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Social Is Shifting Beyond Marketing

July 18, 2012

Large US companies are reframing their approach to social media, shifting from social marketing to social business, and that shift is affecting the ownership of social media responsibilities within the organization, according to a study by FedEx and Ketchum.

In a social business approach, social tools are used throughout the organization, expanding the impact, value, and reach of social media beyond the realm of consumer and brand management, according to the authors.

Below, additional findings from The 2012 FedEx/Ketchum Social Business Benchmarking Study, based on a survey of 55 large US companies (most participants had 2,000+ employees and annual revenues over $2.5 billion).

Strengthening Client Relationships

Though enhancing brand awareness and reputation is still a top objective for social media efforts among US corporations, fully one-half say they are effectively using social media to strengthen relationships with clients:

  • Most companies cite enhancing brand awareness/reputation with clients (69%) and the general public (68%) as a major objective for social media efforts.
  • Companies say they are particularly effective at strengthening relationships with customers (51%), the general public (52%), and partners and suppliers (40%).

Shifting Objectives

The relationships between large companies and their stakeholders (including clients, employees, public, partners, and investors) are also evolving.

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  • by John Cass Wed Jul 18, 2012 via web

    Interesting survey and results. I was wondering if the results mean companies are doing a better job of engagement with customers, and influencers. If so how are they managing the process?

    John Cass
    Author "strategies and tools for corporate blogging"

  • by Rishi Wed Jul 18, 2012 via web

    Great article, I agree with the employee motivation part - that social media does increase employee engagement and online strategy development. I'd love to analyze how B2B organizations can use social media to drive sales.

    Get access to all our marketing cheat sheets including "Getting Started with Facebook Advertising" at

  • by Rob Davis Wed Jul 18, 2012 via mobile

    How cool! Engage and create brand ambassadors with the employees first. Duh? that's where the rubber meets road in first place. In healthcare marketing for couple of decades....considered staff first in every campaign...IF THEY will family and friends. Set course and engage. Worth every penny.

  • by MariaS Thu Sep 20, 2012 via web

    While marketers are all hung up on the social vs email debate, they are missing the really important epoch happening in marketing - the move from a push approach to a pull approach. That's going to require a much more dramatic shift in thinking for most brands and for some, they may not be able to make that shift. People talk about your brand being social and to be social, I think you have to adopt a pull (interactive) marketing strategy, rather than the old megaphone, rinse and repeat message. Just because you're on Twitter or FB, doesn't mean your brand is social. To me the channels just don't matter as much as how you use them.
    Maria from

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