Social Media Users are Focusing More on Brands

The idea of marketers adopting social media by the boatloads is not a surprising statement. One of their biggest concerns has been will the consumer return the favor. Well some recent data shows that half of social networking users have became a fan or follower of a brand online. eMarketer recently published a report from Anderson Analytics that said, “52% of social network users had become a fan or follower of a company or brand, while 465 had said something good about the brand or company on a social networking site, double the percentage who had said something negative (23%).

Social Networking Site Activities of US Social Network Users, May 2009 (% of respondents)

Another study from Penn State indicated that 20% of all tweets mention specific brand names or products. They studied over 500,ooo tweets and found both positive and negative comments about the brands or products.

Measuring social media success remains difficult for marketers. Many of the metrics that marketers can track on social networks today involve what is called “soft ROI”— which does not show up in the bottom line. But a study from the Altimeter Group and Wetpaint, along with a separate study from Razorfish, indicates that the stronger a brand’s social media presence, the better the brand performed—whether measured in conversations or in financial performance.

“Social networks are a constantly changing database of consumer sentiment, attitudes and information, and marketers today have only the earliest glimpse of the potential,” said Ms. Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Companies that want to maximize their presence on the social Web must take advantage of social networks in all stages of the purchase funnel, from awareness to learning to buying to loyalty.”

What does this mean to you and me? It means that you can’t just simply set up shop on social and sit back and wait for people to come. Users are seeking out their favorite brands whether it’s online or through other avenues and you must be there.

Maximize your social network marketing. Download the new eMarketer report, “Marketing on Social Networks: Branding, Buying and Beyond,” now.

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