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Close to half of global marketers currently use social media in their marketing efforts, according to [pdf] a new study from marketing technology provider Unica.

Eight in 10 Marketers Use or Will Use SocNets
Reflecting the rapid explosion in the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter among consumers, a combined 80% of marketers currently use social media or plan to in the future.


Forty-seven percent of marketers currently use social media. Another 23% plan to use it in the next 12 months, and 10% plan to use it in more than 12 months. Only 11% have no plans to use social media, and 9% are not sure.

More North American Marketers Use Social Media
Comparing US and Canadian marketers with their European counterparts, the study reveals that a much higher percentage of marketers in North America (58%) currently use social media than marketers in Europe (34%).


However, 30% of European marketers plan to use social media in the next 12 months, compared to only 18% of North American marketers. About the same proportion plan to use social media in the next 12 months.

This means that European marketers’ usage of social media will be much closer to usage rates in North America by next year. However, 20% of European marketers have no plans to use social media, compared to 4% of North American marketers, suggesting there will always be a lag between the two continents in terms of social media usage in marketing.

Adoption is Healthy across Social Media Tactics
Adoption of social media by marketers is healthy across all tactics. The lowest-rated tactic, syndicated content, still has a net 53% expected usage rate. Not surprisingly, third-party social networking sites such as Facebook (82%) and blogs (70%) have the highest net expected usage rates. Microblogging sites, such as Twitter, also have a 70% net expected usage rate. This net includes a higher percentage of planned future usage than the net for blogs, reflecting on the relative newness of Twitter and similar microblogging sites.


Facebook, Twitter Grow More than 100%
Marketers who are unsure about the value of social media should take heed of the fact that the Facebook and Twitter social networking sites both experienced triple-digit growth in 2009, according to research from comScore.

Facebook surged to the number one position among social networks for the first time in May 2009 and continued its strong growth trajectory throughout the year, finishing with 112 million visitors in December 2009, up 105% from about 55 million visitors during 2008. Twitter finished the year with nearly 20 million visitors to its website, up 900% from just 2 million visitors in 2008. Much of Twitter’s extraordinary audience growth occurred during the first few months of 2009, at one point jumping from 4 million visitors to 17 million visitors between February and April.

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