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Spanish and Dutch Europe’s most ardent social networkers

Spanish and Dutch Europe’s most ardent social networkers

Social networks among business people are more popular in Spain than in any other country, according to a recent study conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI).

The survey shows that 75% of Spaniards are members of social networks, compared to 63% in the Netherlands and 51% in the UK.

The attraction to social networks could be attributed to its business benefits. Social networking allows Internet users to further relationships with both colleagues and business contacts.

Of those asked in six countries across Europe, 47% said they visit social networking sites predominantly to interact with friends and colleagues. Networking is the biggest motivator in Spain (50%), UK (49%), and Italy (42%).

For others, social networking sites offer a chance to spy on their peers. The French proved to be the nosiest nation, with 53% of social networkers admitting that observing was their primary reason for participation. They’re closely followed by Italy (44%) and Germany (43%).

Despite the endless hype surrounding Web 2.0, SSI’s survey showed that few B2B users have incorporated the new technology into marketing and brand awareness plans.

Even in Spain and Germany, which are the leaders in the use of social networks for business, only 25% of people said that Web 2.0 is part of their marketing strategy. Figures from other countries are even lower: Italy 20%, France 19%, UK 11%, and Netherlands 8%.

Of the few that choose to use social networks actively for business relations, participants revealed that the main opportunities are for public relations and customer relations purposes.

Survey results showed that more than 50% of business people log on to networking sites every day. The survey, conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, indicates that business people are increasingly fond of online networking, with four percent admitting that they log on every hour.

Managing Director of SSI Europe, Michel Guidi, said, ”This survey indicates that B2B users have a sound understanding of social networks as a space, but are reluctant to incorporate it into marketing plans.

“This consensus across Europe suggests that social networks are not yet regarded as a forum for new business. Perhaps Web 2.0 technology will be applied to marketing strategies in this or other forms in future.”

SSI surveyed 6,874 business people who are members of its OpinionWorld online communities in the UK (2,551), Spain (702), Germany (645), France (1,137), Italy (1,510), and The Netherlands (329).

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