Comms execs struggle with social for brand building

NEW YORK: Top communications executives realize the importance of social media, but struggle to use it to build their brand's identity and reputation, according to a survey conducted by Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insight.

NEW YORK: Top communications executives realize the importance of social media, but struggle to use it to build their brand's identity and reputation, according to a survey conducted by Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insight.

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) respondents said they have a social media brand strategy, yet 84% reported that their brand's sociability is not up to “world-class brand standards.”

“It's a pretty big shift for companies to make, so it's not surprising that you have that recognition in something being significant and not necessarily knowing what to do about it,” said Chris Perry, president of digital communications at Weber Shandwick.

The research, which compiled responses from 1,897 senior communications and marketing executives in 50 countries this spring, also found that many brands are lacking clear business goals for social media.  

Sixty-one percent of companies that consider themselves “world-class social brands” employ a social media strategist or manager, versus 41% of all global brands. Forty-five percent of self-identified “world-class” brands create original content specifically for social media purposes, compared to 28% of all global companies.

Perry added that brands have much work to do to incorporate social media and social business practices while also navigating the potential risks involved.

“A lot of companies are starting to understand the way they interface with the market, customers, the media, and investors, and all that has changed and they are figuring that part out,” said Perry. “But when you talk about real value that comes from social media, that has impact on brand and deeper reputation issues. It goes far beyond the way a lot of people think about this stuff.”

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