Consider this: according to Groundswell, in 2009, more than four out of five online Americans are active in either creating, participating in, or reading some form of social content at least once a month.
According to a broad survey of some 1,450 marketers from Equation Research:
* The adoption of social media is well past critical mass–with nearly two thirds of brand marketers (59%) currently implementing social media in their marketing plans
* Facebook, Twitter, online video and blogs are the 4 most popular social media tools. Yet none of these are being used in isolation–on average, there are 5 to 7 other social media tools being either actively used or dabbled with by marketers at the same time
* While traditional media channels account for the largest proportion of marketing spend; Online, Search and Social Media as a group are approximately a third of all current spend. For smaller companies this increased to over 40%
* Looking towards 2010, brand marketers forecast a shift in spend towards digital tactics, feeling the areas most likely to increase will be Social Media (60%), Online Advertising (53%), Search Engine Advertising (49%) and Email Marketing (41%).
While it is easy to get all excited looking at the stats above, I want to offer some cautious optimism here. There is little doubt that social media is here to stay. At the same time, it is important to realize that Social Media comprises less than 3% of the current digital spend.
The biggest barrier to adoption has been the lack of metrics to measure the effectiveness and ROI on Social Media campaigns. Once we figure out the problem of attribution, the growth curve for social media is going to look even more steep.
I offer 2 posts that focus on the ROI challenge
- Monetizing Social Networks: will attribution be the answer?
- Monetizing Social Networks- what will the privacy advocates say?
Do you think social media has become mainstream? I look forward to your thoughts.