BRUSSELS—Senior corporate communicators across Europe have not yet grasped the power of social media to impact their businesses, or embraced the tools that can help them engage with stakeholders online, according to the latest European Communication Monitor, unveiled last week at the European Association of Communication Directors annual summit in Brussels.
The survey found that just 72.5 percent of respondents believe social media content changes the perceptions of external stakeholders about their organization, and that only 57 percent believe social media content changes the perceptions of employees.
Similarly, only 58.1 percent of the communications executives surveyed say that employees who are active on the web are “relevant gatekeepers” for their organizations; 53.2 percent believe consumers who raise their voices on the social web are relevant gatekeepers; and 51.4 percent believe bloggers and online community managers are relevant gatekeepers.
Under the circumstances, it is perhaps no surprise that only 37.7 percent say their organization has developed adequate strategies and instruments to communicate with new gatekeepers on the social web.
So while 73.1 percent say that online communities and social networks are important tools for communication management, only 51.8 percent have implemented those tools; 66.9 percent agree that online video is important, but only 46.1 percent have implemented it; and 59.1 percent believe mobile apps are important, but only 28.9 percent have them.
But at least the communicators surveyed acknowledged that their social media abilities still require improvement: just 53.5 percent said they rated their ability to deliver messages via the social web as either high or very high; just 50.8 percent rated their knowledge of social media trends as high or very high; and only 29.2 percent rated their ability to initiate online dialogue with their stakeholders as high or very high.