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How social drives business growth – and business decisions ...

How social drives business growth – and business decisions

Europe’s most influential businesses have a new way of doing business following the global economic downturn. And it’s called social media.

New research from LinkedIn and Join the Dots proves that decision-makers in large and medium-sized European businesses (those with annual revenues of £4 million or €5 million) see social media as fundamental to doing business –and as a crucial driver of growth. Social is used to acquire new customers, generate leads, deliver content to a range of different audiences and generate advocacy and word of mouth; but also to inform all manner of business decisions, to listen to market trends, to source talent and to deliver customer service. And it’s rated as highly effective by over two-thirds of decision makers in all of these areas.

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  • 150 Medium Businesses <br /> 150 Large Businesses <br /> <br /> Who answered our survey? <br /> Individuals who own or who are currently employed in a senior role in a businesses with a total annual revenue of over £4million GBP <br /> The business had to currently make use of social media or plan to use it in the future <br /> Had to be the primary decision maker or have a strong level of influence over financial decisions in their business <br /> Had to make financial decisions that influenced the entire business or their division/business unit
  • Q9. For each of the following statements, please indicate whether your business has increased, decreased or stayed the same this year compared to last year? <br /> <br /> No significant differences between medium/large businesses. <br /> <br /> Q5. Number of employees (TOTAL SAMPLE) <br /> 1 - 10 2% <br /> 11 - 50 13% <br /> 51 - 200 24% <br /> 201 - 500 16% <br /> 501 - 1,000 11% <br /> 1,001 - 5,000 14% <br /> 5,001 - 10,000 8% <br /> 10,001+ 13%
  • Q9. For each of the following statements, please indicate whether your business has increased, decreased or stayed the same this year compared to last year? <br /> <br /> No significant differences between medium/large businesses <br /> <br /> Medium Businesses: Hyper Growth 12%; Growth 53%; Non-Growth 35% <br /> Large Businesses: Hyper Growth 17%; Growth 55%; Non-Growth 28% <br /> <br /> 10% of medium businesses and 8% of large businesses report a decline in revenue.
  • Q7. How long has your company been using social media? <br /> Data taken from Confirmit based on all respondents (including those screened) <br /> <br /> N.B. Businesses not currently using or not planning to use social media were excluded from the survey. <br /> N.B. Base size includes those who answered the question and subsequently were screened; hence the large base. We know these respondents own/are employed by a medium/large business but they may or may not be decision makers for financial purposes – although you would still expect them to know if their company has a social media presence. <br /> <br /> Based on all data <br /> Medium Businesses: 78% use social media, 7% plan to use, 15% don’t use/don’t plan to use <br /> Large Businesses: 82% use social media, 5% plan to use, 13% don’t use/don’t plan to use <br /> <br /> Based on main sample (i.e. excluding those who do not use social media) <br /> 93% of medium businesses in our sample use social media, and 7% plan to use in the future. <br /> 93% of large businesses in our sample use social media, and 7% plan to use in the future. <br /> <br /> Q7a. FULL BREAKDOWN <br /> Just getting started 7% <br /> Less than 12 months 9% <br /> 1-3 years 43% <br /> More than 3 years 33% <br /> Do not currently, but plan to use social media in the future 7% <br /> Do not currently, and not planning to use social media in the future 0% <br />
  • Q13. For the following marketing activities, can you please indicate if your spend has increased, decreased, or stayed the same this year compared to last year? <br /> Q14. And on which of these marketing activities do you plan to increase spend in the future? <br /> <br /> N.B. Q13a vs Q9 (Increased and significantly increased combined manually) <br /> N.B. Q14a vs Q9 (Increased and significantly increased combined manually) <br /> <br /> 60% of businesses experiencing hyper-growth had increased their spend on social media in the past year, compared to 48% of those experiencing ‘standard’ growth. Furthermore 60% of hyper-growth businesses suggest that they will increase spend on social media in the future (compared to 50% of ‘standard’ growth businesses).
  • Q12a. Which of the following forms of advertising would you say has contributed to the growth that your business has experienced over the past year? <br /> <br /> 32% of medium businesses experiencing revenue growth attribute this to social media spend <br /> 43% of large businesses experiencing revenue growth attribute this to social media spend <br /> <br /> Revenue growth was also attributed to a number of other factors, with medium businesses significantly more likely to attribute revenue growth to spend on email marketing (48% vs. 34%), while large businesses were significantly more likely to attribute revenue growth to offline ad spend (31% vs 15%). Spend on events was widely attributed to revenue growth for both medium (39%) and large (48%) businesses. <br /> <br /> LinkedIn users whose business experienced revenue growth were less likely to attribute this to spend on social media (39%) in comparison to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ (all 49%). However, this is indicative only, as we are unsure as to which social media network the respondent has actually advertised on (i.e. may use both LinkedIn and Twitter, but has only advertised on Twitter). <br /> <br />
  • Q19. Which of the following reasons describe why you currently/plan to use social media for your company? <br /> Q19 (q14) vs. Q9
  • Sourcing - Allows me to identify the CREDIBILITY and expertise of potential partners and CONNECT with vendors or other companies <br /> <br /> Open Innovation - Provides access to a broader COMMUNITY of other companies and thought leaders to seek opinions/recommendations <br /> <br /> Marketing and Sales - Allows me to build CREDIBILITY and provides a relevant CONTEXT for me to promote and advertise my company <br /> <br /> Customer Service - Allows me to CONNECT with current customers
  • Q33. On which social media sites have any of the following actions ever occurred as a result of your hearing or reading something on social media? <br /> <br /> Large businesses significantly more likely to purchase an insurance policy based on information received on LinkedIn (13% vs. 2%). No other significant differences between medium/large businesses. <br /> <br /> FULL BREAKDOWN OF ACTIONS ON LINKEDIN <br /> Learned about a financial company/institution I/my company was not previously aware of 31% <br /> Shared information about financial trends, products/policies/solutions, or financial institutions/ companies 24% <br /> Learned of a financial product/policy or account type I/my company was not previously aware of 23% <br /> Conducted additional research on a financial product/policy or account type 23% <br /> Asked a financial professional for additional information about a financial product/policy or account type 20% <br /> Contacted a financial representative 18% <br /> Opened a new financial account 13% <br /> Discussed a financial product/policy or account type with a family member, friend, or colleague 11% <br /> Closed a financial account my company previously owned 10% <br /> Purchased an investment product 10% <br /> Purchased an insurance policy 8% <br /> Other 2% <br /> None of the above 39%
  • Q33. On which social media sites have any of the following actions ever occurred as a result of your hearing or reading something on social media? <br /> Q33 (q27) and vs. Q9 <br /> <br /> There may be opportunities to better connect with hyper-growth business in order to drive greater action through the content available on LinkedIn. Hyper-growth companies are less likely to use social media for ‘Discovery’ purposes (50% vs 60% amongst those experiencing ‘standard’ revenue growth), and providing them with more information in-line with their needs may encourage them to explore content and drive action. <br /> <br /> FULL BREAKDOWN (* indicates low base) - % who actioned a response after receiving information through the network <br /> Living Social 89%* <br /> Yelp 71%* <br /> Foursquare 65%* <br /> LinkedIn 61% <br /> Google+ 54% <br /> Facebook 47% <br /> Pinterest 40%* <br /> Twitter 38%
  • Q33. On which social media sites have any of the following actions ever occurred as a result of your hearing or reading something on social media? <br /> Q33 (q27) vs. Use of social media for financial purposes (2) <br /> <br /> Discovery (55% use social media for financial ‘Discovery’ purposes) <br /> Use social media to gather preliminary information or/and <br /> Stay up-to-date on financial trends/ products/ companies <br /> <br /> Consideration (35% use social media for financial ‘Consideration’ purposes) <br /> Use social to seek advice or gather info to make a financial decision or/and <br /> evaluate or re-think a financial decision
  • Q33. On which social media sites have any of the following actions ever occurred as a result of your hearing or reading something on social media? <br /> Q33 (q27) vs. Use of social media for financial purposes (2) <br /> <br /> Discovery (55% use social media for financial ‘Discovery’ purposes) <br /> Use social media to gather preliminary information or/and <br /> Stay up-to-date on financial trends/ products/ companies <br /> <br /> Consideration (35% use social media for financial ‘Consideration’ purposes) <br /> Use social to seek advice or gather info to make a financial decision or/and <br /> evaluate or re-think a financial decision
  • Q29. If a financial services company were to use social media, what types of information would you expect to receive from it for your company? <br /> Q30. Which, if any, of the following do you recall receiving from your financial service provider(s) via social media? <br /> <br /> Hyper-growth companies expect to receive similar information to any other companies, but tend be open to receiving a greater amount of information from social media providers. The most valuable types of information on social media for them (based on Q27) is news/articles about other companies (77%); industry specific news/articles (72%); testimonials/reviews/opinions from customers or clients (70%); and information on products/services (70%). <br /> <br /> Q29. FULL BREAKDOWN OF INFORMATION EXPECTED TO BE RECEIVED <br /> Medium businesses significantly more likely to respond as ‘None of the above’ (10% vs. 3%). <br /> New product information 49% <br /> Company background 46% <br /> Market and economic commentary 44% <br /> Industry news / strategy information 42% <br /> Finance events 38% <br /> Best practices, how-to guides, checklists 36% <br /> Networking opportunities 35% <br /> Product performance updates 34% <br /> Expert ratings, reviews or testimonials 33% <br /> Thought leadership articles and stories 31% <br /> Customer stories and case studies 31% <br /> New innovation and technology developments (e.g. managing an app, etc.) 28% <br /> Peer ratings, reviews or testimonials 27% <br /> Readily sharable marketing materials (e.g. printable brochures, etc.) 23% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 20% <br /> Other 0% <br /> None of the above 7% <br /> <br /> Q30. FULL BREAKDOWN OF INFORMATION ACTUALLY RECEIVED <br /> Respondents from large businesses significantly more likely to recall receiving market and economic commentary (23% vs. 13%) <br /> New product information 22% <br /> Company background 19% <br /> Market and economic commentary 18% <br /> Finance events 18% <br /> Industry news / strategy information 18% <br /> Customer stories and case studies 15% <br /> Networking opportunities 15% <br /> Best practices, how-to guides, checklists 14% <br /> Expert ratings, reviews or testimonials 14% <br /> Thought leadership articles and stories 13% <br /> Product performance updates 13% <br /> New innovation and technology developments (e.g. managing an app, etc.) 11% <br /> Readily sharable marketing materials (e.g. printable brochures, etc.) 10% <br /> Peer ratings, reviews or testimonials 10% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 9% <br /> Other 0% <br /> None of the above 38% <br /> <br /> Q27. MOST VALUABLE INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA <br /> No significant differences between medium/large businesses. <br /> Industry specific news/articles 63% <br /> Information on products/services 62% <br /> Testimonials/reviews/opinions from customers or clients 59% <br /> News/articles about other companies 58% <br /> Testimonials/reviews/opinions from industry experts 55% <br /> Industry research/white papers 54% <br /> Case studies from other companies 54% <br /> Best practices guides from other companies 53% <br /> First hand success stories from other companies 50% <br /> Testimonials/opinions from other companies 50% <br /> Helpful tips and tools from companies via emails 42% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 41% <br /> Information about courses or classes 40% <br /> Helpful tips and tools from companies via display ads 39% <br />
  • Q29. If a financial services company were to use social media, what types of information would you expect to receive from it for your company? <br /> Q30. Which, if any, of the following do you recall receiving from your financial service provider(s) via social media? <br /> <br /> Hyper-growth companies expect to receive similar information to any other companies, but tend be open to receiving a greater amount of information from social media providers. The most valuable types of information on social media for them (based on Q27) is news/articles about other companies (77%); industry specific news/articles (72%); testimonials/reviews/opinions from customers or clients (70%); and information on products/services (70%). <br /> <br /> Q29. FULL BREAKDOWN OF INFORMATION EXPECTED TO BE RECEIVED <br /> Medium businesses significantly more likely to respond as ‘None of the above’ (10% vs. 3%). <br /> New product information 49% <br /> Company background 46% <br /> Market and economic commentary 44% <br /> Industry news / strategy information 42% <br /> Finance events 38% <br /> Best practices, how-to guides, checklists 36% <br /> Networking opportunities 35% <br /> Product performance updates 34% <br /> Expert ratings, reviews or testimonials 33% <br /> Thought leadership articles and stories 31% <br /> Customer stories and case studies 31% <br /> New innovation and technology developments (e.g. managing an app, etc.) 28% <br /> Peer ratings, reviews or testimonials 27% <br /> Readily sharable marketing materials (e.g. printable brochures, etc.) 23% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 20% <br /> Other 0% <br /> None of the above 7% <br /> <br /> Q30. FULL BREAKDOWN OF INFORMATION ACTUALLY RECEIVED <br /> Respondents from large businesses significantly more likely to recall receiving market and economic commentary (23% vs. 13%) <br /> New product information 22% <br /> Company background 19% <br /> Market and economic commentary 18% <br /> Finance events 18% <br /> Industry news / strategy information 18% <br /> Customer stories and case studies 15% <br /> Networking opportunities 15% <br /> Best practices, how-to guides, checklists 14% <br /> Expert ratings, reviews or testimonials 14% <br /> Thought leadership articles and stories 13% <br /> Product performance updates 13% <br /> New innovation and technology developments (e.g. managing an app, etc.) 11% <br /> Readily sharable marketing materials (e.g. printable brochures, etc.) 10% <br /> Peer ratings, reviews or testimonials 10% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 9% <br /> Other 0% <br /> None of the above 38% <br /> <br /> Q27. MOST VALUABLE INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA <br /> No significant differences between medium/large businesses. <br /> Industry specific news/articles 63% <br /> Information on products/services 62% <br /> Testimonials/reviews/opinions from customers or clients 59% <br /> News/articles about other companies 58% <br /> Testimonials/reviews/opinions from industry experts 55% <br /> Industry research/white papers 54% <br /> Case studies from other companies 54% <br /> Best practices guides from other companies 53% <br /> First hand success stories from other companies 50% <br /> Testimonials/opinions from other companies 50% <br /> Helpful tips and tools from companies via emails 42% <br /> Crowd-sourced learning (e.g. discussion forums, communities, groups etc.) 41% <br /> Information about courses or classes 40% <br /> Helpful tips and tools from companies via display ads 39% <br />
  • Hyper-growth companies expect to receive similar information to any other companies, but tend be open to receiving a greater amount of information from social media providers. The most valuable types of information on social media for them (based on Q27) is news/articles about other companies (77%); industry specific news/articles (72%); testimonials/reviews/opinions from customers or clients (70%); and information on products/services (70%). <br />

Connecting with your Content - UK Connecting with your Content - UK Presentation Transcript

  • Priming The Economic Engine: How social drives business growth and business decisions
  • DEFINING medium/large businesses (annual revenue) Medium £4M to £24.9M GBP Large Over £25M GBP decision makers in medium and large businesses surveyed across the U.K. 2 This report explores the way in which medium and large businesses in the U.K. make use of social media. 300
  • Medium and large businesses are a highly attractive audience, and social media offers a unique opportunity to engage with them
  • The majority of medium and large businesses in the U.K. are experiencing widespread growth… Have experienced an increase in total revenue over the past year Have experienced an increase in customer/client numbers over the past year Have experienced an increase in overall profitability over the past year 69% 64%62% 4Base: 300 medium/large businesses
  • GROWTH Increase in overall revenue compared to last year 54%32% 14% NON-GROWTH Decrease/No change in overall revenue YoY HYPER GROWTH Significant increase in overall revenue YoY 5 68% of medium and large businesses in the UK have experienced growth in the past 12 months Base: 300 medium/large businesses
  • 6 Social media adoption is well penetrated and usage is maturing Base: 300 medium/large businesses 81% of medium and large businesses currently use social media 5% plan to use social media in the future
  • 7 60% Say they will increase their spend on social media in the future 50% Say they will increase their spend on social media in the future …which is linked to an increase in social media spend Base: 206 medium/large businesses experiencing revenue growth 61%of those experiencing hyper-growth have increased their spend on social media advertising in the past year 48%of those experiencing growth have increased their spend on social media advertising in the past year
  • % reporting that social media spend contributed to revenue growth 8 Hyper Growth 37% Over a third of businesses reporting revenue growth attribute this to increased spend on social media... Base: 206 medium/large businesses experiencing revenue growth Growth 37%
  • Reported motivations for using social media 9 88% 81% 79% 88% 81% 84% …while those companies experiencing hyper-growth are more likely to use social media specifically to drive growth. Build Awareness Increase Sales Drive Growth Base: 206 medium/large businesses experiencing revenue growth Businesses experiencing revenue growth Businesses experiencing revenue hyper-growth KEY
  • 10 Social media networks used 67% 32% of hyper-growth companies currently use LinkedIn 67% Two-thirds of these businesses are currently using LinkedIn. 73% 69% Medium Businesses are significantly more likely vs. Large Businesses Large Businesses are significantly more likely vs. Medium Businesses Base: 278 social media users 76%
  • Use social media to build awareness Use social media to increase sales Use social media to drive business growth 89% Social media is mainly used to build awareness, increase sales and drive business growth Base: 300 medium/large businesses 11 81% 79%
  • 12 Medium and Large business use social media to deliver content and maintain their company’s presence Base: 300 medium/large businesses Top 5 uses of social media: Medium Businesses 1 2 3 4 5 Deliver content and new information Maintain a company presence Generate word-of- mouth about my company Promotional purposes and to provide deals 41% 42% 48% 48% 49% Advertise to help increase awareness
  • 13 Social media is seen as an important resource for marketing and vital for the future of businesses Base: 300 medium/large businesses 70% say social media is important for marketing their company 65% see social media as essential for the future of their company 56% say social media is important for gaining and retaining customers
  • 14 The #1challenge facing businesses in today’s market is attracting new customers 58% say social media is a vital resource for getting new customers Retaining current customers 23% 23% 24% 28% 29% 31% 21% 16% Finding and hiring good employees Reduce costs Managing cash flow Increasing profit margin Attracting new customers Keeping up with technology Finding content on how I can improve my business
  • 15 Social media is seen as an effective channel for marketing and driving business...along with impacting operational efficiencies and sourcing Base: 264 social media users who access for specific business purposes % reporting that social media is effective for… Customer service support/ handle complaints/retain customers 68% CUSTOMER SERVICE 53% FIND VENDORS Find vendors or companies that can help my company 75% RECRUIT Find and source new employees Deliver content and new information about my company 78% CONTENT DELIVERY 78% DRIVING AWARENESS Maintain a company presence and identity
  • Social media (and LinkedIn in particular) is highly influential for medium/large businesses when choosing a financial services provider 16
  • have used social media for finance-related reasons 73% Top 5 uses of social media for financial purposes 17 Around three quarters of medium/large businesses use social media for financial purposes…. Base: 278 social media users 1 2 3 4 5 Keep up-to-date on financial trends Gather preliminary financial information Seek advice on a financial decision Evaluate or re- think a previous financial decision Recommend a financial product to others 15% 18% 35% 23% 41%
  • 18 Openness to receiving financial content and information on social media sites 48% 33% of hyper-growth businesses are receptive to receiving financial content on LinkedIn 53% 35% …and businesses are more open to receiving financial information from LinkedIn than any other network. Base: 300 medium/large businesses 29%
  • 19 CREDIBILITY 55% agree that LinkedIn allows them to build credibility. CONNECTION 63% agree that LinkedIn lets them connect with vendors or potential partners. CONTEXT 57% agree that LinkedIn provides a relevant context to promote and advertise their company. COMMUNITY 58% agree that LinkedIn provides access to a broader community of other companies to seek opinions. This may be due to LinkedIn effectively providing businesses with the 4Cs… Base: 185 LinkedIn users Medium Businesses are significantly more likely vs. Large Businesses Large Businesses are significantly more likely vs. Medium Businesses 72%
  • 20 ...which offers a valuable resource across different activities in the value chain. Marketing & Sales Sourcing Open Innovation Customer Service
  • 21 In total, 61% of LinkedIn users took action after exploring content on the platform… Top 6 actions as a result of exploring content on LinkedIn Base: 185 LinkedIn users
  • 22 % who actioned a response after receiving information on each network 61% 38%47% …with LinkedIn more effective than competitors at driving business behaviour. Base: 185 LinkedIn users; 203 Facebook users; 192 Twitter users; 90 Google+ users 54%
  • 23 Path to Purchase DISCOVERY Gather info / stay up- to-date CONSIDERATION Seek advice/info to make a purchase DRIVEN TO ACTION ON LINKEDIN (Any action) 75% Among business who use social media for both discovery and consideration, 75% were driven to take action from content they read on LinkedIn Base: 185 LinkedIn users
  • 24 DISCOVERY Gather info / stay up- to-date CONSIDERATION Seek advice/info to make a purchase DRIVEN TO PURCHASE ON LINKEDIN (Insurance policy and/or investment product) 38% …and 38% made a purchase based on information received through the network. Base: 185 LinkedIn users Path to Purchase
  • 22% 19% 18% 18% 18% 49% 46% 44% 42% 38% Top 5 types of financial content expected on social media Providing information in-line with consumer needs is likely to drive further exploration of branded content… New product information Company background Market and economic commentary Industry news / strategy information Finance events Base: 300 medium/large businesses Information actually received through social media Information expected to be received through social media KEY 25
  • Most valued content types among businesses experiencing hyper growth News and financial articles drive the most value for businesses in hyper business growth News/articles about other companies (77%) Industry specific articles (72%) Testimonials/ reviews from customers (70%) Information on financial products/services (70%) Base: 300 medium/large businesses 26
  • Build your followers Encourage referrals and recommendations Provide real-time assistance Build community Publish thought leadership LIKE ▪ SHARE ▪ COMMENTFOLLOW INMAIL SPONSOR UPDATE 27 GROUPS …which allows us to build relationships with businesses through various touch points on LinkedIn.
  • Nearly all business with revenues over £4M use social media. Business use social media for marketing as well as operational efficiencies Around three quarters already use social media for financial purposes Business are more open to receiving financial content on LinkedIn than any other social media site 38% opened a financial account after using LinkedIn for both discovery and consideration Summary of key findings 1 2 3 4 5
  • v Best practices for marketers 29 Enable learning throughout each phase of the purchase path Fulfill un-met content needs Target hyper-growth companies Provide resources for the entire business value chain Build your credibility by facilitating open dialogue with these businesses