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Is social media here to stay? Marketers think so.

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Is social media still considered a fad? Or is it here to stay? According to the findings of Equation Research’s 2011 Marketing Industry Trends Report, the future of social media looks bright.

Equation Research found that nearly 60% of the 1,469 U.S. marketing professionals they surveyed for the report were already implementing social media as part of their marketing mix. Another 28% were planning on implementing it over the coming year.
Marketers already using social media aren’t relying on any one channel. Equation Research discovered that marketers could be using around five to seven different tools and platforms at any one time, the four most popular being Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online video.

With regard to budget allocation, 60% of respondents foresee a greater portion going toward social media next year as well as online advertising (53%), search engine advertising (49%) and email marketing (41%).
Of the marketers that were not currently using social media, the top three reasons for not doing so are:
1. Lack of knowledge.
2. Lack of metrics.
3. No budget for social media.
“The adoption of social media is well past critical mass -multiple published studies support this finding,” says the report. “While the quality of the implementations is difficult to asses, social media is now table-stakes. No business professional should be without a solid understanding of how this new world affects them.”