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Social media is struggling to prove its ROI

Social media has more influence in the boardroom than ever, with 86% of social media professionals saying that the role of social media in their organisation’s business strategy has increased over the last two years, according to Sprout Social’s UK & Ireland Index 2022 released today.

Social media has more influence in the boardroom than ever, with 86% of social media professionals saying that the role of social media in their organisation’s business strategy has increased over the last two years.*

This is mirrored by the rising use of social media among consumers over the last two years, with more than 70% of consumers in the UK & Ireland reporting an increase and 61% spending more than 60 minutes on social media every day – presenting an opportunity for brands.

But despite the business-critical role of social media, brands are struggling to find the right talent. The biggest challenge social media professionals are facing, cited by 47% of respondents,  is hiring experienced talent, as nearly 80% of social media managers anticipate hiring at least two additional social team members in the next two years to support business strategy.

Social media teams are also struggling to get the rest of the business behind them, with 44% of professionals saying their biggest challenge is proving the revenue-generating potential of social and a further 19% claiming it’s getting internal buy-in from key stakeholders. 

As social teams navigate these challenges, social data is playing a vital role. 58% of social media professionals surveyed said that their organizations now use social data daily for a broad variety of business-essential purposes, including sales strategy (57%), content strategy (46%), product development (44%), customer experience (41%)  and competitive insight (39%).

Social media is being used to inform businesses with valuable insights such as how customers are using products or services, what they like about the brand, what they expect in the future, the trends they’re interested in and what they dislike about the brand. 

Social media is also set to be a significant driver of business digitalisation, with nearly half of industry professionals anticipate using VR, AR or XR in their social strategy within the next 12 months, 42% in the metaverse, 31% in cryptocurrency and 23% in NFTs. 

Gerard Murnaghan, General Manager & Vice President, Sprout Social, said: “It’s great to see that social is finally taking its well-deserved seat at the boardroom table after two years of huge usage growth. Businesses are waking up to the true value of social for brand building and awareness, sales, customer experiences, talent attraction and retention and more. But despite this, there’s clearly still more work to do for brands to get the most out of social by getting greater internal buy-in and identifying and nurturing top talent. 

Data will play a key role in securing social’s boardroom influence in the long term, allowing marketing professionals to demonstrate the value of social campaigns to stakeholders. Data will also help to train new staff by pinpointing top social trends and opportunities and highlight the most successful social techniques.”

*The Sprout Social Index™ report 

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