How IT Companies Use Social Media in 2021 - Survey Results
As each year marketing companies and professionals are setting new trends and predictions for social media marketing, most of them are pointing to new channels and visual content with an increasing amount of spendings on social media ads.
Social media presence is a key factor in IT companies’ digital marketing activity. Half of all IT companies consider social media very important, and more than 30% will probably increase their budget for social media marketing as leads and visibility are two important outcomes companies get.
TechBehemoths surveyed between September 10-30, 2021, more than 300 IT companies across 14 countries to better understand the importance of social media in their digital marketing activities. The survey covers topics such as:
Most popular social media channel for IT companies
Types of content IT companies share on social media
Types of content IT companies are likely to share on social media
Importance of social media for IT companies
Social media budgeting
Social media engagement
Dedicated time and human resources for social media activities
Benefits of social media channels for IT companies
Challenges IT companies face on social media
Social media impact on IT companies’ sales and revenue
Social media marketing advertising business model
For a better understanding of how IT companies use social media, the surveyed companies have not been handpicked, or selected based on some of the following criteria: financial statement, country of origin, number of employees, business model, market position, size, visibility, or any other discriminatory factors. TechBehemoths encourages and provides equal chances and opportunities in business.
IT Companies Business Model and Service Focus
All 310 participating companies provide at least one type of IT service either to other businesses or directly to end customers. The findings show that IT companies focus on B2B or combine B2B with B2C while the number of IT companies that chose exclusively a B2C business model is around 10 times smaller.
151 companies or 48.7% have a B2B business model
139 companies or 44.8% combine B2B and B2C
12 companies or 3.9% provide exclusively B2C services
8 companies have declared that they have a different business model, which is 2.6% out of the total respondents.
At the same time, participating IT companies shared data about what types of services they offer within the chosen business model. In IT, it is well-known that few companies are focused only on a single type of service, and the vast majority are specialized in 2 or more types of services. For this reason, the question about provided services has multiple options to choose from.
The responses show that 82.9% of all IT companies are specialized in:
Web and software development (28.4%)
Advertising and Media (23.9%)
Mobile and app development (13.6%)
At the other end of the spectrum, there are services that are less popular in IT, or have less in common with the IT sector. These services share 17.1% of all specializations of IT companies and include answers that are different from the given options:
On a side note, Business Consulting as an individual service has less in common with IT, but as a whole, each company providing IT services offers by default business consulting services to the client. However, the same thing can not be said about Human Resources, where the border between IT and recruiting has clear edges.
What Social Media Networks IT Companies Use the Most
In October 2020 Business Insider announced the decline of Facebook, citing a social media report about having 2M fewer active users in the US and Canada. Taking into account the total 2.89B Facebook active users, it was at least misleading to indicate the end of the Facebook era. Moreover, 26.9% of all IT companies still use Facebook as their main social media advertising platform in 2021, according to the survey data which reconfirms the leading position of social media on the market. The survey also shows that the second most used social media for IT companies is LinkedIn, where 25.8% of them use it for marketing and advertising purposes. The top 3 is closed by another Facebook-affiliated social media - Instagram, which is focused on visual content and despite the new like rules, 19.4% of all IT companies advertise there.
Twitter is in the fourth place of IT companies most used social media, with 5% less than Instagram, which results that around 14% of all IT companies use Twitter for visibility, marketing, and advertising. Youtube, TikTok, and Reddit share the last three positions, and have clear disadvantages compared to the other social media platforms since they are limited by the specific type of content, and specific audience - two key factors that IT companies do not have in common with the above-mentioned social media platforms.
What Type of Content Do IT Companies Share on Social Media
IT companies share different types of content on social media, sometimes the content is limited by the type of social media, other times it’s all about what an IT company does. Nonetheless, there are and always have been dominant and less popular types of content for the general public, but also for IT companies’ audiences.
The findings show that most of the time, they share articles, which can be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. So, in 2021 articles or text content is still the easiest to share with everyone, despite the fact that visual content has progressed a lot in recent years.
However, visual content has at least more components, and 2 of them - images and videos have a higher score together compared to text content, or articles. Images take second place on the most shared types of content on social media, and videos are in third place. Outside of these types of content, there are polls with 4.8% of all content shared by IT companies on social media. Here are the full standings:
Articles are shared by 41.3% of all IT companies on social media
Images are shared by 31.7% of all IT companies on social media
Videos are shared by 20.6% of all IT companies on social media
Polls are shared by 4.8% of all IT companies on social media
Other 1.6% of IT companies also share hiring announcements on social media
IT Companies & Social Media Sharing from Other Sources
If companies share or not information from other sources on social media is a tricky question as opinions are divided on this topic. IT companies behave on social media differently and follow their interests accordingly, which may define if sharing from another source of information material is a better option than writing or re-writing it by themselves.
According to the survey results, less than half of IT companies are likely to share a piece of information from other sources on social media. 25.8% of IT companies are neither considering nor disregarding this idea, while a total of 25.8% think that is rather not likely, or will definitely not share information from other sources.
On a scale from 1 to 5, IT companies appreciated how likely they are to share information from other sources on social media, and the results can be found in the chart below.
How Important is the Social Media for IT Companies
IT companies gain visibility through multiple channels, including social media, and deciding how important each channel is to them is an individual process. When asked how important is their presence on social media, respondent 310 IT companies answered differently, and that powers up the idea that not all IT companies think the same.
On a scale from 1 to 5, only 50% of the respondents answered that their presence on social media is very important, and the other 23.3% declared that it is important. At the same time, 26.7% of respondents consider that their presence on social media is not important or pointless, or declared that it’s somewhat important.
Getting visibility and gaining notoriety is a more difficult task than it may seem, so it’s predictable that some IT companies choose other channels to advertise, promote or perform marketing activities. But each channel has its own challenges and opportunities, and companies select those where opportunities prevail challenges.
IT Companies and Their Challenges on Social Media
Depending on the business model, companies face different challenges in promoting their image or their clients’ image on social media. Generally, it is more difficult to get leads via promoting IT services on social media - even a correct campaign setup can bring irrelevant traffic that is more interested in visiting the website rather than contacting for a future project. And that’s only one challenge IT companies face on social media.
The survey revealed that 33% of companies face budget problems in their social media activity, while the other 33% think that targeting is the main issue. Conversion is also considered a challenge for most IT companies that use social media for advertising and marketing. The challenge that closes the top 4 on social media for IT companies is competition.
The survey results about challenges IT companies face on social media are as follows:
Budget - 33%
Targeting - 33%
Competition - 16.7%
Conversion - 16.7%
It is important to mention that respondents were not offered choices when answering the “Name 3 challenges IT companies face in advertising on social media” question. All respondents shared the answers based on their own experience.
What are the Benefits of Social Media for IT Companies
On the benefits side, IT companies responded more diversely compared to the question regarding challenges. For a company, a benefit is the final target of a social media campaign, either they do it for themselves or a client. These benefits are defined by the level, focus, and services a company offers, and while some benefits may look similar between them, they are actually different.
The survey respondents mentioned that #1 benefit of their social media activity is reach - ¼ of respondents named it as their main outcome of the entire social media activity. Other 19.4% declared that leads are the main benefit of their advertising on social media, and also 19.4% consider that awareness is what they get most. According to 13.9% of respondents, branding is the best thing in social media advertising, and the other 22.2% shared other answers in the survey.
Just like in the case of challenges, respondents didn’t have clear options to answer and had to name the benefits based on their own experience.
What Resources do IT Companies Allocate For Social Media
IT companies can assign 3 resources to social media activities: people, money, and time. Time as a resource for social media activities depends on the human and financial resources a company assigns. That makes people and money primary resources invested in social media activities.
The survey shows that a large number of IT companies don’t plan their social media spendings and most of their advertising activities are spontaneous. However, more than 50% of IT companies declared that they have a budget for social media advertising.
On the other hand, IT companies are more attentive in dedicating human resources to social media marketing. Compared to budgeting where 58.1% of companies plan their spendings, 62.5% of all companies have at least 1 or more employees dedicated to their social media presence, and the other 31.3% of all IT companies own a social media marketing department.
Only 3.1% of companies declared that there are various people in their companies that are handling their social media accounts, and the other 3% of companies don’t have anyone on the board of social media marketing
Behind the time, money, and people dedicated to social media activity, there are solid reasons why IT companies decided to do so. During the survey, participating IT companies were asked if they had any leads or sales out of social media activity, and the answers were backing up previous responses related to budget and people:
68.8% of respondents declared that social media is a source of leads
12.5% of IT companies didn’t get any leads out of social media activity
Other 18.8% of companies have chosen confidentiality over a clear answer
For some companies, social media is not the perfect channel of exposure, reach, and communication with the target audience. Despite that most IT companies get leads from social media, the investment isn't worth the effort. Challenges like budget, conversion, and competition are making the social media experience frustrating for IT companies, and the leads they get don’t cover the overall costs. And here the opinions divide into several large groups:
16.1% of IT companies will definitely increase their spendings on social media activities
25.8% consider increasing the spending on social media
41.9% are happy with their budgeting policies on social media and don’t plan to increase or decrease the spendings
6.5% of IT companies think that will probably cut the social media budget
Some 9.7% will definitely cut the social media budget
Respondents were offered to appreciate on a scale from 1 to 5 how they consider the social media budget in the next period.
IT Companies and Their Revenue from Social Media
Social media turned to be profitable for IT companies as most of them consider increasing their investments or are happy with that. This statement is supported by the answer respondents gave when asked if SMM had a positive impact on their revenue.
The survey showed that 31.3% of respondents strongly agree that social media had a positive impact on their revenue, and the other 40.6% simply agree with it. At the other end of the spectrum, some 12.5% of respondents didn’t feel any income or revenue from social media - a number that’s way lower than expected. Also, 3.1% of the respondents didn’t feel any negative nor positive impact on their revenue from social media activities and 12.5% consider that social media activities had a small positive impact.
Social Media Predictions for IT Companies (2022-2023)
Most of the IT companies that use social media are the core engine that moves the industry forward. IT companies are the largest providers of media and advertising services, and their strategies often dictate how to use channels effectively with optimal costs. The survey addressed three key questions regarding social media trends and predictions for the following year:
Top social media platforms IT companies would use to advertise on
Most engaging types of content
SMM as an advertising model in the future
On the first topic, IT companies bid on Youtube advertising in the following period underlining the importance of visual ads. 29.9% of IT companies would invest in Youtube advertising if they would have the budget for it.
Facebook is the second trending social media platform when it comes to advertising as 23.9% of companies would set or increase the budget for promotions on this social network. In the third position comes Instagram, voted by 19,4% of IT companies, and Twitter advertising takes 4th place by 10.4% of companies.
Under 10% of popularity in the 2022-2023 period are LinkedIn, Reddit, and TikTok with 6%, 1.5%, and 1.5%
According to the survey, the most engaging types of content on social media channels are videos. More than a quarter of all IT companies consider them the #1 type of content today. Images have been voted as the second-most engaging type of content with the votes of 20.4% of all participants. Articles, which is now the most distributed type of content, have taken only 3rd place and were voted by 13.6% of all respondents.
Quizzes and Polls are also considered engaging by 12.6% of companies while Live sessions got the vote of only 8.7%.
Before drawing the lines, the last question needs to be answered: Is it worth it? And the overwhelming majority of respondents answered Yes! Most of the respondents consider that SMM is a sustainable advertising model for IT companies, and they should follow it. 72.7% of companies consider that social media marketing is a must-have for IT companies.
However, almost ⅓ of survey respondents think that social media marketing is not a sustainable advertising model for IT companies. Having so many companies rejecting SMM as an advertising opportunity is the big surprise of the survey - in the last 5 years SMM has become a core branch of the digital marketing industry with more than 24,800 companies providing this service.
Key Findings and Conclusion
After analyzing the survey results there are several important things to note about IT companies and social media:
Most IT companies share a non-mainstreaming type of content on social media
Visual content gains ground over text content and will likely become the most used type of content in the following period
Facebook and LinkedIn will lose the leading positions of leading social media channels among IT companies while Youtube and Instagram will probably take their place.
Most IT companies are prepared to assign human resources and provide SMM services in the B2B sector.
Budget is still a challenge for IT companies on social media.
Leads are what IT companies want most from social media activity.
Almost half of IT companies are willing to share content from other sources on social media
⅔ of companies consider that their presence on social media channels is important or very important
Social media channels have a positive impact on the revenue and income of IT companies
The survey was done between September 10-30, 2021, on a poll of 310 IT companies from 14 countries. The below 27 companies gave the consent to be listed in the survey and participate in the giveaway of winning the Google Nest device as a recompense for their time and effort. While 283 preferred to be anonymous for the open public.
- ManekTech, India - https://www.manektech.com/
- Manderina Promotions, Albania - www.manderina.com
- Leads Dubai, United Arab Emirates - leadsdubai.com
- Launch Digital, South Africa - https://launchdigital.agency
- Digital Eggeads, Pakistan - https://digitaleggheads.com/
- 1stFold WebSolutions, Pakistan - https://1stfold.com/
- Rise Marketing, United States - https://rise.co
- Upmedio, Thailand - https://www.upmedio.com/
- Black Door Creative, United States - blackdoorcreative.com
- Edifian, New Zeeland - https://edifian.digital/
- SEO XOOM, Pakistan - https://seoxoom.com
- Shake It Up Creative Ltd, United Kingdom - www.ShakeItUpCreative.com
- Lift Conversions, United States - https://www.liftconversions.com/
- HasoTechnology, India - https://hasotech.com/
- Siwtech Solutions Pvt. Ltd.,Pakistan - https://www.siwtech.com
- Interfinet Technologies pvt ltd, India - Http://www.interfinet.com
- Global Desarts Media, Kenya - https://www.globaldesartsmedia.co.ke
- Bits Orchestra, Ukraine - https://bitsorchestra.com/
- Eternal Media And Communication, Ethiopia - www.eternal-media.com
- AI Technosoft, India - www.aitechnosoft.com
- Amptize, India - https://amptize.com/
- Fludium, United Arab Emirates - Fludium.com
- Imagine, United States - https://imaginedc.net
- D Cloud Solutions, India - dclouds.in
- PixoLabo, Japan - https://pixolabo.com
- Noboru World, India - www.noboruworld.com
- Elevate Digital, United Kingdom - https://elevate-digital-solutions.com