Joe Meloni

A study from the Altimeter Group found that businesses using social media marketing are struggling to manage their accounts and to formalize use of channel throughout their organizations. The report says that the average large business using social has 178 accounts or projects that are included in Altimeter’s definition of social media. This number reflects social campaigns across major platforms, blogs and various message boards and forums.

Managing all of these accounts is consistently a major struggle for even the largest, best-staffed organizations. Additionally, the struggle will likely continue, as marketing efforts on LinkedIn and Google+ are becoming increasingly important for any business. Brafton recently highlighted increased traffic and features on both platforms aimed at making them more valuable as marketing tools.

Streamlining social media marketing campaigns can be difficult for businesses. Even as the channel has become a competitive necessity, many companies are not sure how to best integrate it into their business operations. This lack of clarity has not driven organizations away from investment, though, as 78 percent of responding companies said social media marketing has helped them achieve their goals.

As businesses look to improve their use of social media marketing in 2012, it’s likely that they will add manpower to do so. Brafton reported last month that 18 percent of marketers will make hires or find external support for their social initiatves. With 45 percent saying they struggle to find qualified creative talent, outsourcing elements of a campaign to third-party agencies can help reduce workload and ensure that initiatives are launched effectively.