The Public Relations Global Network has released the results of its 20th anniversary survey, and social media was clearly on the brain. The group set out to find what effect social media is having on PR.
Among the most telling results:
• According to a PRGN press release, 82 percent of respondents believe a standard measurement tool is needed to evaluate social media success. The same percentage believes that spending on social media will increase over the next five years.
• The five top barriers to using social media in the future are return on investment (45 percent), time (39 percent), resources/budget (37 percent), support from leaders (36 percent), and knowledge/experience using social media tools (33 percent).
• The four social media platforms currently being used were not surprising. They are LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. According to the survey, 60 percent said they believed that Twitter and Facebook use is expected to increase in the next five years. Blogs also are anticipated be used more.
• When it comes to training, respondents want to learn more about Pinterest (46 percent), Google+ (37 percent), Renren (36 percent) and Flickr (30 percent).
• The top five reasons respondents said social media use will increase in the future include promoting events, monitoring customer feedback, launching campaigns/initiatives, giving consumers/customers a sense of community, and attracting new customers.
All of these results point to one glaring thing that’s often omitted in social campaigns: the need for clearly defined ROI. If social media use for businesses and brands grow like PRGN’s members think it will, ROI will have to be a major focus.
Among the respondents, 43 percent worked in PR, 33 percent in communications, and 21 percent in marketing. (Not sure who makes up the other 2 percent.) Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents were senior level communicators.