Social networks in business: current status and future prospects

Social networks in business: current status and future prospects

Social networks in business: current status and future prospects

Social networks in business

41% of French companies with more than 10 employees use social networks. While 11 points up from 2015, this growth is not fast enough to create a real breaking point and make up the lag in our companies. In addition, among those who are already users, many show more empirical practices …

Social networks: what is the current status?

38 million French actively use social networks. Whether Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram – these platforms have become important hubs in the digital lives of millions of people. However, this sometimes bordering on addictive temper has little impact on companies. Our companies are struggling to catch up and embrace the importance, scope and importance of these new levers.

A level of use below the European average

41% of French companies with more than 10 employees are active on social networks. That’s not much, especially when you know that almost all social networks have reached maturity and some have already started to decline. Compared to the European average (47% in 2017), France remains at a very poor level. If we look at micro-enterprises, the situation is no better. A little more than 3 out of 10 companies are represented in social networks.

If we take a closer look at the Eurostat statistics, we see that this drop affects all companies, regardless of their size, compared to our European neighbors. 39% of French companies with 10 to 49 employees use social media, compared to 45% in Europe. 52% of companies with 50 to 249 employees have implemented social networks. Again, this is below the European average (57%). Better performance can be expected from companies with more than 250 employees. That’s not the case. Even if the difference is smaller, a delta of 2 points remains. 70% of French companies are online in this category, compared to 72% in Europe. These stands show the obvious: French companies’ lack of interest in social media.

The most user-friendly areas of activity

While some sectors of the economy show remarkable utilization rates, others seem to be completely unaffected by this phenomenon. For example, 91% of companies in the accommodation sector use social networks, compared to only 24% in construction. That’s 67 points difference.

More specifically, four areas of activity stand out: accommodation, information and communication sector, ICT sector and finally the real estate sector.

  • Accommodation: 91%
  • Information and communication: 81%
  • TIC: 74%
  • Real Estate: 55%

In contrast to these driving industries, many others show little interest in being represented on social networks. As proof of this, almost 23% of companies in the transport sector use social networks, 24% of construction companies and finally 36% of companies in the manufacturing sector. The retail sector, on the other hand, is right in the national average.

The reasons that motivate companies to use social networks

In general, social networks are mainly used for communication and business transactions. However, they are an excellent lever to achieve other goals. Stay alert, stay informed of market trends and signals, nurture client relationships, recruit or watch your reputation. Why do companies use social networks beyond these possibilities?

In its latest barometer, Hootsuite sheds an interesting light on the reasons that motivate companies to use social media. Searching for notoriety (74%) and managing e-reputation (60%) are the top two reasons for being present on social networks. Finding business opportunities (45%) is another important reason for companies to use this type of media. Ultimately, the conclusions of this barometer confirm the results of other studies: French companies use social networks primarily for communication and business transactions.

The most used social networks

Not surprisingly, Facebook (75%) is the most organically used by French companies, closely followed by Twitter (72%) and LinkedIn (65%). Whether in the B2B or B2C sector, in France as elsewhere, this trio very often takes the top three places; Only the order can change. In addition, we mostly find YouTube and Instagram. These “visual” platforms are used by 53% and 22% of French companies respectively. On the other hand, we are experiencing the decline of Viadeo and Google+, which has been programmed for a very long time.

The same platforms are also used here to distribute their content. Therefore, there is a very strong correlation between the social networks that are used organically and those that are used to distribute content. Thus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, which have a highly consolidated audience, are becoming the de facto primary distribution channels for content providers.


A situation that will probably develop very slowly

Before continuing with this post, it makes sense to recall this relentless statistic: 59% of French companies with more than 10 employees are still not present on social networks. Is this situation likely to develop in a more favorable direction? Nothing is less safe! In order to do things quickly and comprehensively, leaders need to change the paradigm. The question today is no longer: “What is social media for?” but rather: “What can we do with these new levers?” consider social networks as a new path full of opportunities.

For companies that are already using social networks, however, the question is different: How can their practices be professionalized to make the most of these platforms? The question now arises as to the maturity of the uses.

The 4 pillars of maturity

This building is based on four questions. Is the company’s presence in social networks organized and structured? Are the teams informed and trained? Did the company write its editorial thread? Has it put in place the appropriate tools to measure and evaluate results? These questions serve two purposes: to take stock of the situation and to create an action plan for the future.

1- Organize and structure your performance

The way French companies use social networks raises questions. Random, rarely organized, this use often occurs without a common thread. Very often there is no project behind the use. Many are there through mimicry to emulate the others. Due to a lack of interest, motivation or vision, our companies find it difficult to develop a real strategy for their social media presence. However, without this prerequisite, the ripening process is seriously jeopardized.

2- Awareness and training of the teams

Almost 20% of French companies organize training courses to develop their employees’ ICT skills. From this number we can deduce something else: There are not many companies that train their employees on social networks. However, employee awareness and training in the functional and operational use of networks is an essential part of the maturing process. However, French companies continue to favor office automation training in their training plan in 2018…

3- Create an editorial scenario

An observation is necessary. The editorial misery reigns in the social networks. The content posted by companies often does not live up to expectations. However, without high-quality, regular, up-to-date, relevant and useful content, the company will not be able to add value. In the absence of a structured, reputable, and ready-made editorial thread, social media use will remain a simple consent practice.

4- Measure and evaluate the results

A company with mature social media practices is able to measure, evaluate and analyze the performance of social media actions. She knows how to convert noise from social networks into operational and usable data. Unfortunately, this company profile does not walk on the street. In fact, few companies have reached this level of sophistication or maturity. While some are at the beginning of the process, others, more numerous, have not yet begun it.

In total…

To reap the benefits of social media, businesses need to rethink the very meaning of their presence in those media. What to do ? Keep wasting time on boring releases that no one will share, or move towards maturity by owning a vision and a project. The answer is known, we have yet to ask the question…


Social networks in business: current situation and prospects

Social networks in business: status quo and perspective – ©LK Conseil – Click to enlarge the image

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