As consumer usage of social media continues to increase in the US and around the world, marketers have transitioned from cautious engagement to full deployment.
Next year, four in five US businesses with at least 100 employees will take part in social media marketing, eMarketer estimates. That’s up from just 42% as recently as 2008, and the number of marketers using the channel will continue to rise through 2012.
“Marketers that have spent the past few years ramping up their internal social media marketing infrastructure—and their presence on sites such as Facebook and Twitter—will take social media to new heights in 2011,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report “Social Media in the Marketing Mix: Budgeting for 2011.” “And as they do, they will evolve the way they market across all media, not just online.”
eMarketer developed its social media marketing forecast through analysis of a dozen third-party surveys and their methodologies. The increase in usage stems from several trends, including rising consumer social media usage, the fact that Facebook now has a truly mass audience, and the promotional firepower companies have seen in action on social sites.
Social media is top of mind not only when it comes to usage but also spending. A worldwide survey of marketers by Maxymiser, a provider of website personalization tools, found that social media ranked third among areas marketers planned to focus their online marketing budget in 2011, after search and their own website.
According to several independent studies, spending on social media continues to rise.
“As spending increases, other marketing channels may lose budget,” said Williamson. “Total marketing budgets in general are not increasing, so social media spending must come from other types of marketing. Early indications are that offline media and promotions may be hit first.”
While the spending picture is bright, future increases will be tied to ROI. The need for effective measurement will reach its strongest point to date in 2011.
The full report, “Social Media in the Marketing Mix: Budgeting for 2011,” answers these key questions:
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Check out today’s other article, “iPad Sales to More Than Double Next Year.”
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