Social networks trump other media as free-time activity
Social networks have caused a fundamental shift in the way people interact with each other and with media, with more than 70% of Americans 15-34 actively using online social networks, according to a recent study, the findings of which were released at the "Never-Ending Friending" conference for News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media (FIM) marketing clients, MarketingCharts writes.
Examining both the growth and marketing power of online social networks, the study issued by FIM was conducted in partnership with Isobar and Carat USA by marketing research firms TRU, TNS and Marketing Evolution.
The research showed that social networking sites have gained a foothold in the primetime hours; that they enrich existing relationships with family and friends; and they initiate meaningful brand connections, according to FIM.
More than 40% of all social networkers said they use social networking sites to learn more about brands or products that they like, and 28% said at some point a "friend" has recommended a brand or product to them.
The research found that brands Adidas and Electronic Arts, which have run campaigns on MySpace, attributed more than 70% of their marketing return on investment to the "Momentum Effect" - a metric coined by Marketing Evolution to quantify the impact of a brand within a social network, going beyond traditional advertising impressions to encompass the "pass-along" power of consumer-to-consumer communication.
Asked which free-time activity they would choose, U.S. social networkers chose interacting on sites such as MySpace.com as their favorite activity online or offline, ahead of television-viewing and on par with cell phone usage, FIM reports.
Moreover, 69% said they use social networks to connect with people who are already their friends, and 41% said they connect with family members.
Current social networkers spend on average more than seven hours per week on social networking sites. Also, more than 31% of online social networkers claim they spend more time on the Web in general after having started to use a social network.
Social networkers were also more inclined to engage in other entertainment media and activities, including listening to music, playing games and talking on the cell phone, according to the study.
Source: Marketing VOX