By Max Clarke

Half of businesses are leaping onto social media platforms with little or no cost or risk assessment, PwC have found.

In their latest paper, entitled ‘Uncovering B2B social media: Value, innovation and engagement’ the leading professional services firm find that though the majority of businesses are investing financially in social media, their investments have not been matched by clear social media strategies to ensure it works effectively.

Social media is changing the way people work, shop, receive service and relate to one another,” commented Sean Mahdi, director in PwC’s digital transformation practice. “Businesses also need to change the way they engage with customers, whose trust is increasingly invested in their peers, rather than in the brands with which they interact. Business audience and buyers are people influenced by the same forces that influence retail consumers. In fact, they are those consumers.

“The results of our survey demonstrate that, although B2B is investing in social media, they appear to be doing so with limited strategies that don’t fully exploit social media in the way that B2C is doing., There is evidence that sectors you might expect to be proficient in this area such as Technology and Entertainment and Media have much better tools and processes in place, but the majority of B2B organisations have much work to do to effectively use this ‘new’ medium to interact with their clients and customers.

The report examines the ways social media can be used not only as a tool to drive sales, but also as an opportunity to create loyalty to a brand, demonstrate transparency and responsibility in all aspects of the businesses operations and to use it as a way to participate in a two way dialogue as opposed to the traditional one way communication model.

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