Only one in four companies actually collect social media data: survey

New survey sponsored by IBM and Marist College finds many companies are now engaging or planning to engage in social networks, but few are actually working with the data yet.

In recent years, there has been plenty of excitement over the vast vistas of knowledge all those exabytes of social media data will bring. Mining data from Facebook, Twitter and assorted blogs and wikis will bring new new insights into what customers are thinking, even before they think it.

The catch is, while many companies are now engaging or planning to engage with social networks, few are actually working with the data yet. A new survey of 711 business and technology professionals finds just over half, 53%, now, at a minimum, monitor public social media sites. However, there isn't a lot of internal analysis taking place yet. Only 23% of organizations currently collect and analyze data from these networks, or even from their own sites.

The survey, conducted by Unisphere Research/Information Today Inc. and sponsored by IBM and Marist College, covered  members of SHARE and GUIDE SHARE EUROPE, two predominant user groups of primarily large IBM systems.

Social media data remains an untapped resource, and while few companies are using the data being generated, many are planning to eventually integrate this kind of information into their marketing and business operations. At least 60% indicate they have plans to start collecting data from social media sites. Among line-of-business managers in the survey, the percentage jumps to 80%.

Business initiatives targeted by social media data collection and monitoring include brand and reputation management (45%), marketing communications (45%), and customer service (40%).  Only 25% indicate they will be integrating social media metrics directly into their business processes, however. As noted in a related report in eMarketer, "until these companies learn to monitor open social networks and incorporate their findings into business results, proving that value will continue to be a challenge."

(Dislosure: Unisphere Research/ITI is a client, but I was not involved in this project.)

(Photo by Joe McKendrick.)

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