While over 90% of major brand owners are now using social media such as Twitter and Linkedin, however social media still remains primarily a marketing medium rather one that generates tangible revenues according to a recent survey by Booz & Co and Buddy Media.

From 100 large organisations, (94%) listed Facebook among their top three social priorities, closely followed by Twitter on (77%), with YouTube lagging at (42%). Blogs and branded platforms scored (25%) each, LinkedIn posted (13%) and location-based tools like Foursquare received (8%).

The average organisation typically has 4 to 5 social media sites at present, set up by Marketing departments (81%); digital teams (62%), PR units (48%) and customer service groups (26%).

The general consensus (94%) was that being an early adopters and reacting quickly was essential to social media success. They also believed in having an internal “owner” and “champion” (93%), all of which was well supported by leadership and in-house education (90%).

What are they being used for?
The main use for sites such as facebook and twitter is advertising and promotions (96%), while (88%) used them for PR; 75% maintained open links for customer service and (56%) used them for market research.

Commercially, it is still early days, although (44%) expect to have revenue-generating platforms linked to social media in two years time. Just (40%) are employing them for sales purposes, and a further 46% think they deliver purchases and meaningful leads.

By contrast, (90%) mentioned benefits tied to brand building; 88% agreed they stimulated buzz, 81% referenced securing consumer insights and 78% cited enhanced marketing effectiveness.

A majority of companies also already have dashboards, and enjoy partnerships with specialist agencies as they follow a clear, integrated social media strategy.

Similarly, while 67% of businesses allocate less than 5% of digital marketing budgets to social channels today, a 55% share believe the proportion of new media spending directed to this route will be at least 10% three years into the future.

What this shows is that large, leading companies are shifting their marketing focus to actively transform their model from brand management to brand curation.

via Booz & Co & Buddy Media as read in WARC