MarketingSherpa has just issued the results of their latest benchmark survey of the social marketing tactics most frequently used by organizations for marketing purposes. Based on an assessment of more than 2300 companies, the results are summarized in the chart below, which shows the average percentage of companies using each social platform for tactical purposes.  And the winner is . . . drum roll please . .. participating on company branded or managed social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (78%).

Not surprisingly, organizations are increasingly making an effort to engage with customers across the channels through which those customers are communicating with each other.  All of these figures represent an evolution of the stats provided in Connecting With Consumers.  Of course, what the chart doesn't tell us is the extent to which managers are simply going through the motions of channeling part of their marketing budget into social media because it's what everyone else is doing and so they can say, 'and we are, too.'  But it's one thing to have an intern managing the company's YouTube and Twitter content, and quite another to have a team working from a coherent strategic framework, one oriented towards true engagement.  Sherpa's takeaway point clearly zones in on this point:

Keeping in mind that your strategy must outlast the revolving door of leading social media technologies, tactics should be social brand agnostic when creating your organization’s plan.  In other words, an enduring tactic would be to "build and participate in a network populated by our targeted audience," not "build and participate in a Facebook fan page."

And it would also be helpful to know the extent to which companies are monitoring and tracking the impact of their social media activity.  Maintaining a serious, expert social media team requires money, and as we all know, budgets are dependent upon results.

Note:  Speaking of MarketingSherpa, a great online resource for social (and other) marketing information . . . keep your eyes peeled to their site because it won't be long before you'll have a chance to win a free copy of Connecting With Consumers (check out their 'Book Giveaway' link in a couple weeks).