Social media has exploded in popularity over the last number of years. Most of this activity has been focused on the consumer market with marketers and businesses presuming that was the best way to approach things. That is where they would get the most ROI. Some large corporations did use social tools in a B2B sense or layered across their own organizations, but it was never widespread.
I've started noticing a huge change over the past six months though as large organizations finally wake up to the potential of social media and what it can do to help areas like customer service and sales. If anything, I'm seeing large businesses and enterprise customers starting to get more reward than consumer social media because the market is much less saturated. In fact, I might go as far as saying that 2012 will be remembered as the year that corporate social media really took off.
The Tools Are Becoming Available
What has changed the most over the past year is that the tools that large enterprises need to engage with social are starting to become more readily available. Businesses would previously just have had to cobble their own tools together or use Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin which didn't always suit their needs.
What we see now with the likes of Salesforce buying Radian 6, the Buddy media acquisition and Microsoft looking to buy Yammer this week is that this is now huge business. When the likes of Microsoft and Salesforce start pushing social as hard as they are, you know that it will break into the mainstream corporate structure. These tools will only continue to improve as the year goes on and show large businesses the huge potential that is out there.
The numbers are really starting to point towards social media being integrated across many businesses around the world and this infographic shows just how important social media is to them.
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