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Companies get social using the 'big four'

Companies are increasingly getting involved in social networking, according to the State of Social report

According to a new report by Econsultancy, The State of Social Report 2011, most companies – 64 per cent – claim they're now beyond the experimental phase in social media. The research, done in partnership with LBi and bigmouthmedia, based on an online survey of more than 1,000 businesses, also found that companies are focussing on a so-called 'big four': Twitter (87 per cent of those surveyed) Facebook (82 per cent), YouTube (69 per cent) and LinkedIn (57 per cent).

According to a press release from Econsultancy, companies surveyed are now "much more likely to be using Facebook and Twitter for a range of different purposes, including for marketing and publishing new content but increasingly for customer service and getting customer feedback and market intelligence".

Econsultancy's Research Manager, Aliya Zaidi, said: "The findings show a change in social media focus. In the last year, more companies have set up a presence on social media channels and in some cases, social media has become a priority as organisations have started to see the potential benefits." She added that the focus has now shifted from getting started to optimising social media strategies by "heightening engagement and listening and responding more effectively across social media channels".

The research also found that the trend most likely to have the biggest impact during the next year is the increased use of mobile and smart devices, such as tablets, deemed to be 'highly significant' by more than half of responding companies.

Interestingly, despite the drive towards more engagement with customers on social-networking sites, the report discovered that 60 per cent of organisations have not yet implemented internal social media training and governance models. "Although social media is becoming an important part of the organisation's marketing toolkit, there is an on-going need for more formal social media processes and policies," it said.

The full 2011 report is available to Econsultancy subscribers at