A February 2012 report by Microsoft Advertising, “Driving Word of Mouth with Social Advertising,” revealed that 55% of “top” social media advertisers worldwide are planning to increase their social media ad budgets in 2012, particularly those in the US and Brazil.
In both Brazil (81%) and the US (64%), a significant majority of leading social media marketers planned to increase social media ad budgets. A minority of marketers expected to increase social media ad budgets in Singapore and France (both at 47%), the UK (42%), and Canada (38%).
According to eMarketer, Brazil will have 75.7 million social network users by the end of 2012, and an internet user penetration rate of 87.6% – so marketers have plenty of reason to increase their social budgets.
How are marketers spending their social ad budgets? The agencies studied spend 48% of their social budget recruiting members, 39% on keeping them engaged, and 13% on “other activities to build or maintain their social media presence.”
The major goals of social media marketers were increasing word-of-mouth and brand strengthening (or “communicating brand stories”). Top social marketers also agreed that these goals will remain important three years from now: 63% of survey respondents said branding issues will be “much more important” than they are today, and 47% said word-of-mouth campaigns will be “much more important.”
However, these social media marketers currently believe (on average) that only 35% of their word-of-mouth efforts actually reach their target audience.
The Microsoft report was based on a study of 714 “social media leaders” in the US, UK, France, Brazil, Canada, and Singapore, designed to explore how marketers view and use social media.