Companies across the globe, including India, will spend an average $19 million (Rs 119 crore) on social media this year, a global study by IT services major TCS said on Tuesday.
According to the Mumbai-headquartered company's Global Trend Report on social media, this average spending will rise to $24 million (about Rs 150 crore) by 2015.
"Companies will spend an average of nearly $19 million per company this year on social media and will increase that to $24 million by 2015," said the report titled 'Mastering Digital Feedback: How the best consumer companies use social media'.
Most consumer companies have become serious about social media in just the last three years, it added.
TCS's Global Trend Report explores how 11 global consumer industries and large firms in the world's 4 largest economic regions are using social media.
This is the fourth report TCS has published since 2011, the last being on Big Data, it said.
Market research firm ResearchNow surveyed 655 respondents from mostly $1 billion plus consumer companies in June and July this year, the average revenue of which was $15.6 billion (median of $4.9 billion), it added.
"Fifty-six per cent of respondents have measured the return on social media investments and most of them say it has been positive," the report said.
Marketing and customer service are the functions that most regularly view consumers' comments on social media, it added.
"The three biggest success factors for using social media effectively are protecting consumer data, having a corporate culture that values consumer opinions and responding rapidly to consumers who have issues about a company or its products," the report said.
It further said that since 2010, 64 per cent of the firms covered have assigned at least one full-time equivalent to use public social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Only 10 per cent of enterprises are realising significant improvements to their business as a result of social media investments.
Despite the hype and increased investments, it seems that enterprises are still struggling to make the most of social media, the TCS report said.
"Despite ready availability of digitised consumer to consumer interactions in social media, its use by companies is today largely limited to being a mechanism for B2C marketing," TCS Vice President and Global Head (Digital Enterprise) Satya Ramaswamy said.
It is time the companies took a multi-layered approach to social media and learnt to harness its power across enterprise in critical revenue drivers like new product design by incorporating feedback from social media in these important business functions, he added.
Media and entertainment industry has the highest percentage of firms using social media, while insurance is relatively new to it, the report said.