Social Networking - more popular than email?

11th March, 2009

Last year Respose One conducted a survey of UK adults to examine the relative effectiveness of different advertising services in driving consumers to visit a company’s website and ’seriously consider making a purchase’. Advertising on social networking sites ranked marginally above unsolicited email and unsolicited text messages when it came to encouraging customers to visit an advertiser's website.

Some saw this news as the storm clouds brewing over social networking as an advertising medium which most thought of as being used by a difficult-to-engage youthful market anyway. However a year on and the outlook seems far sunnier.

The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) posted information yesterday about the growth of web 2.0 based on a recent report by Nielson Online. The report indicated that social networking is now more popular than email among web users around the globe and I for one use these sites to communicate with friends and family more than I use email.

Member community sites, such as blogs and social networks, are now the fourth most popular website category in the world and are growing twice as fast as categories such as search, portals, PC software and email.

The Nielson Online report also showed that Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the world and reaches 3 out of every 10 web users in the main economic markets including the UK, USA, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Australia, Germany and Switzerland. Figures from Facebook suggest that they have more than 175 million active users in total which means that nearly 3% of humankind is on Facebook!

Visiting social media sites acoounts for 1 in every 11 minutes of time spent on the web with the fastest growing user demographic being the 35 to 49 year olds (my demographic group...........).

The UK market also stood out as being a nation of 'early adopters' as the report also revealed us Brits are the most likely to access a social networking site from a mobile as our need to be in touch now extends to when we are 'offline'.

With two thirds of the world's online population accessing blogs and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter it would be unwise for brands to exclude these from the marketing mix. Although the initial results from using this media have been far from exciting it is clear that with the broader demographic take up and the wealth of freely given data to enable targeting and segmentation; social networking is likely to be the next big thing......... again.


As a consequence Nexus is now on Twitter so click here and follows us. You can also find us on Facebook.

Jason Edge

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