When is the business world going to fully embrace this thing we call social media. A recent report has revealed that brands are still unsure of how best to leverage the large communities on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Tim Hoang reports. 'Despite the clamour by the marketing industry to affix 2.0 to all things vaguely Internet-related, it would appear that marketers are still struggling to fully utilise social networks as a channel of communication.'
That said there has been an increasing spend by marketers on social media sites. eMarketer recently predicted that by 2012, £285 million will be spent advertising on sites such as MySpace and Bebo. The popularity of social networking sites continues to be strong with around one-third of the total number of Internet users in the UK accessing them last year.
In the report, JupiterResearch underlines how difficult it can be for marketers to fully embrace social networks. However, it has made a series of recommendations in order to get the most out of social networks:
• Marketers should promote their pages with paid adverts rather than relying on viral marketing to get the message out. The vast majority of marketers attempting to generate viral buzz don't succeed in getting users to pass along their messages. • Advertisers need to engage users on the page. Even simple forms of engagement, such as contests, on average doubled the number of friends acquired by each branded page. • Marketers must appeal to social networkers' love of multimedia to get noticed. Social Networkers are twice as likely to visit a branded page focused on media content than a branded page focused on products.