Over 45% of brands say finding skills and resources in social media is a challenge. Whilst most brands (75%) manage real-time social engagement in-house, new research reveals that 50% are not dedicated full time to social media. Most are managing wider roles within marketing or communications.

survey of blue-chip brands, by social digital specialists, immediate future, also reveals that 45% struggle to find the skills and resources in social. In fact, one in six brands outsources the management of social profiles to agencies.

“Most companies understand the importance of bringing some of the core social media skills in-house”, comments Katy Howell, CEO at immediate future, “and we have always been strong advocates of brand owned real-time engagement. But when we asked brands about best practice, only 3% suggested that dedicated resource was a priority. Many marketers and comms professionals are managing dual roles and this can cause further challenges when activating real-time engagement”.

Finding skilled resource is not the only challenge though. 62% struggle with managing out of hours’ engagement, 38% with personalising content and 38% with creating content on the fly.  The research reveals that brands also use external specialist resources to support their own capabilities.

The survey is detailed in a new report, called ‘In The Social Moment’, from immediate future that benchmarks how brands are managing real-time social engagement. It uncovers the benefits, challenges, skills, tools and operational preferences – to give a snapshot of how companies are facing the new, more agile, communications.

Management of real-time social engagement often requires a skill set that is different to other communications. When asked, brands said the most important skill (75%) was creativity and the least was technical knowledge (2%).


The report produced by social digital consultancy, immediate future can be downloaded for free at

For more information please contact:

Sarah Sharkey
020 8547 1830


With 10 years’ social media experience in helping brands create robust and actionable social media strategies, immediate future is one of the most respected independent social media consultancies in the UK. immediate future are experts in real-time social engagement, offering services including:

• Training for your team
• Social sprint services that deliver community management with ‘on the fly creativity’. Expertise built on managing the social profiles for Sony Music’s Syco (across 14 artists), Hotpoint, Thomson Reuters and more
• Proving the value of real-time social. Everything from up-front planning and a roadmap, through to measurement grids and evaluation frameworks. We bring insights to life with actionable recommendations.
immediate future are official social media trainers for the Institute of Direct Marketing and Chartered Institute of Marketing. They have authored book chapters, contributed to the IAB social media council and are founding members of the CiPR social media panel.

Client experience
Sony Europe, Staples Europe, EC Harris, Ideal Shopping Direct, BBC, Diageo Global, Sony Music, Ubisoft, Selfridges, Indesit, Post Office, Hotpoint, JD Williams, General Medical Council (GMC),HoMedics, Festo, IBM Tealeaf, HSBC, BT, Royal Collection Trust, ASOS, Mirror Group, NSPCC, EMI, AVG, Thomson Reuters, Baileys