Social in the enterprise: American companies experiment more, European companies integrate better

listening

InSites Consulting, a market research firm with feet on both sides of the Atlantic, just released its six-country social-in-the-enterprise report. And it includes some surprising results, including a key difference between American and European companies.

The most obvious result of the report is fairly monumental: Eight out of 10 American companies are now on Facebook. In a sense, that’s not surprising. But it is a high-watermark worth noting. In addition, 45 percent of American companies are on Twitter, and 31 percent have a YouTube account. In sharp contrast with the American results, however, only 50-60 percent of European companies are on Facebook.

New York-based Niels Schillewaert, managing partner for the company’s U.S.-based operations, spoke to VentureBeat today about the report.

“We wanted to get a feel for what companies do in social media and how that ties into their company culture,” he said.

Five other countries were included in the survey: Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, and the UK. There were two main surprises:

“First, a lot of companies adopt tools and techs before they look at the strategy. And second, if we look at the companies that have adopted social, they’re continuing to invest. But the ones that are not yet using social don’t really seem to be starting.”

The other difference that became apparent was that, while American companies like to try more strategies faster, European companies that actually do invest in social tend to do it in a relatively thoughtful, considered way.

“American companies have a tendency to experiment more,” Schillewaert told VentureBeat. “European companies tend to think twice and, when they adopt, they integrate at the same time.”

Integration brings social into the company culture, embedding social methodologies into company processes, including marketing, product development, customer service, employee communication, and more.

And companies that integrate see significant benefits.

The report measured integration along the four axes of content, collaboration, customer experience, and conversation, and found that companies that score high have 23 percent more satisfied employees and are recommended 27 percent more by their own staff.

The fact that one industry, health care, is notably lagging won’t surprise many Americans.

Only 43 percent of health care companies are on Facebook, and they fall behind on most of the other platforms as well. Not surprisingly, media companies led the way, followed by travel and leisure companies and consumer goods/retail companies.

InSites Consulting was founded in 1997 and has offices in New York, Belgium, The Netherlands, London, and Romania.

View the entire report here:


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