RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Social Marketing : July 21, 2009

Is obsession with social networking good for marketers?

According to a new survey from metrics firm Anderson Analytics, consumers just can't get enough of their favorite social networks. But, is that good for marketers? And how do social marketers raise enough awareness to become socially famous - but not infamous?

by Kristina Knight

First, the statistics. According to the A.A. survey more than 70% of Facebook regulars say they 'can't live without' Facebook. However only about 65% of MySpace users said the same thing. This should come as no surprise to followers of social networking news as Facebook has been working to take over MySpace's top spot for several months - and has in fact taken the top slot several weeks in a row. This survey finds that Facebook is now the 'most valuable' social networks for 75% of respondents; 65% of MySpacers see their network as the most valuable.

What are consumers doing in the social space? For those under 35, having fun. The younger set sees social networking as a fun way to stay in touch whereas their older counterparts (those over 36) see social nets as a necessary tool to stay in touch.

How many consumers are networking? Just over one-third (36%/110 million consumers), with most spending time on the Big Three - Facebook, MySpace and Twitter - and most (61%) being under the age of 35.

But, is this a good thing for marketers?

In the short term, yes. But think about this: until about six months ago, MySpace was the top dog in the social space with Facebook and Twitter distant seconds. Now Facebook is top dog and Twitter is gaining ground every day. This is an indicator that social consumers are a bit fickle and will change 'favorites' quickly depending on circumstances.

For that reason, marketers need to really research the different social spaces and define a clear reason for being in the social space. Simple having followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook MySpace isn't enough. A brand needs to have a voice, a message and a way to interact with friends even after the social network loses favor.

Tags: Anderson Analytics, social advertising, social marketing, social networking, social networks

Subscribe to BizReport

  • Simon5

    Too bad the research fails to mention YouTube. Social networking changes things up but is certainly not "bad" for marketers. For example, marketing using online video can be helped greatly by people being on Facebook all the time. Facebook facilitates and makes it easy for people to share any video they find with others, no matter what site it's on -- YouTube, Veoh, DailyMotion, or AdWido, and so on.

  • Social networks offer enourmous potential to get your brand out there. Some observations though...

    If you are proactively marketing, put your effort not into the networks that have the most users, but the ones where you think your users will be prepared to engage with you. Facebook has 250m users, but they are mostly there to share news and pictures with friends and family; not to develop supplier relationships. Look to the networks where your customers go to build good business relationships, even though the overall audience may be smaller. Quality beats quantity every time.

    Secondly, don't just see it as a push medium, or even a medium to just converse with customers; look to them to make you aware of new opportunities. As well as the discussions you can see, there are probably many going on about your market and company, or people sharing needs for what you do, that you can't see. Move outside of your own conversations to find those that you aren't part of but should be.

    Finally, explore niche networks outside the Big Three. These are social networks appealing to people with specific needs or interests that may prove more fertile ground for your marketing objectives than the mainstreamers.

    Ian Hendry

    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.