Media planners say yes to social sites for 2010 - but how much?

In an article published today by

MediaPost

, it was revealed that in response to a survey of media planners, more than 50% said they planned to include social media in their media plans next year. A good article and report, one worth reading.

Study Finds Social Nets 'Realistically' Near Top Of 2010 Media Buying Plans

This does not offer us any insight into the level of spend though - what media agency or brand buyer would not be looking to consider these types of properties, particularly when surveyed. Everyone is trying it out, testing the water and waiting to see what happens. This test and learn strategy should continue on social networks for some time to come.

At

iCrossing

for instance, we find for clients that sites such as Facebook will not deliver the goods consistently when the goal is ROI, but to support an on-network activity, such as a fan page, it can be the perfect place to put the client's message. We have known for sometime that visitors to social sites are there to read or to shout, rarely are they there to book a holiday or buy clothes.

Secondly, the type of spend is not defined.

Given that budgets in display have shifted from big brand spends to having an ROI performance goal, we need to go after the individuals with the intent, not just focus on the context. That surely excludes the social properties again from the strategy. They remain attractive though because of the data of individuals and the data of who is connected to who. If the goal is brand or awareness the numbers add up.

There are tools that utilize these valuable social interactions but then allow us to place the advertising in more relevant places, a technique known as social retargeting. This is a relatively new approach though and I wonder to what extent the respondents are aware of it and whether this type of advertising would be included.

And then there is the argument of what is social media spending anyway? I commonly see people getting confused between a social site and a social media program. The study leans heavily towards advertising on the social networks themselves, but could the respondents be thinking about a wider dip into social media overall?

There is another stat that is getting less attention from the report and that is the continuing growth of online versus traditional. for 2010 respondents reported 43% to traditional and 57% to non traditional.

I want one in my house - 'nuff said!

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