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Sunday, June 15, 2008
Driving Opportunities Through Participating Marketing with Heather Dougherty, Research Director, Hitwise

Social Networking has achieved rapid growth from network effect and media coverage. My space is continuing to dominate the Social Network category in the US market. Social Networking users are willing to participate in multiple networks. The amount of time interacting with Social Networks has increased substantially. The average visit length for the first week of may in 2008 was over 27 minutes. The average length is 2007 was 15 minutes.

Retention rates are still high, so loyalty does continue among many users. High volume of inventory could prove significant relationship building opportunities. Social Networks are not just the playground of the younger users anymore. The 25-34 age group has had an increase of 9% since 2005.

The shift to an older demographic even more pronounced for Facebook. From 2005 - 2008:
25-34 = 7% increase
34-44 = 11% increase
45-54 = 8% increase

Big companies are getting into Social Networking.
  • Delivery.com takes advantage of viral marketing through Facebook.
  • Amazon enables gift purchases through Facebook app
  • Sears uses Facebook to enable social shopping for prom dresses
  • Victoria Secret Pink is one of the top pages on Facebook with over 350,000 fans
  • DiGiorno page on MySpace utilizes coupons and sweetpstakes to engage customers
  • I heart Zappos badges for customers to display brand affinity on social networks
In Summary:
  • Marketers must use caution or mistrust will erode the audience
  • Switching barriers are low
  • Enable your fans to act as advocates
  • Social networks will become a primary channel for targeted networking


by: Shawna Seigel



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