IDC releases its new study, 2012 U.S. Social Media Trends by Vertical, that highlights the adoption of social media as an emerging technology across six major vertical markets including banking, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and utilities. Part of IDC’s annual vertical view survey, the unique study found that similar to Internet adoption in the 1990’s, B2C companies - especially retailers - are driving social media adoption while B2B companies lag behind. The report also found that social media is enabling organizations to increase productivity and improve knowledge sharing as they leverage social networks to share best practices and identify appropriate resources.
“CPG companies lag way behind in the adoption of social media technologies while their channel retail partners are driving the adoption of social media. CPG companies are behaving more like a traditional manufacturer rather than a consumer-centric company that actually touches the consumer,” says Eileen Smith, Program manager, Global Technology and Industry Research Organization at IDC. “Allocating resources and justifying the expense of the social media technologies were the top two challenges CPG companies cited for social media adoption. Yet with channel lines becoming more blurred and social media impacting the way consumers receive information, CPG companies need to get on board.”
Additional key findings include:
- Increasing awareness of product and services is the top social media investment driver
- Respondents cited managing and tracking all posted content as the top challenge to social media
- Social networking accounts for half of the social media budget
- Marketing is the biggest user of social media and is driving the purchasing decision of these technologies
The study also found that when comparing social media investment to other emerging technology areas, retailers more than any other industry are making strong investments. Successful retailers are integrating their mobile, analytic and social media strategies into one cohesive business approach. Social media touch points such as Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon are enabling these organizations to analyze customer behavior and in turn deliver personalized offers direct to a consumer’s mobile device.
Across all verticals, the research found that moderating conversations about products and services was not a high priority. IDC notes that companies are not taking full advantage of the communications aspect of social media and are using it more as one way method of communication – gathering feedback or pushing brand messaging to a wide audience – rather than collaborative communication as the medium was intended.