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Lithium Sponsored Study Reveals Only 13 Percent of Marketers in US Have Sufficient Social Media Tools in Place

Study from independent research firm finds social media marketing technologies drive significant business results, yet most brands are not taking full advantage of them

SAN FRANCISCO – September 26, 2017 – Social media marketing platforms drive significant business results. So why are only 13 percent of US businesses using them? That’s the question raised in a commissioned Lithium Technologies study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, released today. Every competitive advantage counts in today’s economy, so can brands really afford to fall behind on social? [click to Tweet]

The Forrester study looked at B2C and B2B businesses’ adoption of social media marketing (SMM) platforms, how they use these platforms, and what results they are seeing. Respondents represented companies generating $100 million or more in annual revenue, and only 13 percent are investing in social media marketing platforms. This is despite the fact that most US consumers use social media as their primary channel to engage with brands, whether they are browsing, shopping, or getting their questions answered about products.

“Consumers turn to digital channels first when they want to engage with brands, yet brands are woefully underinvesting in, and underutilizing, the powerful potential of social tools to deliver awesome experiences on digital,” said Lithium President and CEO Rob Tarkoff. “The stakes are high; not only are brands missing out on a great opportunity to gather important data about what their customers want, they are also not tapping into social’s potential to help them acquire, serve and grow their customer base.”

Why is this? Many companies are piece-mealing social tools together or opting for free services, only to find these platforms fail to scale and don’t empower them to engage audiences across social networks. Respondents that have invested in comprehensive social media marketing platforms are seeing impactful results: 75 percent report their platform is utilized amongst multiple teams, with greater scale and synchronized efforts. As a result, 60 percent of brands with a SMM platform in place experience increases in customer acquisition and engagement.

Of the marketers who have invested in an SMM platform, the study found that they are seeing tangible results. The following percentages of marketers report that their SMM platform has:

  • Improved customer retention – 57%
  • Helped them acquire new customers – 60%
  • Increased their conversion rates – 57%
  • Increased customer loyalty – 50%

“Social media is maturing rapidly as a business tool,” said Tarkoff. “Just as companies no longer use spreadsheets to manage their finances, simply cobbling together disparate stripped down products doesn’t deliver the real business value of a truly integrated social platform. Companies who invest in the right SMM platform will ultimately build better digital customer experiences, and realize outsized returns.”

Check out the full study results:

Check out this short video highlighting the study results:


The study surveyed 100+ social media marketing professionals with responsibility for social media strategy and social media technology purchasing at US companies, including a mix of B2B and B2C companies (excluding agencies). Participants were from firms generating $100 million or more in annual revenue.

About Lithium:

Lithium delivers awesome digital customer experiences at scale for the world’s biggest brands including Airbnb, AT&T and Sephora.

Comprising Social Media Management and Communities, the Lithium engagement platform enables brands to manage multiple digital touchpoints, facilitate millions of conversations, and drive smarter decisions through data – connecting customers, content and conversations at the right digital moment.

Lithium has a massive digital footprint with approximately 480 million new digital interactions analyzed daily, 100 million monthly visitors across its Online Communities, and 850 million online profiles scored through Klout.

Learn more at, join our community at, or follow us on Twitter @LithiumTech. Lithium is based in San Francisco.

The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact

Eddie McGraw
Lithium Technologies
+1 (650) 430-1978


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