August 5, 2008

Vital Statistics

By Anonymous

This month Advertisers are failing to take advantage of social networking sites to promote their brands, according to a report from JuplterResearch. The study shows that half of all sponsored groups on web 2.0 sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace have fewer than 1,000 members across Europe.

Dozens of big-name brands including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Vodafone have invested heavily in developing branded social networking pages to communicate with consumers.

However, JupiterResearch claims that the average sponsored group has just 6,494 friends, raising questions over the effectiveness of the social networking strategies being rolled out by advertisers.

Despite the huge potential of Facebook, Bebo and MySpace to engage audiences, most advertisers build social networking pages that push content to consumers, rather than pull them in towards their brands, using branded social networking groups as they would typical microsites, the research finds.

"Most advertisers simply don't know how to market properly within social networks," said Nate Elliot, research director at JupiterResearch. "Many marketers create dull, noninteractive pages and wait for a viral marketing effect to bring users to their door."

Crucially, the study calls on marketers to employ simple tactics, such as competitions and forums, which can help to double the number of friends acquired by each sponsored group.

Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Jul/Aug 2008

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