A study from Forrester Research has estimated that European businesses will be spending €3.2bn on marketing via social media outlets by 2017 – with nearly a quarter of this generated within the UK.
The report has forecast that Britain will be spending €816.5m (or £691.8m) on their social media presence – more than double the 2012 figure of €391.6m (£331.7m) – as use of such platforms as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube becomes an increasingly prevalent facet of internet marketing.
In keeping with this increased concentration on such platforms, the report continues, will be continued growth in the number of people emerged in social media themselves. Currently, 63.4% of Western Europeans have a presence within social media, but this figure is expected to top the 70% mark by 2017.
As identified by Forrester’s report, as social media platforms became more and more immersed in the wider web, it may become ever more difficult to determine how much return on investment is being directly generated by efforts put into marketing via sites like Facebook. This suggests that businesses need to view their social media marketing as part of a broader package of techniques – such as including newsfeeds, savvy web design and excellent content within their own websites – in order to boost their online presence.
Though the news is promising for those companies who already invest time and money in social media marketing, Forrester researcher James McDavid has warned that the estimated figures could be altered dramatically depending on the impact of currently hazy laws on Europe-wide online privacy, set to be introduced in 2016.