Social relationship platform HootSuite  has released the results of its survey on social adoption in the enterprise from Connect via Hootsuite: New York . The Hootsuite Social Business Benchmark  showed that the majority of organizations surveyed believe social media is critical to staying competitive and engaging audiences, yet they face challenges in deriving value from the data they mine from social and aligning departments.
“While social media is a part of everyday life for consumers, effectively integrating social in the workplace hasn’t been as easy,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite. “Nearly all survey respondents agreed that social data can improve the bottom line, yet turning that data into something actionable can be a challenge. Our focus on building an intuitive platform and education solutions is to address this problem and help organizations unlock the rewards of social media across the enterprise.”
Eighty-four percent of respondents recognize the importance of using social media to enhance relationships with existing customers and 79 percent value the ability to monitor external conversations about their company. However, 67 percent of those surveyed find it difficult to assess the effectiveness of social media activities and another 60 percent cite that taking data gathered from social media and turning it into something actionable is a challenge for their company. This highlights a missed opportunity by many organizations to translate digital interactions into valuable action, given McKinsey Global Institute’s recent report  that organizations can unlock up to $1.3 trillion in annual business value using social technologies.
- Organizations realize the importance of social media, however, many struggle to capitalize on the data mined from users.
- Organizations cite social as important: The majority of respondents (88 percent) agree that social media is important to maintain a competitive edge.
- Data insights are rarely used: Less than half (40 percent) of these organizations said they were using data gained from social media to improve their bottom line. Sixty percent stated they were challenged to find actionable use for data collected.
- Use of social media is becoming more widespread across all departments, yet departments are not always working together.
- Social is increasing across departments: Nearly three in four respondents (72 percent) agree the number of departments using social media is growing.
- Aligning campaigns is a challenge: A majority (64 percent) of respondents whose social media strategy is at least somewhat aligned stated that aligning strategy across departments was difficult.
- Strategy does not come easy: 62 percent of respondents said that creating a social media strategy was difficult in the first place.
- Social media is the new way to interact with customers and influencers.
- Building relationships and reputation: A majority of respondents (84 percent) view enhancing relationships with existing customers as an area social media can contribute value to, as well as the ability to learn about the company’s reputation (81 percent), and to monitor external communication (79 percent).
- Social viewed as best vehicle to engage with audiences: 73 percent of respondents value social media’s capability to resolve customer complaints and questions.
This survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Hootsuite. More than 750 interviews were collected among current or prospective clients of Hootsuite in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Interviews were conducted in English and took place between January 7, 2014 and October 1, 2014. Invitations were sent by Harris Poll and no mention of Hootsuite was made.
HootSuite has also announced its Global Agency Partner Program  from Connect via Hootsuite: New York. Charter members of the program include FleishmanHillard, M&C Saatchi, Lost Boys (part of the DigitasLBi family) and Ogilvy Digital Health.
The Global Agency Partner Program includes resources that help agencies educate account teams and stay on the leading edge of social media through tailored training workshops, access to industry leaders and enhanced support specific to the business needs and client delivery model of large agencies.
“Social media is integral to new business strategies, and agencies need to stay ahead of the curve to deliver successful digital services for their clients,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite. “Hootsuite has long been the partner of choice for global agencies helping enterprises drive social across their business. Our experience working with some of the world’s top brands will arm digital practices with insights and tailored tools that translate into tremendous value add for clients.”
Program benefits include:
- Education & Certification: Tailored workshops to enhance your team’s social business practice and exposure to current industry trends.
- Resources & Tools: Gain access to Hootsuite Enterprise; leverage Hootsuite support and technical insights to promote your agency, serve your clients and map your clients’ social footprint.
- Relationship Manager: Access to a designated relationship manager to work with account teams.
- Partner Advisory Council: Become a member of an exclusive community of agency leaders to discuss current industry issues with Hootsuite subject matter experts and executives.
Hootsuite has a deep understanding of the needs of agencies and currently has thousands of agency clients worldwide. In fact, the Hootsuite dashboard was originally developed as an internal tool for a digital agency founded by Ryan Holmes, and later spun out as its own company.
“This is a welcome and timely program from a company that understands the needs of network agencies. The Hootsuite Global Agency Partner Program provides valuable support in delivering social programs for clients at the scale and speed of social media,” said Christian Purser, chief digital officer, M&C Saatchi.
“Hootsuite’s approach to working with agencies shows they understand our business model, work culture and client delivery model,” said Ephraim Cohen, SVP and senior partner for social & digital, FleishmanHillard. “The result is a relationship that delivers a better solution not just for the agency, but, more importantly, for our clients.”