In November a good friend of mine Charlotte Britton, conducted a survey with businesses in Yorkshire to find out how companies in the region were utilising social media marketing.

One of the most interesting statistics I noticed was that 75% said social media had been responsible for creating positive PR
about the company and 40% saying social media had helped mitigate PR problems. Those are quite bold statements but here are some of the other interesting headline statistics:

  1. 82% of respondents said they used LinkedIn to promote their business with 67%
    saying there key individuals were using LinkedIn to promote their business. 47% of
    respondents said they updated their LinkedIn profile weekly.
  2. 82% of respondent said they used Twitter a part of their business (to find
    customers, new business etc) with 57% respondents saying they updated their
    Twitter account daily.
  3. 75% of respondents said they used a blog as part of their business strategy with 40%
    saying they updated their blog weekly.
  4. 50% of respondents are using YouTube as part of their business strategy with 30%
    saying they were unsure how often the company updates the account.
  5. An astounding 37% said they felt social media has been responsible for saving
    money in support or customer relations, with 25% saying that they felt it had
    certainly contributed towards it.
  6. 57% respondents said social media had been responsible for or contributing towards
    creating new business and sales.

Personally, I think these percentage numbers are quite high and I think that’s probably because the people that completed the survey were already advocates of of social channels, as the survey was pushed on twitter, blogs and Facebook. I should point out that some businesses were also contacted through email. However, when I speak to local business people I tend to find people are using Linked-in to promote themselves or their companies, so I think that statistic is probably pretty accurate. I also think many companies are trying to keep the costs down by doing things themselves but there is a lot to be said for doing things correctly. For instance if best practice is not being followed properly, or a channel or blog is missing a certain plug-in or widget, the company could be missing a trick to getting the maximum search benefits from their content creation. In other words their content won’t be working for them as much as it could be.

Overall, I find these results very positive. Social media now has a big role to play in our region but it’s not the be all and end all, it’s just one part of a marketing mix. Traditional media relations, advertising and eMarketing all still have significant roles to play.

You can download the full survey results from Charlotte’s presentation which is here on Slideshare..

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.