In a survey released this January, a smaller sampling of 320 business people revealed that social marketing is maturing. "Companies experienced in social marketing are moving beyond growing social presence and reach," said Brian Zanghi, CEO of Awareness, Inc., provider of on-demand social marketing management software (SMMS) and sponsor of the State of Social Media Marketing Survey. "They are shifting to active social media management for increased lead generation and sales."
Nearly two-thirds of experienced social marketers planned to increase their social reach investment in 2012, mostly represented by expansion into new platforms such as blogs, YouTube, Forums, foursquare, Flickr, SlideShare, and Tumblr. In addition, the report identified top-line trends, such as a lack of sufficient resources as the top challenges affecting marketers this year (77 percent): Only eight percent of respondents reported a social marketing budget above $50,000. But, 74 percent have between one and three workers dedicated to social media who monitor for brand mentions at least a few times per week (78 percent) and also monitor industry conversations (62 percent).