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Social media is not a valid marketing tool. At least, that’s what a new study from Knowledge Networks shows.
The report says 83% of people on the Internet use social media. But only 5% of them ever use sites like Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace to make buying decisions.
Surprised? I’m not…
I consider myself normal (most of the time) and if other users are anything like me, then they have trained themselves to completely ignore advertising on social networking sites. It's gotten to where those boxes of graphics screaming "BUY ME!" don't even register.
The evidence shows I'm not alone: 63% of social media users thought that dealing with ads on the site are a “fair price to pay,” but only about 16% admitted the ads could make them more likely to choose one brand over another.
Study participants were asked if they “regularly” or “sometimes” turn to social media for purchase guidance in nine categories: travel, banking, clothing, restaurants, cellular, personal care, groceries, and drugs. The results were abysmal across the board. See the study here.
For a reason I can't fully figure out, the study also looked at how frequently folks are using Twitter. (It is the backlash de jour, after all.) It found that only 1% of the Internet population uses Twitter more than once a week--the same percentage as social media users.
Companies running social media sites would be wise to heed this study. Lest their sites turn into MySpace--one huge News Corp. billboard that became so annoying, users were almost dared to quit in droves.
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.