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Altimeter Group’s State of Social Business 2013 Report


Each year, The Altimeter Group hosts an annual Social Business survey to learn how social media is evolving within enterprise organizations. Data is then compared to previous reports providing a sense of movement to the numbers and also a developing benchmark for our analysts and clients. Our last survey was studied in Q3 2013 and also Q4 2012, the latter was used to provide context to a report published by Charlene LI and me in March 2013, “The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation.”

We are now making the data available to the public for free use under Creative Commons (cc) as part of our open research program. The figures included in this report are also compared to previous survey findings from 2011 and 2010.


Analysis of our survey results reveal that social media is extending deeper into organizations and, at the same time, strategies are maturing. What was previously a series of initiatives driven by marketing and PR is now evolving into a social business movement that looks to scale and integrate social across the organization. The following report reveals how businesses are expanding social efforts and investments.

As social approaches its first decade of enterprise integration, we still see experimentation in models and approach. There is no one way to become a social business. Instead, social businesses evolve through a series of stages that ultimately align social media strategies with business goals.

Our hope is that the data shared in this report provides some perspective on where your company is today so that you can chart your own course for social business evolution. Some ways to use the data include:

1. Benchmark where you are compared to the various business stages shared in this report.

2. Document existing challenges and opportunities that you will need to address for your 2014 social business plan.

3. Determine how social strategies can better align with business objectives and priorities.

4. Finally, follow along with Altimeter Group’s Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy to expedite your transition from social media to social business.

Highlights of Findings

In terms of social business maturity, most organizations are “intermediate,” with only 17% who are truly strategic in the execution of their social strategies.

The lack of clear leadership, organization, and strategy means that many organizations experience some form of “social anarchy,” of siloed, uncoordinated social efforts.

More companies are moving to the Multiple Hub and Spoke model to organize their social business programs, up from 18% in 2010 using this model to 23.6% in 2013.

Most dedicated social media teams continue to report to Marketing (40%) or Corporate Communications/PR (26%). But now, 13 different departments around the organization are seeing dedicated staff work on social initiatives.

Companies are committing more headcount to social media across all sizes of companies. The biggest jump is for companies with more than 100,000 employees, which now report an average of 49 full-time employees (FTEs) supporting social media in the organization, compared to 20 in 2010.

Top priorities for social include scaling for engagement, integrating data, and training/ education around social.

Measuring the impact of social is maturing, with over half of organizations able to track the impact of social on marketing efforts.

Lack of employee training around social media policies remains a significant risk area — only 18% of companies said that their employees have a good or very good understanding of their social media policies.

The State of Social Business 2013

19 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Altimeter Group’s State of Social Business 2013 Report”

  1. Interesting to read this post today as I started reading “Seven Success Factors” yesterday (took me a moment to realize why the concept sounded familiar!) It’s another challenging yet interesting hurdle – feels like we just got the C-Suite to value integrating social, now recommending they take it to another level. Certainly won’t happen quickly.

  2. Wait. I thought you said Social Business was dead?? … Now I’m all confused! 🙂

  3. Jordi Gili says:

    “Lack of employee training around social media policies remains a significant risk area”. Training, engagement, RESULTS!
    Thanks Brian

  4. Steve Freeman says:

    Brian, Wow that got my attention. The fact that Brands are more than doubling the dedicated employees to social engagement is an eye opening fact.
    I shared this in 3 G+ groups, on my page, and will share it on BizSugar and with my list of followers.
    Brian I appreciate you and your teams efforts in tracking this information. No wonder you are the industry voice for social engagement! Great Job.

  5. jon_mitchell_jackson says:

    Brian- Going to digest every single word over the weekend. Looking forward to continue moving forward with our “social law firm” 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  6. Pingback: The Social CEO

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