A poll of more than 2,300 marketers in the US by Marketing Sherpa has found that the vast majority plan to increase their spending on social media this year.

Companies in the retail and e-commerce sector showed the greatest enthusiasm, but CPG brands still appeared to be among the most hesitant.

The organisation also surveyed 1,300 consumers, and discovered that 61% of "Max Connecters", or netizens with at least 500 social media "connections", "follow" brands to learn about new products and features.

By contrast, 64% of more "typical" web users said their main reason for doing so was to learn about special offers and deals.

As such, it appears that heightened expenditure will have to be matched with a nuanced understanding of a brand's target audience, and clear goals established for any social media activity.