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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 12, 2008

NetPop: Social Networks grow 93%

Social networking may be nearing the saturation point, but it still offers advertisers an interesting avenue. Because social networks are still growing substantially, marketers have the chance to fully engage the social audience.

by Kristina Knight

According to new research from Netpop, social networking has grown 93% since 2006. Facebook has shown 500% growth in the same timeframe, likely because it recently opened it's doors to all users from a previously school-based network. Researchers believe that with the US economy in trouble, social networking will continue to be a strong force for marketers - and for consumers.

"Social media will play the same role in this recession that movies played in the Depression," said Cate Riegner, Vice President of Research, Netpop Research, LLC. "The growth of social
networking is still accelerating and the bonds consumers are developing with friends and groups
of like-minded people are just beginning to shape behaviors. Companies need to be there,
talking to both their existing and potential 'fans.' Brands that experiment in social advertising
now will be in the best position to leverage these important media channels when the economy
turns the corner."

Although social marketing is still in the beginning stages, this report indicates that as social ads develop deeper engagement and as marketers become more familiar with how to best use social networks, social marketing will become one of the most important ways to reach consumers.

Tags: Netpop, social consumers, social marketing, social networks

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