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How are companies using social media? How much of their budget goes towards it? What is it mainly used for? Marketing? Crisis communications? Customer Service? Answers to these questions can now be found in a study called “The State of Corporate Social Media 2013”, conducted by Useful Social Media and sponsored by Unmetric.

Based on comments by 850 respondents responsible for organizations, mainly corporations, in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Central America and South America, companies are pretty serious about social. According to the study, social media is becoming a "CEO-level agenda", with 18 percent of social media experts now reporting directly to the CEO, up from 14 percent in 2012.

Additional findings from the study include:

• 92.5 percent of companies have at least one employee who is completely assigned and dedicated to their social media efforts.

 

 

• Marketing departments still "own" company social media efforts, but this is slowly evolving as other departments begin to take on different social media responsibilities such as customer service.

• Social media is making a positive impact on work cultures. Approximately 61 percent of businesses are seeing enhanced productivity as social tools have a positive impact on teamwork, workflow and overall communication.

• 56 percent of the respondents value social media for providing them with more clarity about whom their customers are and what they're looking for.

• Companies are mainly investing in Facebook (89%) and Twitter (88%), but LinkedIn (79%), YouTube (71%), and corporate blogging (51%) are also regularly used.

• A positive 46 percent of the respondents are confident that social drives sales for their businesses.

Social media within the business is evolving and maturing as departments are being forced to work together to provide superior communication and service to consumers who now expect one-to-one communication and social proficiency.

Beyond the year 2013, businesses particularly b2b businesses, will continue to leverage social tools across many departments to better improve communication and image both externally and internally.