This IDC study provides an overview of the evolution of social media tools used for business purposes among Western European SMBs. Starting from the assessment of current familiarity and adoption, the study analyzes adoption trends by mid-2014. The study also provides an evaluation of the primary reasons to undergo social media projects, and for those that still have not made plans to invest in these tools, it assesses which are the key challenges for adoption. The study draws on the results of IDC's IDC European Vertical Markets Survey carried out between August and October 2012 in the top 5 Western European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.) among 1,603 companies with more than 20 employees of which 791 were companies with 20–499 employees.
"Adoption of social media tools within the business is progressing at a fast pace among Western European SMBs as business executives are increasingly supportive," said Nina Bonagura, senior research analyst, IDC European Industry Solutions. "Cost is nonetheless still a challenge as economic conditions make it difficult to raise and set aside the necessary funds for investment. Therefore, providing clear ROI measures and best practices and educating SMBs through evidence-based business cases that weigh both tangible and intangible benefits associated to social media in delivering on business goals is crucial."