Travel and leisure marketing pros ask: How much should I spend on social media?

A 2010 study found that companies were planning to more than double their spending on social media in just 18 months.

American companies are planning to double their social media expenditures this year. And triple them in the next five years.

Want to know what everyone else is spending on social media?  So did the American Marketing Association.

It’s one of the most frequent questions I get from marketers of travel and leisure brands who want to shift some of their marketing dollars to social media.

Early this year, the American Marketing Association commissioned Duke University to ask CMOs across the country what they planned to spend this year.

Here’s what they found.

Last year at this time, the companies interviewed for this study were spending an average of 3.5% of their marketing budgets on social media efforts.

Only six months later, they were spending 5.6% of their budgets.

And by the end of this year, they expect to spend 9.9%.

That’s almost triple what companies were spending just a year ago. And the study predicts that percentage will increase to almost 18% in the next five years.

So what should you spend?

If you’re just starting out, the first question isn’t, “How much should I spend?” It’s “What’s my strategy.” In May 2010, a study commissioned by Digital Brand Expressions found that 52% of social marketers they interviewed did not have a social media strategy.

If you’re not sure how to get started developing your strategy, check out this post I wrote recently on the subject.

The second question to ask is “How do I pay for my new social media strategy?”

Some clients are building their social budgets by reducing budgets for legacy marketing efforts with declining results, including yellow pages advertising, direct marketing and collateral.

Let’s keep the conversation going. If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand, how  are you determining your social media budgets? Where are you finding the money to implement your social media strategy?


2 Responses to Travel and leisure marketing pros ask: How much should I spend on social media?

  1. […] If you’d like more information on what other companies are spending on social, I recently published another post on social media spending forecasts for the coming year. […]

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