While leading brands are using social networking sites to influence and entice customers, it seems they still have a very long way to go.
The results of a study conducted by WorkPlace Media, reveals that brands that are advertising on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter are not yet receiving the kind of response they would like.
The survey, about the impact of social network sites on brands, was conducted in May 2009 among 753 Americans with access to the internet at work.
The findings reveal that 55% of office internet users have a social networking account. However only 435 of them access the account while at work, and 78% spend less than 30 minutes per day on the site, while 13% spend 30 minutes, 5% spend 1 hour and only 4% remain open all day long.
Unfortunately for the brands, 96% of respondents reported that the absence of a brand on the social media did not change their opinion about it, while only 12% said the presence of a brand helps to change their mind about it. 11% said they do not follow any brands on the social sites.
33% said they had received a recommendation for a brand on the social networks, but only 25% had recommended a brand on the social media and just18% acted on such a recommendation.
Most people still prefer the traditional word-of-mouth recommendation from friends or colleagues. 21% in person, and 12% on the phone, while only 4% each, use public and private social networking sites for recommendations.
89% of respondents had a Facebook account, 40% MySpace, 31% LinkedIn and 18% Twitter.
89% of respondents use the network only to stay in touch with friends and family, and 18% take product recommendations on social sites, of which 53% look up entertainment, 50% dining out, 23% groceries, 21% beauty care and cosmetics, 20% apparel and 15% each for electronics and pet care.
According to Terry Goins, Executive Vice President, WorkPlace Media, “it’s clear that the social media is just that, it’s social”.