Sneak Peek: CIM Social Media Benchmark Wave 2

[You’re invited: register for the free live webinar on Thursday]

This week will see the release of new research from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) that confirms marketers’ unremitting appetite to make greater use of social media channels. But not all platforms are equal and some, like Google+, continue to struggle to attract attention.

I’ve had a privileged early access to some of the research findings and they make for an interesting read. Ahead of Thursday’s full briefing, here are some of the headlines that caught my eye:

Notably, most marketers plan to increase or maintain their activity levels on the leading platforms with only a small proportion planning to reduce or continue to ignore them. The standout problem child remains Google+, with fewer than half of all marketers saying they plan to maintain or increase activity there:

Chart: How marketers predict their company’s social media activities will change (2012 vs. 2011)

There seems to be little progress since the first wave of research with fewer than one in five businesses stating that the main reason they use social media is that it is central to their marketing strategy. More claim they use social media to support other aspects of their plan or simply because their customers are using it rather than understanding the pivotal role that facilitating social media behaviours should play in any marketing strategy.

But some of our advice does seem to be getting through. Half of all businesses now recognise that social media has great potential as a tool to enable business growth and also understand that if left unmonitored and unmanaged it presents significant reputational risk.

imageMany of the issues appear to begin and end in the board room with major concerns persisting about leadership capabilities. When asked to rate the strength of their company’s leadership in the digital arena, 1 in 4 respondents saw this as a significant weakness. And company leaders would be well-advised to give this greater attention with the pressure on management time (57%) and limited staff resources (57%) being cited most commonly as the barriers to enhancing a company’s social media skills.

Will things improve? Many marketers who were questioned seemed pessimistic about the next 12 months with large numbers feeling that time constraints (61%) and lack of budget (47%) would inhibit their organisation’s ability to get more value from social media.

The full report will be shared live online at 09.00-10.25 (UK time) on 21 June, and you’re invited! To join the webinar and hear from speakers from CIM, Microsoft, Clifford Chance and Tesco, register now at

Thanks to the CIM for giving me early access to their research findings.