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Advertisers using more social media

Advertisers using more social media

Nearly 90% of advertisers using more social media in the mix than last year according to the latest Harris Interactive/ LinkedIn Research Network poll, which contrasted consumer perceptions of advertising against the views of advertisers – both the client companies themselves, and their marketing, advertising and media agencies.

The poll highlighted that online social media in particular is ramping up with nearly nine in ten advertisers incorporating this as part of their media mix more often than a year ago.

But there’s broad recognition that there are limits to what social media can achieve alone, with the majority of those using online social media using it in an integrated campaign (64%).

Andrew Freeman, Senior Media Consultant at Harris Interactive commented, “The research shows that social media is not just hype, there is true momentum behind it – but it also warns us that not everyone thinks of it as doing the same job.

“Strangely, over 1 in 5 of the client advertisers (21%) think of their social media campaign as a stand-alone activity – three and a half times the number of agencies (6%) who think of it in this way.”

The popularity of social media is not just because it is fashionable: most agencies/advertisers recognise the importance of their brands and products establishing a social networking presence.

The vast majority of advertisers/agencies think that online social media is at least somewhat effective in promoting products and ideas (84%). But the proportion of clients who think it is VERY effective (21%) suggests these programmes are still being driven by their agencies (35% who think that it’s very effective).

Despite the rush to adopt this new approach, just over a third of the client companies (36%) and nearly one in five of their agencies (18%) work with brands/products that have not yet established a social networking presence.

This is particularly the case for those who are primarily involved in Business to Business marketing, where the figure is twice as high (44%) as for consumer-facing marketing (19%).

So while 2009 has clearly seen social media become a commercial vehicle for consumer advertisers, perhaps 2010 may be the time for business to business marketing to exploit the power of networking among their audiences also.

Business success has often been built on WHO you know – and with the growing strength of networks like LinkedIn, brands can use this to create real commercial advantage.

When looking specifically at Twitter, its exponential growth over the past year now means that over half of advertisers believe it can be effective in promoting products and ideas.

And as with social media, it is the agencies who are more convinced than their clients: while 6% of advertisers think it is VERY effective, this rises to 10% among the agencies they work with. Interestingly – in terms of how they think Twitter might develop, it is clients in this case who are better aligned with the public’s opinions of Twitter.

Of those who have an opinion of Twitter, their slightly more conservative view shows 36% of clients think Twitter is something that is just at its infancy, and that its use will grow exponentially over the next few years – very similar to the 37% of consumers who share this view.

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