Posted March 16, 2009 8:55 am by with 8 comments

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Forrester Research just released a report that suggests the tough economy will be the catalyst for more spending on social media marketing.

The survey of 145 interactive marketing professionals snuggles-up nicely with cScape’s research published in December that suggested companies will focus more on customer engagement in 2009.

Highlights from the report authored by Jeremiah Owyang include:

  • 53% of interactive marketers expect their budgets for social media marketing to increase as a response to the recession.
  • Social media budgets remain miniscule compared to the rest of interactive marketing. Three-quarters of marketers say their social media spend is $100,000 or less over 12 months.
  • Social media is not yet a marketing line item. 45-percent of marketers say their social budgets are determined as needed and 23-percent say they scrape together funds from wherever they can find them.

Only 25% of companies are spending more than $100k a year on social media and it’s not yet a line item? Reminds me a lot of search engine marketing circa 1999. If you spend peanuts on social media, you’ll get…peanut butter–not filet mignon–when it comes to seeing results. Something Owyang agrees with:

“If you continue to fund social applications only as experiments, you’re unlikely to be able to do enough to make an impact, or to have a secure source of funding for the future. One way to put these efforts on a firmer footing is to concentrate on objectives and measure progress… rather than just experimenting to see what happens.”

You can purchase “Social Media Playtime Is Over” from Forrester for $749.