Many advertisers believe that pushing brand names on social networking sites might turn off consumers. Some of the survey results I’ve highlighted over the past few months suggest that consumers don’t want to encounter a direct sales pitch on a social network site. Could all of that be changing as more consumers 76588_shoes_2engage with these sites and as they find more marketers online? The recently released study by Performics suggests an evolving consumer attitude about the purpose of social networking.

For one thing, consumer presence and participation in this sector is growing. Some consumers prove to be extremely connected:

  • Consumers who have 4 or more social network accounts: 25%
  • Consumers who access Facebook or Twitter daily from mobile phones: 25%

Besides checking on what their friends are doing or saying, consumers use social networks for other reasons. In particular, they’re talking about specific products and services:

  • Consumers who would recommend a product on Facebook: 46%
  • Twitter users who have recommended a product: 46%
  • YouTube users to have visited an online retailer after getting brand information on a social network: 36%

“Social networks are creating a monumental shift in how people communicate with each other and with brands,” said Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. As consumers spend more time using these networks and broaden the purpose of the networks in their lives, it seems reasonable that they will also tend to view the appearance of marketers in these locations in the same way that they might view their appearance in traditional media – a source of information. Marketers who develop their social network campaigns now can gain a competitive advantage over companies who arrive late to the party.

[Source: Performics Release, November 4, 2009]