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Staff with enthusiasm, not skills, most often given control of social media

Australian companies are giving social media responsibilities to staff with enthusiasm and an appetite for new technology rather than those with specific social media skills, according to the Future of Content report.

FacebookThe global research commissioned by Meltwater Group, found 58 percent of Australian companies give social media responsibility to enthusiastic employees versus 29 percent to those with specific skills.

The research is the first global study of its kind by Meltwater and based on the responses of 450 marketing and social decision makers from Australia, US, UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Singapore.

The study also found that Australian marketers lag behind their US and UK counterparts in adopting a social media policy with only 29 percent of Australian companies with formal guidelines set compared to 73 percent and 34 percent respectively.

According to Alicia Kennedy, Area Director of Meltwater Australia and New Zealand, ““The research shows that across all countries surveyed, excluding the US, there is a trend towards giving social media responsibilities to keen, tech savvy employees instead of those with particular skills and knowledge in social media.

As social media activity increases and investment grows, there is huge opportunity for Australian companies to start implementing formal policies and processes to ensure they can adequately support their social media activity.”

The research also found developing interesting content is a key challenge with 36 percent of Australian marketers finding it difficult to create new content for marketing collateral.

“Being in tune with what customers are interested in and joining in the conversations they are having online is one way of tackling this challenge and creating content that stands out from the crowd,” said Kennedy.

Other key findings from the research include:

· 80 percent of Australian companies say it’s important to monitor what is being said online about their brand yet only 3 percent have invested in online listening tools

· Australian companies are evenly split in their attitudes towards using social media in marketing.  Half see social media as an opportunity whereas the other half view it as a threat for marketing departments

· Half of Australian companies say it is difficult to measure the ROI of social media activities and only 13 percent are fully satisfied they can properly measure social media’s ROI

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