Social media is altering the business world, according to a newly released study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. The group polled over 4,300 managers, executives, and analysts in order to reach their conclusions. The respondents came from 109 different countries, and 26 different industries.
According to the survey, 73% of the surveyed group said that “social business” was important for their companies — this represented a 20% increase from the same survey that was conducted in 2011. Social business includes everything from websites like Facebook and LinkedIn to social software like blogs, and technology-based social networks.
In the past, social media has often been a task left to the marketing departments. However, this latest survey indicates that managers and executives are re-thinking it as a potential tool for business, and not just a distraction for regular employees. “Applied to the business software that underpins these functions, social media represents a whole new way of promoting collaboration among disparate groups,” writes Lee Miles for The National.
T-Mobile could be seen as a prime example of this. The cell phone company monitored social media and discovered that issues with long-term contracts were a common gripe. For that reason, they decided to ditch contracts, which helped them earn more consumers and build a positive reputation within a highly competitive industry.
Today, executives are more likely than ever to use social media to improve their company’s marketability, profitability, and overall operations. It’s worth noting that 68% of surveyed businesses agreed that social media has a positive impact on relationships with consumers
“It makes sense that we would see this size of an increase over the past few years as social media is a platform where businesses can connect directly with potential customers,” says Tim McDonald, Account Manager at RankXpress. “It also allows them to offer another level of customer service to existing customers that is preferred by many of the millennial generation.”