According to a recent survey, budgets for social media marketing are likely to increase significantly over the coming years.

Over 460 companies were asked as part of the research and their marketing departments confirmed they currently spend around eight per cent of their budget on social, with this figure expected to be closer to 12 per cent in the next year and it will reach more than 20 per cent by 2018.

When the same question was posed four years ago, three per cent of the budget was spent on social marketing. The increase to the current figure equates to an increase in budgetary spending of approximately 139 per cent. This growth contrasts starkly with an overall reduction in budgets for traditional advertising and marketing strategies, with budgetary allocation expected to fall to two per cent.

The increased spend in social media marketing was evident in business to business platforms and business to consumer platforms, with global giants Coca-Cola predicting the biggest increase.

Despite the almost universal growth in social media budgets, there is little evidence to show that social media channels are fully integrated into existing marketing plans. Of those surveyed, less than 10 per cent of marketers believed their social media channels were seamlessly adjoined to their traditional marketing practises.

This has left marketing executives with the problem of integrating their social media platforms with their more traditional marketing strategies. Experts are warning that it is not enough to simply throw more money at social media marketing. Instead companies need to solve the mystery of fully integrating their marketing channels.