Three-fourths of marketers are planning to increase their outreach to social media in 2010, while roughly half intend to up their efforts in each of the following: SEO, email marketing, and virtual events/environments, according to recent research by Unisfair.

The survey found that the most popular reasons for adopting virtual events are to extend marketing reach (32%) and increase lead volume (15%).

For those not embracing virtual events, the biggest barriers include not knowing how to organize a virtual event, the perception of a complicated set-up process, and a lack of a virtual event provider.

Lead generation and customer retention/engagement are the most critical objectives for marketers today, with 60% and 48% respectively ranking them as very important on a scale of one to five.

26%  of marketers (the highest percentage for any one method), say LinkedIn is the social networking tool proven to add the most marketing value. Facebook came in a close second with 23%.