Key Takeaways From the 2023 State of Social Media Report

The Background

According to Sprout Social, this survey was conducted by The Harris Poll and included 778 social media marketing and communications professionals across the U.S. and U.K. Participants had to be at a manager level or above and involved in decisions about social media strategy and marketing.

  • 77% of the respondents were key decision makers and 17% have a role in the final decision but were not the sole decision maker 
  • 46% of the companies were Mid-Market Plus size, with 1,000-4,999 employees; 24% were Mid-Market, with 100-999 employees; 19% were Enterprise, with 5,000+ employees; and 11% were small businesses with 1-99 employees 
  • 82% of the respondents worked at companies that advertised to both consumers (B2C) and other businesses (B2B) 

Breaking Down the Data

There is a lot of data to parse in the full Sprout Social report, but we wanted to highlight some key points that caught our attention: 

Social media budgets are anticipated to increase

Though there are quite a few disagreements in the world of business, nearly all of those surveyed agreed on one point: Companies must continue to invest in social media marketing to be successful. Fifty-two percent strongly agreed with that statement and 43% somewhat agreed. Once you see that, it’s easy to understand why social media budgets are expected to increase for 80% of companies over the next three years. In fact, almost 70% of respondents projected that the social media budget will increase by 31% or more.  

Overall, social media is considered to have a positive impact 

A large percentage of those surveyed see social media marketing as being a key element in achieving their business priorities; things like, building brand reputation and loyalty, gaining a better understanding of customers, and improving competitive positioning.

Person typing on a laptop with like symbols flying out.

Upwards of 75% of respondents see social media having a moderate to major positive impact on their goals. For building brand reputation, for example, 94% agreed social media has a positive impact. 

Data and insights from social media are underutilized 

While you can gain a lot of actionable data based off social media insights, it’s not always used across the board at companies to make strategic decisions. It most often influences customer service and brand awareness, but 69% of social media business leaders concurred that, currently, their company isn’t utilizing this data as effectively as it could.

Limited access to tools and analysis are some of the top challenges 

Quite a few companies are using customer relationship management software (71%) and social media management software (69%) in their social media efforts, but 88% of them believe these tools are critical to their company. But almost half of them are still struggling with accessing social data that can provide them real insights, and around 40% say that lack of time and lack of qualified team members to analyze their social media efforts is hindering informed decision making. 

A robotic hand pushing the keys on a keyboard.

AI and ML are the emerging technologies that hold the most potential 

Leveraging social media data, understanding market trends, and improving workflows and decision-making processes are big priorities for social media strategy. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are the two big emerging technologies that might make the shift easier. In fact, 96% of leaders agreed that AI and ML can help them improve their decision-making processes, 93% think AI and ML will be crucial for scaling customer care functions, and 94% are confident in their ability to successfully adopt AI and ML technology for marketing.

Collaboration and intercompany integration of social media efforts are a crux point

Not just the purview of a company’s dedicated social media team, the almost all of the respondents (96%) said that their social media strategy involves greater collaboration between different departments, from marketing to customer support to communications to operations. The data and insights social media delivers are useful across the board as well. In fact, 97% of those surveyed said social media insights are essential for effective public relations, 95% say they are essential to competitor analysis, and 93% say they play a pivotal role in proactive crisis management. 

Social media and customer care go hand in hand

Customer relationship management is integral to a company’s success, and social media is a key partner to it, with 96% of respondents saying that they expect social data will be integrated directly with CRM capabilities in the next three years. Social is also vital to capturing customer sentiment and feedback and tailoring content to individual needs. Upwards of 85% of those surveyed said that social media data has a positive impact on many different aspects of customer service, from speedy response times to proactive messaging to routing customers to the right people or departments. 

Get More From Your Marketing With EdwardsSchoen

If you’re ready to connect with a digital higher education marketing agency with proven experience in leveraging your social media platforms and using that data to take you to the next level, then now is the perfect time to start a conversation EdwardsSchoen. We combine large agency experience with the nimbleness and accountability of a boutique firm, resulting in a proven track record of results. Learn more about us or contact us

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About the Author Allen Harkleroad

From a degree in archaeology, to teaching English in Japan and working as a surf instructor in Hawaii, Allen has had an unconventional journey to his rise in the marketing world where he has worked for more than 15 years. His broad and unique insight into organizations and people has made him an asset to businesses in every market.

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