Marketers at large brands are increasingly devoting a significant number of staff positions to social media: 46.5% of companies with revenues of more than $1 billion now have 50 or more employees devoted to social, according to a recent survey from Wildfire by Google and AdAge.
These large companies are also more likely to call on extra help: 65.5% have agencies as well as in-house resources managing their social activities.
This picture is quite different at smaller companies. Businesses with revenues of less than $1 billion a year most likely have one to five employees dedicated to social, and just 37.6% hire outside agencies.
Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 500 executives from large companies.
- 45.6% of respondents expect their social media spending to increase up to 10% in the coming budgetary cycle, and 15.9% expect an increase of 11% to 30%.
- Only 29.1% of respondents have a distinct budget for social. The rest are pulling spending from various areas, including traditional media, with 23.9% of budgets coming from print, television, and radio.
- Companies are equally likely to put social media spending under general brand marketing or digital media budgets.
- Among industry categories, retailers are more likely to have already developed distinct social media budgets, followed by technology and media and entertainment companies.
- Tracking content shares is currently the top metric for measuring the impact of social media initiatives, with 58.4% of respondents saying it is important or very important.
- The number of social followers is second, with 55.8% saying this metric is important or very important.
- For retail focused companies, metrics tied to ROI are seen as far more important than for marketers in general.
- Marketers' top social media worry is how to maintain high levels of audience engagement.
- Finding ways to effectively measure social initiatives is the next biggest concern, and maintaining brand consistency is third.
- The lowest-ranked concern is brand damage due to negative postings.
About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 500 executives from large companies with some functional responsibility related to social. Just over half (50.7%) of respondents work for businesses with $1 billion or more in annual revenues.
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