SINGAPORE: Advertisers in the Asia-Pacific region are planning big increases to their social media marketing budgets, with many earmarking mobile as a key channel for this activity.

A new survey of the region's marketers by Buddy Media, a social media agency, found that just 26.4% of respondents foresee spending less than 5% of their total budget on the channel in two years' time. Currently, a large majority (66.4%) keep their social spend below this limit.

Similarly, the total allocating 5–25% of their budget to social media is anticipated to rise from 28% currently to 63.2% in 2014.

Almost three in four (74.4%) of respondents said their employer had implemented a company-wide social media marketing strategy for the past year or longer, while just 10.4% said they still had no strategy of this kind.

In terms of social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most common venue for brand activity, used by 88.5% of the sample, with Twitter (66.4%) and YouTube (62.4%) in second and third places respectively. The figures also revealed that just over one in five (20.8%) were using Pinterest and 12.8% Google+.

Ken Mandel, managing director for Asia at Buddy Media and the author of the report, said: "It doesn't surprise me that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were the most widely used social networks in the region ... But it was certainly interesting to see Pinterest cited more often that Google+, and serves to further show the rapid growth that the young social network continues to show."

The Buddy Media poll also revealed that just over 80% of respondents viewed developing a bespoke social media marketing strategy for the mobile channel as "important", while just 6.4% said the issue was "not at all important" to them.

Overall, the most commonly-cited measure of success for the campaigns was to grow fans and followers for a brand (82.4%), followed by increasing brand engagement (72%) and growing awareness (68%). Hard business effects were generally seen as less of a priority, with generating sales or conversions cited by 49.6%.

"It's encouraging that so many brands and agencies are focused on using social media to engage with fans, followers and consumers," Mandel added. "That tells me that respondents are taking a very mature and understanding approach to social media marketing in the region."

Data sourced from Buddy Media; additional content by Warc staff