Almost half of UK marketers (41 per cent) have indicated a “lack of understanding” as the top reason preventing them from investing in social networks for their marketing campaigns, according to a Sapient Interactive survey of 110 UK marketing managers and directors.
Sapient Interactive argues that such barriers need to be overcome because one in every 11 minutes spent online is now on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
The survey reveals that the other barriers stopping marketers investing in social networks include:
- No clear measurement/ROI (19 per cent),
- Not proven yet (17 per cent)
- Don’t know where to start (there’s too much out there) (14 per cent)
- Social networking is overrated (9 per cent)
However, these barriers are surprising considering that 50 per cent of the respondents feel that 2009 will be the year of social networking for marketers.
It is encouraging that in the past six months, 54 per cent of respondents to Sapient Interactive’s survey had run a social networking campaign.
Of these campaigns, 63 per cent were as part of a wider marketing campaign rather than a standalone campaign, which highlights the cautious approach that UK marketers are taking to social networking.
The ratio of social networking in campaigns will become more significant in the next six months as respondents look to increase its use as part of their integrated marketing campaigns.
Nigel Vaz, vice president and head of Sapient Interactive Europe, said: “Social networks should be a marketer’s dream! The time spent on social networking sites is increasing, and the audience has broadened and matured, therefore providing the ideal platform for carefully targeted, creative and personalised marketing campaigns.
"However, there is still a lot of confusion about how marketers embrace social networking either as campaigns on their own or as part of wider marketing campaigns. We believe it is about creating the social experiences that personify your brand. Segmentation and content are key because if doesn’t resonate, it fails. ”
Outside of social networking campaigns, the most leveraged social media by marketers is media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr (62 per cent), followed closely by micro-blogs such as Twitter (59.8 per cent) and corporate/campaign blogs (59 per cent).
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