Social Media Research: 2009 Tribalization of Business Study

Deloitte LLP’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice recently released the results of the 2009 Tribalization of Business Study, which evaluates the perceived potential of online communities and identifies how enterprises believe they may better leverage them. The study measured the responses of more than 400 companies including Fortune 100 organizations which have created and maintain online communities.

Key findings:

  • Marketers are paying close attention to non-active users or “lurkers” – people who observe the community, but don’t participate in the discussion.
  • 32 percent of respondents are capturing data on how lurkers derive value from the community
  • 20 percent of respondents have set up formal “ambassador” programs, which give outsiders preferential treatment in return for being more active in the community
  • 39 percent of the respondents indicated that more full-time people are being deployed to manage the communities
  • The top two analytics for measuring success are:
    • Number of active users (34 percent)
    • How often people post/comment (32 percent)

Of the companies surveyed, a majority agreed that the following continue to be top business objectives of online communities:

  • Increase word-of-mouth (38 percent)
  • Increase customer loyalty (34 percent)
  • Increase brand awareness (30 percent)
  • Improve idea generation (29 percent)
  • Improve the quality of customer support (23 percent)