2010 FedEx and Ketchum Social Media Benchmarking Study Highlights

January 3, 2011

FedEx and Ketchum Pleon Change recently partnered on a benchmarking study with 62 leading brands, including PepsiCo, GE, and Procter & Gamble, to answer the social media questions that keep many of our clients up at night: 

  • How do we leverage social media to drive internal culture, brand performance and reputation management?

  • What is the appropriate budget allocation to support social media programming?

  • How do we adapt internal structures to develop and roll out social media strategies?

  • What is the best way to measure the ROI of social media spending?

The full findings of the report are available at www.2010socialmediastudy.com.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the more compelling highlights:

  • One hundred percent of participants reported some degree of social media presence regardless of industry. That means even organizations in highly regulated industries like healthcare and financial services (not to mention B-to-B companies) can and should be engaging with customers and employees using social media tools. Of course, the same social media strategy won’t work for every company or industry. Leading organizations find ways to leverage social tools in smart, effective, risk-appropriate ways, bearing in mind their unique businesses needs. 

  • Fifty percent of participants plan to redesign their intranets in the next one to two years to include greater social media capabilities. If part one of the corporate social media revolution focused on connecting with customers and influencers, then part two may center on engaging employees, according to study participants. As social media continues to dominate the way people communicate outside the workplace, it makes sense that workplace communications should follow suit. FedEx and Ketchum Pleon Change found that organizations are quickly mobilizing to better facilitate knowledge management, innovation and culture building via internal social media applications.

  • There is no consistent, reliable approach to measurement and determining the ROI associated with social media programming. Participating companies expressed the desire to improve the way they assess quality of online interaction, level of user engagement and, ultimately, impact on business performance. There is widespread agreement that looking solely at metrics like “followers,” “friends” or “views” is not sufficient, but there is no clear winner when it comes to social media measurement. The good news is that top experts from the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and other major industry organizations have established a set of social media measurement guidelines — the Barcelona Principles — that will help to standardize and inform future measurement efforts. David Rockland, Partner and Managing Director of the Ketchum Global Research Network and CEO of Ketchum Pleon Change, led the guideline development process and continues to strengthen Ketchum’s social media measurement approach.

The 2010 FedEx and Ketchum Social Media Benchmarking Study validated that social media is disrupting the way the world communicates. Companies must continue to evolve how they interact with people to remain relevant. The pace and scope of change as new tools and technology emerge demands an unparalleled degree of organizational nimbleness. As digital and social tools become the go-to resources for everything from news and information to friendship and love, smart brands will continue to figure out better ways to add value to the online experience — internally and externally.
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