Globally, 22 per cent of companies do not have a digital strategy, with the rate being lowest in North America (15.2 per cent) and Western Europe (16.5 per cent), and highest in Africa (32.5 per cent) and Asia Pacific (28.3 per cent), according to a Grayling PULSE survey,
The second global survey by the Grayling team found that of those who do have a digital strategy, only 39.1 per cent are integrated with a broader communications strategy, with 52.9 per cent saying there is a ‘partial’ integration.
It was discovered that the most common objectives for a social media strategy were to raise brand awareness (22.1 per cent), improved reputation (21.4 per cent) and build advocacy (15.3 per cent).
According to the research, companies in the technology, media & telecoms sector are most likely to have a digital strategy (83 per cent) versus 60 per cent in transport, automotive & logistics and 68 per cent in consumer & retail.
It was also discovered that only 23 per cent of CEOs participate personally in their company’s social media, with 44 per cent having no involvement at all.
Paul Holmes, editor of the Holmes report, said: “What we have seen over the past 12 months is that smart and sophisticated users of social media are beginning to fuse corporate reputation management and brand promotion—adopting an integrated approach that recognises the traditional dividing line between those two things is blurring—and to seek out a middle way between the one-dimensional marketing and corporate communications approaches described above, based on an understanding that genuine dialogue and engagement require active listening and polite conversation.
“For that reason, the most intriguing finding from this current Grayling PULSE survey—that corporate reputation management is becoming a stronger driver of social media activity—should come as no surprise.
“Corporate reputation—the way the public perceives the behaviour, communication and values of companies that stand behind the brands they buy—is now an absolute prerequisite for success in the marketplace. Consumers have at their fingertips the ability to access so much information about the companies with which they do business, that merely monitoring online conversations, or being ready to defend reputation should a crisis arise, is no longer enough.”