Most companies (66.5%) have adopted social media in the past 18 months. About half of the companies reported they’ve only been using social media for about a year and about 20% reported they’ve adopted social media practices in the past 13 to 18 months.

Companies are focusing their energies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs. Data suggests that companies focus their time and efforts on the “big 5? because they’re able to find their customers there.

It takes time for companies to incorporate social media effectively. The data identified a 2-year mark where businesses begin to gain confidence in their social media activity.

Brand-building is currently the primary purpose for business social media usage. However, the research showed that most companies are using social media to broadcast information versus using it for two-way communication.

Communications, advertising and marketing agencies are the leading adopters of social media. However, an interesting finding of the study showed that agencies are not the preferred source for social media support. Most of the companies surveyed have opted to create and execute their social media strategy using internal resources.

Lack of management support and confidentiality concerns top the list of obstacles to social media adoption. There was a clear lack of management support for those companies who have not yet adopted social media. 33% of the respondents pointed out they weren’t the decision-makers and 14.7% stated “management resistance” as an obstacle to social media adoption. To add to this, 33.1% pointed to “confidentially issues” as a reason for not adopting social media.

Less than 15% of the businesses using social media are measuring return on investment. Over 33% are not measuring return on investment at all. It seems that many businesses struggle with identifying what to measure, how to measure and how to interpret the data when they are able to gather results.

While 60% of respondents say their companies are using social media, there’s low confidence in their social media strategies. One of the most interesting findings in this report was how the respondents rated their social media strategies. Only 14.2% described their strategies as “very effective,” while a low 7.3% described them as “very revenue generating” on average.