IDC Study Reveals Emerging Social Media Trends Across Vertical Markets

FRAMINGHAM, MA, July 11, 2012 – IDC today announced the availability of a new study, 2012 U.S. Social Media Trends by Vertical (Document # 235591), that highlights the adoption of social media as an emerging technology across six major vertical markets including banking, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and utilities. Part of IDC's annual vertical view survey, the unique study found that similar to Internet adoption in the 1990’s, B2C companies – especially retailers – are driving social media adoption while B2B companies lag behind. The report also found that social media is enabling organizations to increase productivity and improve knowledge sharing as they leverage social networks to share best practices and identify appropriate resources.

Additional key findings include:

Increasing awareness of product and services is the top social media investment driver

Respondents cited managing and tracking all posted content as the top challenge to social media

Social networking accounts for half of the social media budget

Marketing is the biggest user of social media and is driving the purchasing decision of these technologies

The study also found that when comparing social media investment to other emerging technology areas, retailers more than any other industry are making strong investments. Successful retailers are integrating their mobile, analytic and social media strategies into one cohesive business approach. Social media touch points such as Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon are enabling these organizations to analyze customer behavior and in turn deliver personalized offers direct to a consumer’s mobile device.

"Industries that are consumer focused such as communications, media and recreational services are spending a larger percentage of their IT budget on social media as it is easy for them to make the shift to adopting the way consumers communicate," said Eileen Smith, Program Manager, Global Technology and Industry Research Organization at IDC. "However, there are early adopters in vertical markets such as insurance and professional services. Emerging uses in the construction industry for instance demonstrate how B2B organizations can leverage social media as a powerful collaboration tool to share project and material data, submit bids and review designs"

Across all verticals, the research found that moderating conversations about products and services was not a high priority. IDC notes that companies are not taking full advantage of the communications aspect of social media and are using it more as one way method of communication – gathering feedback or pushing brand messaging to a wide audience – rather than collaborative communication as the medium was intended.

IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization conducts an annual vertical view survey to understand the buying needs across 24 industries. Respondents are surveyed regarding spending on IT products and services, business drivers and top IT initiatives, as well as investments in emerging technologies. The 2012 study was conducted from February to March and is the first in a series of presentations that will be published on emerging technologies and information technology trends.

For additional information about this research, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Eileen Smith, please contact Julie Crotty at 978-877-0053 or request information on custom data cuts or subscription services, contact

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-872-8200.