Research departments 'uncertain' of social media role

A new study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) warns of the potential for confusion over the role of research departments in managing social media.

The survey of marketers, conducted for the IAB by research agency Opinion Matters, found that the most common use of social media was to drive awareness and consideration of a brand, as well as engagement and advocacy.

60% of the firms surveyed said they were using social media for research purposes, but when asked where social media fits in their organisation (selecting all answers that applied from a total of six), only 12% chose research, compared to 73% who chose marketing, 33% who chose PR/communications and 20% who chose ‘other’.

The IAB said: “The results confirm that there is still a level of uncertainty surrounding where social media should fit within a business, suggesting that a range of skillsets are required internally for advertisers to make the best use of the discipline.”

It recommends that organisations establish teams to incorporate social media into communications plans, spanning a number of departments.

The study also highlighted that measurement and proving ROI continue to be the biggest challenges faced by marketers seeking to harness social media.
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