While most companies have increased the amount they spend on social media over the last year, the figures are still modest compared to investment in other channels. 

Our Social Media and Online PR report, produced in association with bigmouthmedia, finds that 28% of companies are not spending anything on social media marketing while a further 33% are spending less than £5,000 a year.

The majority of responding companies are not spending anything at all on social media, or less than £5,000 per annum, which wouldn’t really pay for much. Just 10% of companies are spending £50,000 or more per annum. 

This lack of investment partly stems from a lack of understanding of how to measure social media success. 47% of companies say “the jury is still out” specifically because they have not been able to measure results from their social media activity. 

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This modest investment in social media is also proving to be a barrier to social media success. 49% of company respondents say that lack of resources is a major barrier to success, and 30% say lack of budget is a significant issue. 

Other barriers include lack of knowledge, company culture, and measurement problems. Clearly some of the high profile ‘PR fails‘ around social media have made some companies cautious about engaging with social media, as 22% cite ‘fear of reputation issues’. 

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The lack of resources applied to social media is reflected in staffing levels. While 8% of companies have six or more staff dedicated to social media, the majority have very few people in social media roles. 

29% of companies do not have any employees in the organisation who are solely dedicated to social media, while this figure only drops to 27% for companies with a turnover of more than £150m, which suggests that budget is not necessarily the problem. 

Most companies have just one (32%) or two staff (17%) devoted to managing social media activity within organisations.  

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