Solution to Lack of Social Media Marketing Resources? Do Nothing

Though many marketers and other business decision makers acknowledge their social media marketing activities are hindered by lack of resources and competency, a recent survey conducted by R2integrated (R2i) concludes few may be addressing this issue head on.

Though many marketers and other business decision makers acknowledge their social media marketing activities are hindered by lack of resources and competency, few may be addressing this issue head on.

This is among the conclusions that can be drawn from a recent survey conducted by marketing and technology agency R2integrated (R2i) that also suggests a continued paucity of defined social media strategy.

296 professionals from several leading industries were surveyed from November 5 through 19, 2010. 42% stated that time and resources were the greatest barriers to entry into social media and 38% that their biggest mistake with social media was not allocating proper time and resources. Looking ahead, 45% felt time and resources would be their greatest combined challenge in 2011.

“One possible reason for this conundrum may stem from companies trying to be all things to all people in all places, which is simply a time and resource impossibility for programmatic social media marketing,” said Matt Goddard, CEO, R2i.

According to R2i data, 56% of companies do not have a defined social media strategy, while 45% have no plans to hire dedicated staff to manage their social media marketing. Social Times reported on a previous R2i data from April 2010 that found 50% of marketers had a social media strategy.

In terms of how marketers and their companies react to social media technologies, 15% are skeptical of and slow to adopt them. Currently, 31% of marketers use social media to publish content, 27% use it for lead generation and business development and 19% use it to listen to conversations and monitor their brand.

28% of survey respondents measured social media marketing effectiveness through website traffic and inbound links, 18% through leads. When asked if they have been able to make a conversion from the initial connection to a sale via social media, 39% responded no, 36% yes, and 25% that they were getting close.

The majority of respondents at 62% checked that they would allocate up to 20% of 2011’s marketing budget on social media activities. They intend to focus on websites (35%) and search (20%) as their two main marketing channels.

Marketers and businesses took what seemed to be a safe and restricted approach to social media marketing in 2010 with 43% focusing on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. There is some indication that they may do the same in 2011. Most do not plan to investigate or invest in other social technologies such as augmented reality, social buying, geo location or QR codes in the coming year.

“Most marketers understand the basic need to provide useful content to social spaces, but they aren’t able to keep up with the ongoing publishing demands, and don’t know how to manage conversations around their content within a community of interest,” said Goddard. “Even though there are tools to amplify brand monitoring and listening, true social marketing management systems will be needed to hone and better target conversation content, thereby making better use of marketer’s time and resources and increasing overall social media effectiveness.”