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What Are Marketers Spending on Social Media?

Most spend less than 20% of their marketing budget on social

When it comes to how much money to spend on social media, most marketers have less than 20% of their marketing budget set aside for outreach on social sites—including advertising and maintaining a social media presence.

Advertising Age and Citigroup spoke to US marketers in June 2012 and found that half of them (49.5%) said their company spent between 1% and 10% of their marketing budget on social media. An additional 19.0% spent between 11% and 20% and nearly one-tenth (9.7%) set aside nothing out of their marketing budget for social.

While these percentages may seem small, marketers reported that budgets were increasing. AdAge and Citigroup found that 72.9% of respondents said they expected their overall social media budget to increase over the next year. This is in line with data from Useful Social Media, which, in April 2012, found that 54% of US companies planned to increase their social media budgets by up to 25% in 2012.

As budgets for social media grow, marketers are also figuring out how to best measure the success and ROI of this tactic. AdAge and Citigroup focused on how marketers measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads and found that 27.2% of respondents placed the most importance on clickthroughs, while 15.8% preferred assigning a value to Facebook “likes,” and 10.7% were using a GRP-like metric. An additional 12.9% said they were not really sure how to measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads at all.

Although these marketers have a handful of metrics to choose from, they are not necessarily satisfied with the measurement tactics available from Facebook. AdAge and Citigroup found that 61.3% of marketers said they were somewhat satisfied with the data and analytic tracking they received from Facebook, while 10.1% were very satisfied. Over a quarter of respondents were somewhat or very dissatisfied with Facebook data and tracking.

All of this leaves room for Facebook to improve its insights and measurement offerings. By doing so, marketers will be more willing to participate on the site, and on social media in general, and increase budgets along the way.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Online Data Collection Explodes Year Over Year in US” and “Budget Tightening in France Helps Ecommerce Grow.”

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