December 6, 2010

Big Jump in Social Media for Holiday Marketing

Three-quarters will market on social sites this holiday season

Holiday advertising budgets are shifting as marketers increase their reliance on online channels, according to research from BDO USA.

While print advertising remains on top for holiday spending, nearly 27% of retailers reported they would spend most of their budget for the period online, including on social networks. That was up just from 18% last year and puts online ahead of broadcast for the second year in a row.

In addition, 75% of respondents said they had included social networks in their marketing strategy, up dramatically from 51% in 2009. Most focused only a small percentage of total marketing efforts on social networks, but nearly 18% said at least 20% of their efforts were social.

Facebook is the main venue for retailers’ social media marketing, followed distantly by Twitter and other social networking sites.

Facebook has been a consistent retailer favorite. the e-tailing group found in Q1 2010 that 91% of retailers planned to have a Facebook presence within the year, making it more popular than customer reviews. Marketers responsible for ecommerce have also been quick to adopt Facebook’s “like” feature. According to BDO, Facebook’s popularity among retailers was up significantly since 2009, when just 76% used it for marketing.

Other researchers have likewise found that more companies are planning to use social media marketing this holiday season. US online retailers told in September that the three top changes in their holiday plans vs. last year were increased use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The same month, an e-tailing group survey found most US multichannel retailers planned to up their social media usage this holiday season at least a little.

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