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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 18, 2012

For sale: One social network?

Facebook is said to go on the market Friday morning, an Initial Public Offering (IPO) which could raise more than $15 billion according to Reuters. Why the interest in the world's largest social network? What does the IPO mean?

by Kristina Knight

"Facebook's IPO will have a significant impact on not just the social media industry, including the many companies that flourished because of the social network, but ultimately across all industries," said Larry Drebes, Janrain CEO. "First, the IPO validates the importance of the social technology sector and its role within our economy today. But the sheer size of this offering demonstrates organizations of all sizes will have to improve and figure out how to socially engage with their customer base in order to grow and thrive in today's business climate."

According to Nielsen 152 million US consumers visited Facebook in March 2012, and the US isn't the only market in which the social network is still a hot spot for consumers. One in five pageviews occurred on Facebook in April according to Hitwise with the average visit time to the social network holding at 20 minutes. Their user-base is also loyal, more than 95% of visitors are returning to the site. Nearly 10% of all online visits were to Facebook.

Outside the US, Facebook reaches just over 76% of the Brazilian marketplace, 70% of Italian consumers and 67% of Spanish consumers. It also has more than 50% reach into the marketplaces of France, the UK and Germany.

While traffic to the site is strong and people continue to spend much of their online and mobile time on Facebook, some experts say the platform needs an overhaul if it is to be valuable for brands. GM pulled much of its advertising, although it has kept it's Facebook pages, saying the ROI for Facebook ads isn't high enough.

Tags: Facebook IPO, Janrain, Nielsen, social marketing, social networks

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