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SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: LinkedIn moving up the ranks with marketers

LinkedIn is closely behind Twitter as one of the most popular social networks utilised by marketers across sectors, according to a new Social Media Index by McCann Erickson Bristol.

The study, which was conducted among 100 marketing, communications and PR professionals B2B and B2C high level positions, found that 40 per cent of marketers use LinkedIn while 43 per cent are on Twitter.

Unsurprisingly consumer social network Facebook is still the most used with 73 per cent of marketers as members on the social network.

But a sign of the growing confidence in social media was reflected in the finding that 86 per cent of respondents believe that social media is here to stay and not simply a fad.

"There is a real thirst for information and knowledge on the subject of social media which is constantly evolving - making it hard to keep up with the latest trends," comments Joanna Randall, head of PR at McCann Erickson Bristol, on the findings.

About three quarters of respondents agreed that social media has a place in business, communication and marketing activity mainly for profile raising/PR (51 per cent), networking (49 per cent) and advertising (31 per cent).

"Word of mouth is now more powerful than ever; opinions can be shared with a global audience at the click of a button; we all have the ability to influence, both positively and negatively, and therefore as marketing professionals we should be considering how best to harness the power of social media," comments Randall.

Yet many marketers are being limited by their internal IT departments, which block access to the social media sites. About 46 per cent of senior marketing professionals admit that companies block popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter, making them incapable of monitoring what is being said about their brand. According to the study, this may be one of the contributing factors for the lack of understanding of social media - and the reason why 66 per cent of marketers in the survey admit they do not have adequate knowledge on how to use social media correctly in marketing.

Related article: Buyers need to rethink their attitude to social media, says report.