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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 25, 2009

Nielsen: Consumers spending nearly 20% of online time socially

When it comes to social networking, more consumers are doing it and doing it for longer periods of time. The latest numbers from Nielsen Online indicate that consumers spend 17% of their online time with social networks in August. That is an 11% increase over 2008.

by Kristina Knight

"This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used," ">said
Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen's online division.
"While video and text content remain central to the Web experience - the desire
of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving
the medium's growth."

Micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, blogs, and networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have all seen consumers increase the amount of time spent communicating with friends, family and co-workers, and advertisers have taken notice. Not only have consumers upped the time spent socially but marketers have increased the amount of money they spend in the social space.

Nielsen's report suggests that marketers increased their social spending by more than 110% between August 2008 and August 2009; last month marketers spend $108 million on social marketing, indicating that marketers' fears about social marketing have been upended or at least put on the back-burner as more consumers latch on to social networking.

"The considerable increases we've seen in ad spending over the past
year suggest that many of these concerns have subsided or been addressed. In
particular, advertisers that want to connect with core fan bases, such as movie
studios, are allocating more and more dollars to online communities like Facebook
and MySpace, where they can engage in an ongoing dialog with their target market," said Gibs.

Facebook and MySpace are getting the bulk of the ad buys in the social space. Facebook received most of the automotive, B-to-B and consumer goods ad spend while MySpace cornered the bulk of the entertainment, financial services and hardware/electronics advertising dollars.

Tags: Facebook, Nielsen Online, social advertising, social marketing, social networks, Twitter

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