
      1. Integrating social media with different marketing channels
      2. Barriers to effective social media engagement
      3. Impact of different trends
      4. Most important trend affecting social media
      5. Most persuasive device for social media
      6. Replacing traditional marketing with social media
    6. International campaigns
      1. Running social media campaigns in multiple countries
      2. Platforms and processes to manage international social media
  7. Appendix: respondent profiles
    1. Geography
    2. Annual company turnover
    3. Business sector
    4. Business focus (B2B or B2C)
    5. Type of agency

Download a copy of the report to learn more.

A free sample is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: State of Social Report 2011 (590 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled State of Social Report 2011 (2.1 MB PDF)
  • Powerpoint Disabled State of Social Report 2011 (3.76 MB Microsoft PowerPoint)

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