A new study confirms the growing importance of social media. According to a poll from Effie Worldwide and Mashable, an overwhelming number of marketers consider social media to be integral to their strategies this year. The poll was conducted in February among ad agency executives and marketers from major U.S. firms.
Key findings from the poll were:
* 87% said social media was “important” or “very important” to achieving their biggest marketing goal this year.
* 70% plan to increase their social media budget by more than 10% this year.
* The primary social media goal is to increase Facebook 'Likes".
* Study respondents reported that social networking would take 11.9% of their overall budget this year compared with 13% for TV. That figure may be overstated, however, since $68.7 billion was spent on all TV advertising last year, compared with just $26 billion for Internet advertising.
Much of that spending will go toward trying to find new Facebook fans, which 35% of respondents said is their main goal in 2011. “Increase our presence on mobile” was number two on that list, coming in at 22%.
Other findings included:
* Brands that were cited for “effectively getting their message across via social media” include Old Spice ( chosen by 15%), Pepsi (8%), Starbucks (7%) and Ford (6%).
* 50% of respondents said they use a mix of in-house and agency to handle social media outreach.
* 80% said they were planning iPad-based advertising and/or an iPad-based app this year, while 20% said they were “not planning much” of either.
This study illustrates an important opportunity for agencies to lead their clients. How social are your efforts?