Study: Social media use emphasizes customer loyalty

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New York—U.S. companies that use social media mainly to deepen customer loyalty spend significantly more money than those that use social sites for brand awareness, customer acquisition or other core marketing purposes, according to a new study by the Direct Marketing Association.

The study, conducted with loyalty research company Colloquy, found that the average social media spending per company to reinforce customer loyalty was $88,000 in 2009, compared with $53,000 for brand awareness and $30,000 for customer acquisition.

The results demonstrate that marketers remain unsure of how to use social media as a marketing channel, according to the DMA. This is reflected in how small social marketing budgets are compared with overall spend; most companies in the study allocate less than 4% to 5% of their marketing budgets to social media, the study found.

The DMA-Colloquy online study was conducted in June and July, and was based on 369 valid responses.

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