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Social Media Delphi 2012 - English - Results of the quantitative study


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Corporations and other organizations in Germany are increasingly focusing on and strategically handling the topic of social media. Most have moved beyond the experimentation stage. The learning processes of the past few years resulted in increased investments in the general organizational environment. This was found by the nationwide study "Social Media Delphi 2012" in Germany ,for which 860 communications professionals of companies, governmental institutions, associations and non-profit organizations were surveyed by the University of Leipzig. The joint project with Fink & Fuchs Public Relations (Wiesbaden) and the "pressesprecher" magazine (Berlin) was already conducted for the third time and can therefore be used to show developments over time. The quantitative findings will be subsequently condensed into future outlooks for social media communications by panels of experts including intellectual leaders from the media, business and science sectors.

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Social Media Delphi 2012 - English - Results of the quantitative study

  2. 2. STUDY “SOCIAL MEDIA DELPHI 2012”Key figures Multi-level study with a quantitative survey of communications professionals (Spring 2012) followed by a Delphi survey of business, media, and science experts (Summer 2012) in Germany This report contains the key findings of an online survey of communications managers and PR professionals in companies, governmental institutions and non-profit organizations (no agencies and consultants) Questionnaire containing 27 questions, each formulated based on scientific hypotheses Personal invitation to participate through the mailing list of pressesprecher magazine and the members of the Bundesverband deutscher Pressesprecher (BdP – German Association of Press officers) in April and May 2012 Sample size: 860 fully completed questionnaires A joint project of the University of Leipzig, pressesprecher magazine (Berlin) and Fink & Fuchs Public Relations AG (Wiesbaden)Topics of the survey Social media activities  Budgets and focus of investments Governance structures (rules, resources)  Key performance indicators and evaluation Organizational responsibilities 2
  3. 3. SELECTED RESULTS The general conditions for social media communications in organizations have significantly improved. Currently, 55.5% of surveyed organizations have established advanced governance structures, which is three times as many as two years ago. Notable advances were made in the areas of the availability of budgets for social media (+22 percentage points compared to 2011) and the support of top management (+21 percentage points). Investments in social media are primarily used for creating and managing content (68.5 percent) as well for developing communication concepts and overall strategies (54.2 percent). Of the organizations that have social media guidelines, 30.6 percent are in an early stage of planning and coordination. 49.9 percent of organizations have guidelines in force without limitations, while 14.2 percent report that social media guidelines are under revision or have already been revoked. In about one in three of surveyed organization s, collaboration regarding social media communications is rather spontaneous and experimental. For 18.5 percent the responsibilities are not explicitly defined. The majority have a combination of centralized expertise and decentralized responsibility for implementation. 79 percent of organizations that already evaluate social media communications do so sporadically and subjectively. 13 percent utilize individual performance indicators, while only 8 percent apply comprehensive social media measurement systems. 72.2 percent of surveyed organizations actively apply social media in their communication activities, while 20.3 percent plan to do so or use social media passively. 3
  4. 4. SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE RESPONDENTS(860 COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONALS) Position Organization Head of PR / corporate Employed in the PR / communications department of a 30.2% communications • joint-stock company 14.7% PR Manager / Spokesperson 40.1% • private company 48.1% • governmental institution, political organization or 22.7% association Social media manager 13.6% • non-profit organization 14.5% Trainee 1.9% Age Other 14.2% Average age (years) 39Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 860 communications professionals / Q 27. 4
  5. 5. SIZE OF THE SURVEYED ORGANIZATIONS < 50 50 to 250 250 to 1,000 > 1,000 employees employees employees employees Joint-stock company 0.7% 1.0% 2.3% 10.6% Private company 8.3% 12.9% 13.1% 13.8% Governmental institution, political 5.6% 4.7% 6.9% 5.6% organization or association Non-profit organization 5.0% 4.4% 2.9% 2.2% Total 19.6% 23.0% 25.2% 32.2%Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 860 communications professionals / Q 27. 5
  6. 6. GENERAL CONDITIONS AND GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES FOR SOCIAL MEDIATECHNOLOGIES AND MANAGEMENT SUPPORT AVAILABLE, LACK OF PERFORMANCE INDICATORS Technical possibility for accessing social media by staff during working hours 76% 20% 4% Support of social media by top management 69% 17% 14% The freedom to independently react and make decisions regarding communication issues 63% 27% 10% Defined responsibilities and cooperation structures for those responsible for social media 50% 43% 7% Human resources for social media 41% 54% 5% Social media guidelines 39% 53% 8% Budgets/financial resources for social media 39% 52% 10% Monitoring tools for social media 36% 55% 10% Formulated targets or a strategy paper for social media 33% 57% 10% Social media workshops, seminars or trainings 33% 60% 7% Legal protection from potential risks and education of employees about due courses of action 26% 55% 19% Kay performance indicators for measuring the success of social media activities 23% 67% 10% Available Not available No answerSocial Media Delphi 2012 / n = 860 communications professionals / Q 7: Are the following general conditions for social media communicationsavailable in your organization? (multiple answers possible). 6
  7. 7. COMPARISON OF GENERAL CONDITIONS AND STRUCTURES 2011 AND 2012RISING BUDGETS AND COMMITMENTS; LESS IMPROVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF QUALIFICATIONS 2011 2012 Change in percentage points Separate budget for social media 17% 39% +22% Commitment of top management to social media 48% 69% +21% Strategy paper for goal-oriented proceeding 23% 33% +10% Key figures for monitoring success 14% 23% +9% Social media guidelines 31% 39% +8% Human resources for social media 33% 41% +8% Technical possibility of accessing social media 69% 76% +7% Monitoring tools for social media 29% 36% +7% Social media workshops, seminars or trainings 27% 33% +6%Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 860 communications professionals / Q 7 / Figure displays the difference of the percentage points regarding the generalconditions and governance structures present in 2011 and 2012 (only for the aspects that were surveyed in both years). 7
  8. 8. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES FOR SOCIAL MEDIACURRENTLY, MORE THAN 55 PERCENT HAVE ADVANCED REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS Strong regulatory framework Weak regulatory framework 17.8% 44.5% 55.5% 37.7% 2010 2011 2012 Average regulatory framework Weak regulatory framework 83.9% 70.6% 44.5% Average regulatory framework 13.0% 22.3% 37.7% Strong regulatory framework 3.1% 7.1% 17.8% Individual items used for the index calculation were slightly modified.The index of social media regulation ISMO was calculated as the sum of all structural elements enabling and guiding socialmedia communications at the respective organizations. Index values range from 0 to 12. Weak regulatory framework:0 ≤ ISMO ≤ 4; average: 5 ≤ ISMO ≤ 8; strong regulatory framework: 9 ≤ ISMO ≤ 12.Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 860 communication professionals / Q 7 / Index construction. 8
  9. 9. RESPONSIBILITIES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONSCENTRALIZED DEPARTMENTS COLLABORATE WITH DECENTRALIZED COMMUNICATORSA centralized department is responsible and coordinates all social media activities 53.1% The collaboration is spontaneous and experimental 32.0% Social media communications is carried out independently by different departments 22.9% The responsibilities are not explicitly defined 18.5% An interdisciplinary social media team or board is responsible 14.7% Individual parts of the organization implement autonomous social media activities under the common name 14.2% A specialized team supports primarily with consultation 11.1% The collaboration is very regulated 4.2% Every employee acts autonomously, independent of hierarchies or departmental boundaries 2.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 621 communication professionals in organizations that already utilize social media / Q 15: In what form does collaboration insocial media activities take place in your organization? (multiple answers possible). 9
  10. 10. FOCUS OF SOCIAL MEDIA SPENDINGS INVESTMENTS ARE MOSTLY USED FOR DEVELOPING CONTENT, CONCEPTS AND STRATEGIES Creating and managing content 68.5% Developing concepts and overall strategies 54.2% Setting up and designing technical channels 43.9%Establishing and cultivating contacts on the social web 43.0% Monitoring and evaluating success 30.6% Training and professional development 12.4% Other 1.8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 332 communications professionals in organizations that have a specific social media budget / Q 10: In which aspects of social media does your organization primarily invest? (multiple answers possible) / Shown are the relative frequencies based on all answers. 10
  11. 11. EVALUATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONSONLY ONE IN FIVE ORGANIZATIONS MEASURES SUCCESS SYSTEMATICALLYEvaluation of social media communications takes place by ... Measurement systems Individual performance indicators 7.8% 12.8% 79.4% Sporadically / subjectivelyOrganizations that apply social media evaluation primarily employ sporadic and subjective methods. Specific performanceindicators and measurement systems for social media are not very prevalent yet.Social Media Delphi 2012 / n = 650 communication professionals of organizations that already evaluate social media / Q 25: How are social mediacommunications evaluated in your organization? (multiple answers possible). 11
  12. 12. AUTOREN IMPRESSUMStephan Fink Stephan Fink, Ansgar Zerfass, Anne Linke: Social Media Delphi 2012 – Findings of the QualitativeStephan Fink is Spokesman of the Executive Board of Fink & Fuchs Study. Leipzig, Wiesbaden: University of Leipzig /Public Relations AG, Wiesbaden, which he founded after he graduated Fink & Fuchs Public Relations AG.with a degree in business, and an Associate Lecturer at the University With special support by Katja Rodenhäuser.of Leipzig.» Twitter:, © August 2012 by the authors.» E-Mail: Use of the charts in own presentations and publications is permitted when quoting the sourceAnsgar Zerfass "© University of Leipzig / Fink & Fuchs PR 2012,Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfass is a Professor for Communication Management" for each the University of Leipzig and Executive Director of the European Illustrations: Title = /Public Relations Education and Research Association, Brussels. Tomasz Sowinski.» Twitter:,» E-Mail: Digital and printed distribution and publication of this report by third parties is prohibited.Anne LinkeAnne Linke is a Research Fellow at the Department of CommunicationManagement of the University of Leipzig. Her main area of research is This document is available free of charge at:in the field of social media communications.» Twitter:,» E-Mail: 12