NEW YORK: Marketers are beginning to take a more nuanced approach to using social media as their experience with this medium grows.

According to a survey of 1,898 leading executives by Social Media Examiner, the online magazine, proving the return on investment from this activity was the number one priority among participants.

This marked a significant change in objectives from the same study last year, when gaining an understanding of the various possibilities available was the primary goal.

More specifically, 88% of respondents were currently active on Twitter, 87% had established a presence on Facebook, 78% were using LinkedIn and 46% were adding video content to platforms like YouTube.

Indeed, all of these properties were found to have enhanced their overall importance at the expense of other Web 2.0 tools during the last year.

As such, while 70% of the panel employed corporate blogs to connect with consumers, a minority of 27% utilised social bookmarking services like Delicious, falling to 22% for Digg, Reddit and other similar alternatives.

Elsewhere, only 11% of marketers exploited the opportunities offered by MySpace to reach their target audience, Social Media Examiner's report stated.

Some 43% of the sample had been leveraging social media for a "few months" and 31% had been doing so for a "few years", but 22% were "just getting started".

Contributors with the most experience displayed higher levels of uptake for each of the major sites, with 96% on Twitter, 91% on Facebook and 89% on LinkedIn.

Nearly two-thirds of more expert participants were also generating social video to promote their brands, indicating that their greater confidence extended to a wide range of areas.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff