Corporate Eye

Brands Gaining Credibility on Social Networking Sites

A study released by Insites Consulting reports that brands are finally gaining some credibility on social networking sites, which leads one to believe that companies are finally figuring out how to leverage the tools of the social Web to effectively build brands.  Of course, there is still a long way to go and a lot of learning to be done, but the results of this study are promising.

The chart from eMarketer shown below shows that 32% of people surveyed in the study believe that brands are the most credible source for information about a brand on social networks while 38% still believe that consumers on social networks offer the most credible information about brands.

 

emarketer_brands_social_networks_credibility

 

Not only are people trusting brands on social networks more these days, but they’re also actively becoming fans of brands on social networks.  35% of the people surveyed as part of the Insites Consulting study claimed that they have become fans of brands on social networking sites in the past.  That’s not bad considering that 40% of respondents to the survey reported they have become fans of celebrities and 44% reported having become fans of bands on social networking sites.

It appears evident from this report that brands can find success on social networks.  Naturally, brands that listen to consumers and offer valuable, interesting content to their social network fans are the ones that will find the most success while those brands that try to control the online conversation and interrupt that conversation rather than enhancing it will find far less success.

In other words, brands that are backed by executive leadership teams that understand and embrace the new form of marketing required on the social Web will succeed and those that continue to attempt to make traditional marketing work on the social Web will fail.  Considering over 950 million people around the world participate on social networking sites, it seems like a strategic imperative for businesses to shift their marketing plans to focus at least in part on social networking sites for brand building.

Has your organization embraced the new rules of marketing on the social Web?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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