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87% of Global Businesses See Social Media as Critical as Business Value Expands Beyond Marketing

Research reveals social’s value across the organization: 90% for brand building; 71% for community engagement; 61% for lead conversion and sales; 50% for market insights; 47% for client support

VANCOUVER, BC - September 12, 2018 - Hootsuite, the leader in social media management trusted by more than 16 million customers and employees at more than 80% of the Fortune 1000, today released its Social Media Barometer Report, a global survey on the importance and use of social media within small, medium and enterprise organizations across industries.

Examining data from more than 9,000 responses across 19 countries, the annual report found social media to be a critical platform for global businesses to maintain competitive advantage, with social media expected to continue to grow in importance for their businesses and customers, particularly as social media’s use grows beyond marketing to drive value across the organization.

“Our social media barometer report confirms what we’ve been hearing from customers large and small; that social media has become a critical channel for delivering a consistent customer experience across a business,” said Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite. “With social increasingly becoming how customers consume media; conduct research, ask questions and seek recommendations; make purchase decisions, engage with brands for support and show our loyalty, this is not a surprise. More organizations are discovering the value of social media within and beyond marketing, and the resulting direct impact it has on their bottom line.”

Key findings of the research include:

  • 87% agree that social media is important to staying competitive, and 80% report that social media is more important to their business and customers than it was last year.

  • 67% of respondents agree that social media will increasingly contribute to their company’s bottom line, with more than 54% of organizations noting social has moved outside the  marketing team.

  • 90% of organizations are using social to build brand awareness; 77% to manage their brand reputation; 71% for building and managing an engaged community; 61% to increase lead conversions and sales; 50% to gain market and customer insights; 47% for delivering customer service; 35% to attract job applicants; and 22% to identify crisis and manage communications.

  • Despite the expanded use across the organizations, 58% of respondents still find it difficult to evaluate whether their social media campaigns are working, while 50% struggle with understanding and interpreting social data.

The Social Media Barometer Report was distributed to more than a million social media customers worldwide, sourced from Hootsuite’s database. Respondents must have been responsible for or have oversight into social media strategy and/or execution for their organization. Conducted between February and May of 2018, the report summarizes responses from 9,278 individuals on their organization’s use of social media. The full global report can be found here.

To help CMOs, executives and social leaders with the challenges they face today and in the future, Hootsuite will be hosting its Future of Social events in Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Mexico City, London, Sydney, and Singapore in October and November 2018. The events will be live streamed and then available for replay in early 2019. Details are available here.

Hootsuite has a long history of helping its customers grow their expertise to succeed with social via tools like Hootsuite Academy, an online resource to train and equip practitioners with certified social media skills; Hootsuite Impact, an easy-to-use interface to give organizations a complete view of the ROI for their owned, earned, and paid social initiatives in one dashboard; and Hootsuite Enterprise, a scalable solution to enable your entire organization on social.

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Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management platform, trusted by more than 17 million people and employees at 80% of the Fortune 1000. Hootsuite's unparalleled expertise, customer insights at scale, and collaborative ecosystem, uniquely help people and organizations to succeed with social. To learn more, visit


Hootsuite Media Team