Social Media has been the buzzword in advertising firms around the world for the past few years. While some agencies are at the top of their game, others are just getting into it. Firms that have been mostly based in TV or Print advertising are now finding themselves in a losing battle. I’m not saying that tv and print are ending, but every year more companies are looking to social media for advertising.

The average percentage of budget spent on social media went from 10-12% in Jan 2009 to 15-20% in Jan 2010. (Source) There are also companies now putting a large percent of their budgets directly into social media. Just recently Jetstar, an Australian airline, announced that it will be allotting 40% of its budget to social media.

Now social media isn’t the be-all end-all for marketing. Some companies will have no use for customer interaction. But, as customer awareness grows, we’re going to see more and more businesses heading that direction, using social networks in sync with other forms of marketing. I think we’ll see a ceiling at 50%, where social marketing goes hand-in-hand with newly tweaked traditional advertising. A total social media marketing approach won’t work for most businesses, but print and tv and radio marketing must be aligned with a strong social media strategy.

We’ll be seeing some big budget numbers for social media over the next year from major companies as they transition into an open-dialogue marketing approach. We’ll also see some companies fall under the stress if strategy isn’t well thought of (see: How not to follow the bitter example of Nestle).

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