It’s no surprise that social media’s popularity increased during the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it is expected that social media marketing spend will increase over the next few years.
A Harris Poll survey, commissioned by Sprout Social, found that almost half of the business executives who participated in the survey believe their social budgets will increase by as much as 100% over the next three years. Nine out of 10 of the executives expect to see at least some amount of social budget increase during this upcoming period.
In addition to its use as a tool to engage with actual and potential customers, social media has taken on more roles for consumers, such as helping them find new brands (43% of surveyed consumers), a means for recommending brands to friends and family (33%) and making purchases (36%). In fact, US businesses rely more on social media than any other channel for almost all of their vital business activities.
Additional findings from the Harris Poll survey included:
- Changing consumer needs have impacted the increase in social spending, as social media has become the main preference for consumers to learn about brands, rather than TV, email or print ads.
- 78% of consumer survey respondents are willing to buy from a brand following a positive social media interaction.
- 85% of the surveyed executives consider social media to be the center of their business intelligence. They see social media as an important factor in:
- Informing sales decisions
- Customer service
- Research and development
- Human resources
- 95% of surveyed executives see brands relying more heavily on social media for identifying business opportunities over the next three years.
However, despite the confidence expressed in the rise of social media, many of the surveyed executives were not as confident in their own social media strategy - only 44% of the executives said they were “very confident” about their social strategy. At the same time, 62% of surveyed consumers said that businesses will not maintain success over the long term without a strong social media presence.
The survey sample included 1,000+ US consumers and 250 business executives.