Marketers continue to grapple with the social media channel and how to use it effectively as a promotional tool. In addition, they must consider how to allocate their social media budget across the multiple formats that continue to evolve. A new report shows how businesses are spending their social media budgets and which industries are leading the charge.
Casual industry observers might believe that social media is synonymous with social networking. But social media involves several other tools and marketers are spreading their budget across these tools as follows:
- Social networking 52%
- Other 17%
- Blogs 13%
- Micro-blogs 11%
- Wikis 7%
For now, B2B companies are still well behind B2C businesses in their social media practices. According to the 2012 U.S. Social Media Trends by Vertical report issued by IDC, social media ‘leaders’ include retailers, consumer services and recreational services. Businesses that are playing catch-up include wholesalers, resource industries and healthcare providers.
Analysts say that many marketers are focusing significant resources on content management under the social media umbrella. And they find this focus ‘interesting’ as marketers still claim that measuring or finding ROI in social media is the main challenge. For now, marketers remain committed to social media but there is still a tendency in many organizations to use the format as a one-way communications device. In fact, analysts say there is a lack of “collaborative communication as the medium was intended.” If and when this communication occurs on a widespread basis, organizations will have to determine whether their social media investment is classified as customer relationship management, marketing or both. At the same time, increased collaborative communication could mean even more resources would be channeled to social networking instead of blogging or other formats.[Source: U.S. Social Media Trends by Vertical. IDC.com. 11 Jul. 2012. Web. 20 Jul. 2012]