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SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: LinkedIn 'as important as a website' by 2012

Company pages on LinkedIn will be '€˜as important a website' by the end of next year, according to Heather Baker, director of PR at B2B PR and social media agency TopLine Communications.

Reflecting on the growth of social media in business, she said, "This year has marked a noticeable shift in the way businesses are approaching social media. Last year, many brands were reluctant to experiment with social media as they simply could not see the value.

"Now there is an undeniable acknowledgement that companies across all industries need to have at least a presence on social networks.

"Over the next year the trend is set to continue, and I predict that by the end of 2011, a company page on LinkedIn will be as important as a website."

Baker's comments came on the back of a Top Line Communications report stating that around half of UK businesses do not have adequate social media strategies in place.

The survey of 102 marketing directors, carried out on LinkedIn, revealed that 34 per cent of respondents described their approach to social media as '€˜basic,' while 17 per cent said theirs was non-existent.

The importance of having a dedicated social media straetgy was highlighted recently when Powwownow averted a potential Twitter crisis after people hijacked their hastag.