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Australian Organisations Rush to Embrace Social Media

The social media phenomenon that has swept Australian consumers has been vigorously embraced by the corporate sector, with the number of organisations using social media almost doubling in the last two years, a new study has found.

The inaugural Nielsen-Community Engine 2010 Social Media Business Benchmarking Study found that 70 per cent of all Australian businesses intend conducting some form of social media activity this year, compared with just 40 per cent in 2008.

The Australian-first study, commissioned by social networking technology company Community Engine and conducted by research company Nielsen in February and March this year among 347 organisations, sought to determine, for the first time, how businesses were using, budgeting for and measuring social media.

The study found that many businesses are actively moving a significant percentage of marketing budgets out of traditional media into social media. The greatest shifts of budgets were out of print media (47 per cent) and direct marketing (33per cent).

Social media has become an important tool for organisations who also recognise that they risk failing to connect with a significant online constituency if they do not incorporate social media in their marketing.

However, the study found that many businesses are struggling with how to measure return on investment (ROI) in social media. For example, 29 per cent said they had either not measured ROI from their social media activity or did not know how to.

Community Engine managing director, Piers Hogarth-Scott said the study was the first in-depth look into the way Australian organisations are engaging with social media. The results, he …

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