Corporate Eye

Social Web Becomes Mainstream – Is Your Brand There?

According to a new report by Forrester, the social web has become mainstream in the United States.  In fact, it’s grown to be commonplace with more than 75% of Internet users actively participating in some form of social media in 2008.  That’s up from 56% in 2007.  If you were wondering whether or not your brand should have a presence in social media, it looks like the proof is in the numbers. 

Of course, some social web participants are far more active than others, and the trick is finding active social web users to act as brand advocates and word-of-mouth influencers to give your brand a boost.  However, the first step is to get a social web presence for your brand, if you don’t already have one.

Check out some of the interesting statistics from the Forrester report as published on Brandweek:

  • The number of “spectators” (passive participants, reading blogs, etc.) in the social web grew from 48% in 2007 to 69% in 2008.
  • The number of “critics” (writing reviews, etc.) grew from 25% to 37%.
  • The number of “collectors” (reading RSS feeds, tagging online content, etc.) grew to 19% (12% above 2007 results).
  • Blog or personal website publishers (i.e., content creators) grew from 18% to 21%.
  • Blogging alone grew by 10%.
  • Starting a social network profile grew by 39%.
  • 48% of respondents have read a blog (up nearly 50% from 2007).
  • The age gap on the social web is narrowing.  Participation is still dominated by younger users, but use among 35-44 year-olds is growing rapidly, particularly among “critics”, “joiners” and “spectators”.

The social web is a great place to develop a relationship with consumers, and relationship brands are extremely powerful.  The typically enjoy strong customer loyalty, word of mouth marketing and sales.  Are you using the social web to give your brand a boost?  Leave a comment and share the tactics you’re using.  If you’re not using the social web, leave a comment and share the barriers you’re facing.

Image: Flickr

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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 and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, 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+.