Social Media to Reach Tipping Point This Year

With increasing numbers of marketers using social media, this channel is becoming established as a must-​have tool. The latest survey from Chief Marketer shows that social media is close to reaching the tipping point this year. And despite the continuing debate about the best way to use this channel, more merchants are allocating higher budgets for social media efforts.

Nearly ¾’s of merchants now use social media according to the Chief Marketer survey on this topic.  Another 15% will be initiating some type of social media effort this year which leaves about 10% of merchants who haven’t yet considered taking the plunge. B‑to‑C marketers are a little ahead at 78% while about 68% of B‑to‑B marketers say they use the social channel.

Top reasons for turning to social include:

  • Multiple customer touch points 85%
  • Reach consumers where they spend their time 60%
  • Opportunity to go viral 59%

Marketers also hope social will help them achieve goals such as driving traffic to their sites (56%), generating leads and sales (48%), and addressing brand fans (47%). So far, surveyed marketers say that social is driving 15% of their web traffic, a notable increase over last year’s 7%.

The key problem regarding social media has long been the doubts about effective measurement. Over half of firms say the lack of accurate ROI measurement is still a problem. However, merchants say they’ll increase spending on this channel. In this survey, the average social media investment for 2011 will be about $166,000. Many smaller firms, though, only spend about $5,000 on social media. But analysts expect the monetary outlay will continue to rise.

[Source: Quinton, Brian. Social Marketing Goes Mainstream. ChiefMarketer​.com. 1 Oct. 2011. Web. 3 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.