A new survey has revealed that a majority of businesses now view social media as both an essential element in their overall corporate strategy and a key aspect of their marketing activity.

The survey – carried out by independent research organisation Econsultancy and based on the views of 650 digital marketing executives – found that among those respondents serving organisations with a turnover of over £100m, 66 per cent believe social media to be an integral component of business strategy. A similar proportion, 67 per cent, believed social media to be ‘integral to their marketing mix’.

These positive findings are however tempered by the survey’s revelation that nine per cent of respondents representing businesses with a turnover below £100m do not see social media as a key part of their company’s marketing strategy – with that proportion increasing to 17 per cent for those representing firms with a turnover greater than £100m.

The survey also reveals that, while broad strategies such as brand awareness and content marketing are seen by significant numbers of respondents as among the most important functions of social media, only four per cent of those on the client side consider social media to be a primary tool for generating sales.

Econsultancy says it has also identified gaps in the ways in which organisations measure the effectiveness of their social media activity – claiming that most firms are strong on areas such as traffic monitoring but that few analyse the impact of this activity on strategic goals, such as lead generation or reducing the volume of customer service calls.