A new survey has revealed that 87% of medium and large- sized UK businesses with a minimum annual turnover of £25 million intend either matching their 2011 social media marketing spend in 2012, or, in some cases, spending even more.

The survey, by the Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB), and based on the opinions canvassed from 200 senior company executives between 11th and 26th October last year, also revealed that 39% believed their social media activity in 2011 had either benefitted their companies commercially, or enhanced their reputation.

The survey found that those businesses with revenue over £2.56 million were most likely to regard social media as a cost-effective means of communication.

Of the few businesses intending to reduce social media spend in 2012, around 50% said this was because of budgetary pressures; with only 27% claiming to be reducing their spend because of poor results from their existing social media outlay, and 15% claiming to be doing so because of risks to their brand or reputation.

Commenting on the findings, RBS CIB’s head of technology, media and telecoms, John Dixon, said that UK companies ‘clearly understand the importance of social media’. Dixon also pointed out that social media’s ‘increased popularity’ among businesses was all the more impressive coming as it did at ‘a time of increased pressures on marketing’.

A separate finding from the survey also revealed that tablets had become a standard business tool, regularly used for work-related tasks by around 47% of those senior executives canvassed.