Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

Social media Switzerland: wide use and routine, little innovation and dialogue

Facebook and LinkedIn come out on top, with YouTube and Instagram heading the chasing pack. The coronavirus had a clear impact on developments.

Social media has established itself as a key communication tool for companies and organisations. Nevertheless, one-third of respondents still do not have a social media strategy in place. The most popular platform is Facebook, followed by LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Despite the high level of activity on the various channels, those surveyed are not fully convinced about the cost-income ratio, with just 18% viewing the benefits of social media as greater than the expenditure involved.

The social media study by Bernet Relations and the IAM Institute of Applied Media Studies of the ZHAW has been published for a sixth time after first appearing in 2012. Guido Keel, the academic head of the study, shared the following observation on the developments identified by the study: “While social media has indeed arrived in the realm of organisational communication, with various findings suggesting that companies are now using it on a routine basis, one-third of businesses still operate without having a written strategy in place. There is also a palpable reluctance to embrace new technologies such as chatbots and to use new channels such as TikTok and Twitch.”

Irène Messerli, author and co-owner of Bernet Relations, added: “In terms of engagement, focus is placed on the production and publication of content on the top channels. Efforts aimed at establishing contact and cultivating dialogue lag a long way behind, however. If we consider an economy of attention, with more and more content coming out of more and more companies, it could become increasingly difficult to reach your desired target market.”

Steady awareness with respect to budgets and paid formats

Awareness as regards the use of money (budgets) and personnel (responsibility, processes) has stabilised somewhat. Some 73% of all responding organisations have a social media budget (2020: 78%), while 22% still do not have one in place. It should be noted here, however, that a greater number of smaller companies and organisations were included in the group of respondents this year. A majority of those surveyed had purchased reach for organic posts (boosted posts), with 49% having done so with Facebook, 34% with Instagram, 27% with LinkedIn and 14% with Google.

Coronavirus: impact on use

When it comes to new organisational forms, people are putting their faith in the tried and tested. For 85% of respondents, social media comes under communication/marketing, while 7% have a dedicated department and just 3% of organisations organise their social media in a newsroom. Influenced by the pandemic, the use of social media in external communication has increased for 42% of the respondents, with this also being true for internal communication in 36% of cases. However, a slight majority did not report any change (58% in the case of external communication, 50% for internal communication).

Little innovation: chatbots, tools, newsroom

Although many of the respondents are certainly interested in new channels such as TikTok, there appears to be little openness to experimentation. All the same, some 14% have gained experience with automated dialogue via chatbots (8% pilot tests, 6% institutionalised). The use of automation in the field of content planning and creation is somewhat more advanced. Here, 40% have already gathered experience, with 26% having done so on an institutionalised basis and 14% as part of pilot tests.

The Bernet-ZHAW study Social Media Switzerland 2022 was supported by news aktuell, a provider of numerous solutions for digital storytellers.

The complete study
Download the complete 2022 study (PDF 4.4 MB)
Graphics at Flickr
Twitter: #SocialMediaCH22
Bernet blog posts on the topic of studies

Irène Messerli, Bernet Relations
044 266 90 80

Guido Keel, IAM Institute of Applied Media Studies of the ZHAW
058 934 77 65

Bernet Relations advises clients in IT, technology, services, education, finance, administration and the non-profit sector on communications strategy and implementation. For 20 years, the team at Bernet Relations, led by Irène Messerli and Dominik Allemann, have been helping to further develop the field of communications with their Bernetblog (launched in 2005), checklists and publications. This is their sixth study on social media and the fourteenth Bernet research project.

The IAM Institute of Applied Media Studies at the ZHAW has been promoting professionalism in journalism and corporate communications since its foundation in 2000. IAM pursues the overarching goals of the university: education, continuing education, research and consulting.