Many businesses ask me how much they should plan to spend on social media and importantly, what to spend it on. Altimeter group has done a fantastic job of collecting data from companies about how they structure their organization for social media, and the growth in each area.
Overall, spending across the board in social media activities is up in 2011 vs. 2010.
Specifically, staffing costs are on the rise, to an average of $278k, which is up 48% vs. last year. This shows that organizations are staffing up in social media and digital marketing. The investment in staff suggests that social media is a long-term priority.
Companies are also looking to invest in training in social media. We work with hundreds of businesses each year on their social media training, and have noticed an increase as organizations try to get their staff up to speed in social media. In 2011 the average company will spend $23k on training, up 28% from last year. We expect that this trend will continue. Many of our clients sign up for our lunch or membership program to keep their social media marketing skills up to date.
There is also large spending projected for agencies and marketing. We train a lot of advertising agencies and PR agencies in social media, and it is no surprise that they are seeing growth in client spending here. Of note is the fact that Boutique Agencies are only slightly behind traditional agencies in terms of spending. As spending continues to shift from traditional to digital, this could be a problem for advertising agencies. Boutique spending is also outpacing traditional agency spending.
Also of note is the spending on blogger outreach and influencer programs. These are key to building relationships and it is good to see them specifically called out with significant $$ behind them.
How does your organization stack up?