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September 3rd, 2009

eMarketer: Social Network Users Connect with Brands

A new report by eMarketer brings together recent studies from Anderson Analytics and MarketingSherpa that shows interaction by the social networked population with brands and companies is higher than some people might believe.

According to the Anderson study 52 percent of the social networking population has become a fan or followed a company or brand on some network or another. And despite the fact it’s usually someone’s problems or complaints that make headlines, twice as many people – 46 percent – have said something positive about a brand or company on a social network than have said something negative.

That last stat then leads into the MarketingSherpa study that gauges how effective social media marketing is seen by the marketers in that space. The majority see such efforts as either Very or Somewhat Effective in terms of brand reputation, SEO and online traffic generation. But when it gets to actually increasing online sales, the Not Effective respondents grows to 46 percent.

All these numbers are constantly in flux and this report takes what seems to be a very high-level view of things. Once you get into case-by-case examples you’re going to see people who have cracked the nut on turning social media strategy into measurable online sales gains. Most of those success stories, though, are the result of the trial, error, iterate process until a successful model is found. The key for marketers then is having the flexibility and the freedom to embark on just that journey.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

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