Research released by digital marketing agency EPiServer reveals that businesses are spending longer on social media, and are seeing positive contributions to profits and customer loyalty.
The new report from EPiServer 'Tackling the social challenge' shows that over the past year, almost a third (29%) of UK businesses have set up a new social media channel, and 17% reported an intent to set up more social media channels in the coming year.
An hour a day on social media
Businesses are also reporting that they're spending longer managing their brand on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Marketers are now spending an average of an hour a day managing social media. More than half (52%) say they have increased the amount of time dedicated to managing social media, and 20% expect it to increase further in the next twelve months.
One in five see sales rise from social
Many companies said that they have seen tangible benefits from their social media work. A quarter of businesses reported that they have seen an increase in website traffic, while one in five (21%) attribute an increased sales turnover to the active use of social media. Just under a third (30%) also said they've experienced increased customer loyalty, and 31% report heightened customer engagement.
Managing social media channels
Facebook (65%) and Twitter (60%) are the most popular channels for business, and around a quarter of companies are currently managing more than one account on each.
The role of a community or social media manager is something companies are starting to consider but, similar to last year, they have largely failed to appoint dedicated managers. Only 22% have a social media or community manager in place.
Maria Wasing, VP of Marketing Europe & Sales Operations, EPiServer, commented, "While an increasing number of businesses are embracing social media, there are clearly areas for improvement if they are to take full advantage. Managing social media can be challenging and time-consuming, so it's vital to put in place a dedicated resource, along with the right tools and platforms to ensure multiple channels can be updated and managed with ease."