About 6 years ago I was involved in a large scale social start-up which was focusing on developing social communities around very targeted niche markets. We were constantly facing opposition from both investors and potential advertisers who would tell us that social media is a fad that would leave just as quickly as it came. Half a decade later this so called “fad” is still around and growing at a tremendous rate. Companies both large and small are beginning to see the benefits of engaging with your market and becoming a part of their daily lives.

Although we know that social media marketing was here to stay and would become a integral part of a company’s marketing mix a recent report from equation research confirmed (yet again) the obvious; social media is here to stay.

This small survey targeted 1,450 marketers and asked them a variety of questions related to thier online and offline marketing methods. When asked about social media, the majority of companies (almost two thirds) were marketing their brands on Facebook and Twitter. They are also reaching customers their usage of videos and blogs.

Although traditional media was still the largest part of the advertising mix, digital media (specifically SEM and social media) now accounts for over 1/3 of all ad spend. The more shocking statistics is that this number is up almost 40% for smaller companies. Social media has leveled the playing field and million dollars ad campaigns have given way to creative social endeavors that have went viral.

Moving forward the report experts to see a greater shift in digital advertising. this includes social media (largest suspected increase), online advertising, search engine marketing and email marketing. Companies who are still skeptical need to realize that the train is leaving the station and they better jump on board.