As budgets increase, marketers hope to understand more about social media

Marketers are becoming more mature when it comes to their social media marketing, and many in the US say they hope to move beyond the experimentation phase in the coming years.

In October 2011, at the second annual Pivot Conference, a survey found that 37.1% of marketers said their company will move beyond experimentation in social media marketing in 2012. An additional 14.6% expect to do so in 2014 and 5.6% by 2015. Nearly 8% said it would be later than 2015 and more than a third (34.8%) said they did not know when they would move past the experimentation phase.

There were many factors that marketers cited as influential in their drive for more mature social media marketing. Among the respondents who said their company would move beyond social media experimentation in 2012, 68.5% said an increased understanding on the benefits of social media was a factor that encouraged this maturation. Additionally, 60.9% cited a development of clear social strategy, 54.3% pointed to clearly defined outcomes and 51.1% mentioned metrics as having an influence.

While only 26.1% of respondents said budget increases would influence the move beyond experimentation, marketers also told the Pivot Conference that social media marketing would make up a higher percentage of their marketing budget in 2012 and beyond. While 37% of respondents said social media would be less than 5% of the marketing budget in 2011, only 27.1% expected that same low percentage in 2012 and just 18.8% predicted it would remain that low in 2013.

Percent of Marketing Budget Spent on Social Media Marketing According to US Marketers, 2011-2013 (% of total)

The combination of bigger budgets and increased sophistication will likely spur companies to go further toward reaching maturity in their social media marketing efforts and foster new examples of successful social media campaigns in the coming years.

SOURCE eMarketer

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