May 31, 2011, 5:52 PM

Retailers place their bets on social marketing

Retailers place their bets on social marketing.

72% of retailers plan to spend more on marketing via social networks this year than in 2010, according to the annual State of Retailing Online survey conducted by Forrester Research Inc. for Shop.org, the online retail division of the National Retail Federation. Forrester conducted the survey in March, gathering responses from 68 e-retailers, including web-only retailers, multichannel retailers and manufacturers who sell online to consumers. Despite the anticipated increases, social networks still account for only a small part of marketing spendÑ2% of the $5.5 million average marketing budget among the retailers responding to the survey. And only 29% of respondents say social marketing has helped grow their businesses. Still, 18% of respondents say that a social network presence is among their top sources for acquiring new customers. And 82% agree with the statement that they are pursuing social marketing strategies because "this is a great time to experiment and learn more about what they can do."

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