Social Media Spend to Exceed 5% of Digital Marketing Budgets within 3 Years

It seems that every major research and consulting company is publishing their latest findings on what marketers are doing with social media. Booz & Company is no exception. But their survey was designed to reveal how the social media function fits into existing organizations. And their results shed some light on how marketers expect they will continue to fund this effort.

According to the Booz & Co. findings, the average marketer is using 4.6 social media platforms. The most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Other than that, marketers say they’re turning to blogs or their company-​owned platforms. For them, LinkedIn and location-​based media are still emerging.

For the most part, the social media function is housed in the marketing, digital or public relations department. And for social media to succeed in an organization, the following environmental factors must exist:

  • Ability to adapt and react quickly
  • A clear champion or owner
  • Clear communication from the executive suite
  • Education on what can be achieved with the platform

Marketers strongly feel that social media works best at the upper level of the purchase funnel. Brand building (90%), interactivity (89%) and buzz building (88%) are the top benefits when social platforms are being used properly by the company and its potential customers.

Nearly all respondents in this survey agreed that they will allocate more of their digital budget to social media. And over half expect to hire full-​time employees to support the function. This includes community managers as well as content creators. At the same time, nearly half also say they will buy these services from a partner.

Finally, as social media taps more organizational resources, managers say the funds will be diverted from other digital channels, like display, and not from traditional media.

[Source: Campaigns to Capabilities. Social Media and Marketing. Booz & Co. October 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.