Social media uptake is slow with UK advertisers but surprisingly budget isn’t the problem

I have seen a few interesting articles this morning reporting that social media hasn’t been utilised as much as was expected by UK advertisers.

It seems that British advertisers are still lagging behind those of the US who have been exploiting social networking effectively. My post yesterday referred to me being approached and that was actually by a US company – so they may have a point that US companies are doing it more.

That said, we have been approached by several UK companies attempting outreach programmes recently and some have been done well and some not so well.

The new research has come from TNS. Brand Republic report’s in its article:

The survey, which polled senior management from blue-chip companies such as Sony, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline and HP, revealed that nearly 50% of those polled in the US agreeing that social media must be grasped with urgency if brands are to keep ahead of the market, compared to just 18% in the UK.

Overseas managements also had a more sophisticated understanding of the social media phenomenon, with 32% of UK respondents saying that they are still at a “learning” stage, compared to a survey average of 18%.”

Apparently the lack of enthusiasm for social media stems from no boardroom support in this country. I must admit with the marketers we are meeting with at the moment there is still a slight reticence to use social media because people don’t understand it yet. However, once we go in and show them how it can work – if done correctly – they usually tend to say they will give it a whirl. And that’s all we can ask!

Also according to the research 36% of people cite a lack of skills among marketing teams and suppliers as the greatest barrier to implementation. This is also true as many people still don’t know how to use social media strategically although there are some good practitioners out there offering good advice if people look hard enough.

I think Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer at TNS Media Intelligence puts it best when he says: ” We are already seeing the damage done to brands who ignore negative publicity on networking sites — and with hundreds of thousands new subscribers signing up each day, this influence is only going to increase.”

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