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Social Media Strategies: How Top Brands Staff, Budget, and Measure

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
November 6, 2013

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.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Kim Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    Do you have a breakdown on B2B versus Consumer? Or was this focused on on consumer facing industries and companies? I would be interested in seeing stats on B2B.

  • by Gracious Store Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    Interesting and informative post

  • by Aaron Wed Jun 4, 2014 via web

    The artcile is very informative and enlightens on various critical aspects on digital marketing is one more good article i have come across, nice article on how to manage your digital marketing budget

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