Implementing a social media strategy is a practice that is common for many businesses these days, as the medium can be of great advantage to a company in a number of ways.
Global information technology research and advisory company Gartner, conducts an annual social media survey, that consistently finds that one of the reasons why businesses invest in social media is to improve customer relationships.
Research director at Gartner, Adam Sarner, revealed the results of the survey in a blog post on January 15, noting down the top five reasons for investing in social media.
These included strengthening relationships with customers, enhancing brand awareness or brand preference, sharing information and ideas with customers, suppliers and partners, establishing interactive relationships with customers and increasing the organisation's revenue through new products and customers.
"While investments and growth in social marketing is assured during the next two years, the ultimate success of social will depend on how well marketers can accelerate through the inevitable social expectation bust and make social marketing projects more than just 'engagement' objectives and then actually tie social activities to clear and measurable business objectives," said Mr Sarner.
"Far too many companies are still following the hype of ‘social’ and have created or participated in social media without a plan."
Mr Sarner said that the top leading concern or challenge across all industries was an "unclear business case or clear ROI".
He noted that while the media industry has been an early adopter of social networking sites and tools for years, they are still having trouble with tying "social metrics to business metrics".
Social strategy objectives must be tied to a marketing and corporate strategy, Mr Sarner stated.
"…for example, if the corporate goal is to 'decrease customer churn by 5 per cent' then explore how a social marketing initiative such as 'strengthen relationship with customers' will support that corporate goal, and how the results will be measured."