Technology: Social media spend to rise

Econsultancy reveals that marketers and PR bosses plan significant online investment.

More than four out of five marketing and PR bosses plan to increase their investment in social media and online PR during the next year, according to a new study.

Digital publishing consultancy Econsultancy surveyed more than 800 senior industry figures during August and September. Respondents were a mix of those working for agencies and in-house.

The 82-page Social Media and Online PR Report 2010, on how organisations harness social media PR strategies, suggests there will be a significant increase in online PR activity during the next 12 months.

Asked if they expected investment in social media to increase or decrease during the next year, 83 per cent of in-house respondents said they expected it to increase. And 89 per cent of the agencies that responded said they expected their clients to increase social media investment.

Kerry Bridge, social media manager at Dell, said the report demonstrated how social media have become a key component of comms: 'At Dell, we are moving from a central social media team towards it being embedded into people's roles across the board. We've trained more than 1,000 employees globally and we will continue to roll that out.'

Despite the high expectation of companies for social media spending to increase during the next year, the actual amount being spent is still modest in real terms, according to the report.

More than a quarter of firms (28 per cent) say they are not spending anything on social media, while a further 33 per cent are spending less than £5,000 a year.

Econsultancy sent the survey to all firms on its database, including Google, Yahoo, BBC, BT, Shell, Vodafone and Virgin Atlantic. The report, sponsored by Bigmouthmedia, follows a similar study in 2009.

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