Social media companies will be happy to hear that marketers are planning to increase their budget for social media marketing this year. What they wouldn’t be too happy to hear is that the increase wouldn’t be that dramatic. Still with everyone cutting corners these days the fact that budgets will be increasing is great.
Forrester’s report “Social Media Playtime Is Over” states that more than 50% of the 145 interactive marketers that participated in their survey plan on increasing their social media budget. They stated that the reason for budget increase is social media’s ability to “inexpensively and quickly get marketing messages out through interactive discussion and rapid word of mouth.” However, this budget increase also means that they will be looking for more quantifiable results and unless given a way to measure results will be unwilling to make the budget increase more substantive. As the Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang wrote, “interactive marketers must move beyond experimentation by making social applications a permanent part of marketing, measuring and demonstrating their value, and integrating them into marketing efforts.” Hence, until reliable measurement tools come out you can be sure that the majority of the interactive marketers will stick with their budgets, which according to the survey is around $100,000 or less.
Aside from the non-significant increase what should bother social media marketers more is that most of the survey participants indicated that their social media efforts are not really integrated in their overall marketing strategy. This means that they are still very unsure as to the effects of social media marketing. Until this is overcome we cannot expect these marketers to give more thought to the social media marketing efforts.