Marketers to hit social media campaign trail in 2008

In Hungary

Over 90% of marketing departments are planning to launch a social media campaign in 2008, despite the fact that over a third are yet to use social tools in their organization.

A survey, conducted by LEWIS PR at PR Week’s New Media Conference, revealed that 75% of attendees are planning to use a blog as a social media asset in 2008 - an increase of 50% on 2007. The number of firms planning to use social networking is tipped to increase from 33% to over 70%. A quarter of marketers are currently setting no marketing budget aside for new media projects, according to the study.

However, by 2009 up to 66% of marketers will set aside up to 25% of their budgets on social media efforts. „Marketing departments are likely to increase their focus on social media networking over the next couple of years,” said Mark van der Wolf, head of creative services and social media at LEWIS PR. „These networks offer an unprecedented opportunity to interact with various stakeholders in the corporate environment. For example, 85% of attendees believed that using social media would improve the relationship they have with their customers.”

The survey, which was conducted among 150 marketing, communications and media professionals, also revealed an element of fear behind future investments. Almost 23% believed the advantages are unclear, while 42% felt that the costs outweigh the benefits. „More than a third of companies plan to invest in social media because they want to be regarded as innovative, while others do so to gain a head start on the competition,” added van der Wolf. „Regardless of their motivation, it’s imperative that these companies prepare themselves thoroughly before launching their campaigns. In social media, trust is essential - and, once lost, this is very difficult to regain.”

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