Social media are nowadays an integral part of company communication and marketing, but companies are exploring other uses as well, and many are planning to recruit in order to expand their social media capability.

Companies are set to boost their investments in social media in the next few years. But this doesn’t necessarily mean just increasing the number of advertising campaigns. According to a study carried out jointly by Booz & Company and Buddy Media among over a hundred companies, 57% of them are expecting to hire new staff to enhance their capabilities. Some 72% said they plan to recruit editorial and content creators, 59% to take on community managers and 43% to recruit data analysts. Christopher Vollmer, leader of Booz & Company’s Global Media and Entertainment Practice, explains this new approach: “As social media grows in importance, leading companies are recognizing they need to shift their focus from campaigns to capabilities, and in doing so they are actively transforming their model for marketing from one of ‘brand management’ to ‘brand curation’.

Improving analysis of the metrics linked to social media

It’s becoming essential to bring together the right talent in order to pinpoint consumer needs and offer services to meet those needs, while at the same time reaping maximum benefits for the company. Even though the impact of social media remains difficult to measure, 88% of the companies surveyed are closely monitoring consumer engagement and participation in social media and 81% are looking to measure how social media can turn a purchaser into a brand advocate. Asked to name the biggest benefits of social media, the companies mentioned brand-building (90%), interactivity with customers (89%), buzz-building (88%), and insights into consumer opinion (81%).

Social media use in various fields

However, the study points to a recent change of direction: companies are seeking new uses of social media beyond strictly marketing aspects such as advertising, promotions, public relations, etc. Some 56% of the study’s respondents are using social media to support market research, 40% for product development efforts and 24% are using them for internally-focused communications to employees. So the aim is no longer simply to run more advertising campaigns, but to draw real added value from the social media for all the different sections of the company.