Social Networking InView (September 2010)


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M/A/R/C's latest InView report focuses on Social Networking, which is a hot topic in many of today's communities. This quick overview report offers great insights and conversations on Social Networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Flickster. The report examines social networking statistics and how it is being used in business applications.

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Social Networking InView (September 2010)

  1. 1. Social Networking InView September 2010 News and observations from Jun-Sep 2010© 2010 by M/A/R/C® ResearchAll rights reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form of printing or by any other means, electronic ormechanical, including, but not limited to, photocopying, audiovisual recording and transmission, and portrayal orduplication in any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from M/A/R/C Research.
  2. 2. Statistics/Trends A survey of CPG buyers found that they are more likely to visit a company’s website (74%) than its Facebook (34%) or Twitter page (28%) for information, coupons or promotional offers. If the consumer wants to let people know about their opinion or experience with a brand, more respondents said they would go to the company’s Facebook page (57%) than web site (50%) or Twitter (38%). (, 6/2/10) New research from AARP shows that 27% of Americans over age 50 use social media/networking sites. Among those that use social networking sites, over 60% are connected to their children and 36% are connected to their grandchildren online. (PR Newswire, 6/7/10) According to a new poll of social networking users, gay and lesbian adults are more likely to use Twitter, read blogs and check social network sites more often than heterosexual adults. Twenty-nine percent of gays and lesbians said they use Twitter, compared to 15% of heterosexual respondents. (, 7/13/10) A new survey reported that over one-third of Americans are “tuning out” from social networking. Among those that have tuned out, almost 40% said it was because someone was rude or uncivil to them through the site. (PR Newswire, 6/23/10) A study of the integration of social media with e-mail marketing found that e-mail messages with one social sharing option had a 30% higher click-through rate (CTR) than e-mails without the social sharing feature. Emails with three or more social sharing options saw a 55% higher CTR and emails with a Twitter sharing feature had a 40% higher CTR than those with no social sharing options. (PR Newswire, 6/21/10) A recent survey of consumers and marketers found that the two groups use tweets differently. Over 40% of consumer tweets are part of a conversation between Twitter users and just 1% are conversations between a consumer and a brand, while 75% of marketer tweets are simply broadcasting information and not engaging the consumers in a conversation or dialogue. (Business Wire, 7/27/10) Researchers from two different American universities have published the results from a joint research project about inferring the mood of Americans through Twitter messages. The project teams analyzed more than 300 million messages posted between September 2006 and August 2009 and found that people are happier on the weekends, with the “peak” of happiness occurring on Sunday morning. People on the West Coast are consistently happier than people on the East Coast for the duration of three hour time difference – if people on the East Coast are sending unhappy tweets at 10am EDT on Monday, people on the West Coast don’t start sending unhappy tweets until 10am PDT, or three hours after the first wave of unhappy tweets showed up. When all of Twitter is upset, the Midwest and East Coast are usually the most negative in their tweets. (New York Times, 7/26/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 2  3Q10
  3. 3.  A global survey of social network users found that, on average, women spend 5.5 hours per month on social network sites compared to 3.9 hours spent by men. Women also account for 47.9% of total unique site visitors in the social networking segment, but they consume 57% of pages and 56.6% of total minutes spent on the social network sites. (PR Newswire, 7/28/10) A new study of American internet users reported that they spent just over 22% of their time online visiting social networking sites, up from 15% last year. The increased time spent at social networking sites resulted in less time being spent on e-mail, or 8.3% of their online time this year compared to 11.5% last year. Mobile internet users break out their time differently, with 41.6% of their online time spent handling e-mail and 11.6% spent visiting web portals, while 10.5% of their mobile web time is spent on social networking sites. (, 8/2/10) An online survey found that 20% of adults said they would try to contact police, fire or other emergency responders via e-mail, websites or social media if they needed help and could not get through to 911 operators. If the respondents knew of someone else that needed help, over 40% would ask other people in their social networks to contact authorities on that person’s behalf, 35% would post a request for help on an agency’s Facebook page and 28% would send a Twitter help request to first responders. The survey also found that almost 70% of respondents think emergency responders should be actively monitoring social media for help requests and almost three-quarters expect help to arrive less than an hour after posting an emergency help request on Facebook or Twitter. (PR Newswire, 8/9/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 3  3Q10
  4. 4. Business of Social Networking Sites The location-based social networking site foursquare announced that it has raised $20 million from venture capitalists. The site was launched in March 2010 and already had 1.8 million users by the end of June, with roughly 10,000 new users signing up each day. The venture capital firms that provided the cash have valued foursquare at $95 million. (New York Times, 6/30/10) A study by a social media management firm found that each “fan” a company has on Facebook is worth $3.60. (CRM Magazine, 6/1/10) The co-president of MySpace, Jason Hirschhorn, resigned less than four months after taking the job. News Corp., parent company of MySpace, said that Mr. Hirschhorn’s departure was a “personal decision.” His co-president position will not be filled and Mike Jones will become sole president of the company. (Los Angeles Times, 6/18/10) Facebook was given a valuation of $23 billion by Elevation Partners, a venture capital firm that purchased 2.4 million of shares sold by Facebook employees on the “gray market.” The $23 billion valuation is three times what Facebook was estimated to be worth in 2009. (New York Times, 6/30/10) Paul Ceglia has filed a lawsuit saying that he owns 84% of Facebook. His claim is based on a “work for hire” contract allegedly signed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The contract states that Ceglia would pay Zuckerberg $1,000 for work he did on a different database, plus $1,000 for “continued development and design of “The Facebook.” In exchange, Ceglia would own a 50% interest in the “software, programming language and business interests derived from the expansion of the *Facebook+ service to a larger audience” and that if Zuckerberg did not finish his work on website by January 1, 2004, Ceglia would also receive an additional 1% of the company for each day the project ran late. (, 7/12/10) Twitter launched its first e-commerce service with @earlybird Exclusive Offers. People can follow the @earlybird account and get access to limited-time sales on products, concert tickets or travel deals. (New York Times, 7/12/10) Twitter will open a new data center in Salt Lake City. The company needs a larger facility to handle the 300,000 new accounts opened each day and the new building will be designed with the company’s “unique power and cooling needs” in mind. Twitter will transition over to the new data center from its current location in San Francisco over the next two years. (, 7/22/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 4  3Q10
  5. 5.  Facebook announced that it passed the 500 million member mark. The company had 250 million members in the summer of 2009 and added 100 million members between February and July of 2010. The company plans to have 1 billion members by the end of 2011, although industry analysts don’t believe that will happen since growth in the U.S. is beginning to plateau. For comparison, Twitter had 105 million users and LinkedIn had 70 million when Facebook made its announcement. (Los Angeles Times, 7/22/10) Data showed that Facebook only registered 320,800 new members during a 31-day period covering June, a sharp decrease from the 7.8 million new active users in May. During the same time period, over 250,000 Americans age 18-44 didn’t even log in to Facebook, with more than 100,000 of those people being women age 26-34. No one is quite sure if the June data is a seasonal fluctuation, reporting mistake or an actual reflection of how the U.S. market is saturated with fewer Americans available to sign up for Facebook. (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8/10) Amazon has partnered with Facebook to offer recommendations to Amazon customers based on Facebook “Likes.” The consumer will need to first link their Amazon and Facebook accounts, then they will see gift suggestions and birthday reminders for their friends who are also on Facebook. The service does not, however, share past purchase history so items your friends purchased on Amazon will not show up in the system; only those items that people have “liked” will be referenced. (, 7/28/10) Target and Facebook have partnered to sell Facebook Credits gift cards. The cards will cost $15, $25 or $50 and will allow users to spend money on social games, apps and virtual goods such as Farmville, Happy Aquarium and Bejeweled Blitz. (USA Today, 9/1/10) A new forecast from eMarketer predicts that global marketers will spend $1.28 billion on Facebook ads in 2010 – almost double the $665 million spent in 2009 – and $1.76 billion in 2011. Spending on ads at MySpace will drop, however, from $347 million in 2010 to $297 million in 2011. (Promo, 8/17/10) A new social networking site, Tumblr, is growing in popularity. Tumblr is a cross between Facebook and Twitter – it lets users post short messages like Twitter, but also upload images, videos, audio clips and quotes to their profile page or “dashboard.” Users can follow other users, as on Twitter and Facebook, but Tumblr does not display the number of followers/friends a user has, so it is less competitive. Tumblr had over 6.6 million users in August, but was adding 25,000 new accounts each day. (New York Times, 8/2/10) Twitter announced that it reached 145 million registered users in September, up from 105.8 million in April 2010. The company credits the increase to the new ability for people to access the service through mobile devices. (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/4/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 5  3Q10
  6. 6.  LinkedIn announced that it reached the 75 million member mark in August 2010. (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/5/10) Twitter redesigned its web site over the summer, dividing the screen into two panes. Users can view a timeline of posts in one pane, and see author information, photos and videos in the other pane. Previously, Twitter users had to click back and forth between windows to see author biographies or photos. (New York Times, 9/15/10) Google announced that it will be launching its own social networking feature in the fall. The project had been called “Google Me” but that isn’t the official name so far. (Los Angeles Times, 9/15/10) Facebook issued a statement denying that it was developing its own mobile phone after a source reported that it had a “super secret” project focused on creating mobile phone software based on Google’s Android operating system. The alleged Facebook mobile phone software would allow users to treat their Friends list like an address book and make phone calls or send text messages directly from the Friends list. (Los Angeles Times, 9/21/10) A rumor surfaced claiming that Facebook and Skype were partnering up. The deal would add a Facebook tab to Skype’s video chat so that Skype users could contact their Facebook Friends through the service. (, 9/29/10) Facebook jumped in the location-based social media segment with the launch of its Facebook Places service. Facebook users can share their location information with friends online so they can meet face to face, find discounts at nearby stores or get local news. Some industry analysts say that Facebook Places will raise awareness of other location-based apps like foursquare and Gowalla, which are more advanced or “sophisticated” according to one user, but a survey of Facebook users found that one-half of them said that Places was the only “check-in” location app they had ever heard of. (USA Today, 9/21/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 6  3Q10
  7. 7. Business Usage A survey of HR recruiters found that 86% look at social media sites in order to get more information about a job applicant and 44% haven’t hired someone because of what was on their social media profile pages. (PR Newswire, 6/1/10) Con-Way Multimodal – a freight transportation and logistics services company – has moved into social media with its TweetLoad Twitter account. Carriers can view new freight loads that need to be moved, then drivers can submit a bid to move the load to where it needs to go. (Fleet Owner, 6/9/10) Purdue Pharma launched an interactive website called “In the Face of Pain,” which has “how-to” tips on the use of social media by healthcare professionals, caregivers or people suffering from chronic pain. The site has online videos to teach “pain management advocates” how to use Facebook and other social media sites as a way to provide advocacy and information on pain-related topics. (PR Newswire, 6/2/10) Disney is testing a new application called “Disney Tickets Together” on its Facebook page. The app will alert “friends” of Disney’s Facebook page when tickets for new Disney movies go on sale and let them invite other friends to meet at the theater. The app will access the Facebook user’s personal profile information (with permission) to provide information about local theatres and show times. (Promo, 6/3/10) AT&T has created its first-ever “social media customer care corps.” The team, which responds to customers who have posted dissatisfied comments on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, has already grown from 5 to 19 people. Six days a week, members of team respond directly to customers who post to @ATTCustomerCare or any of the team members’ AT&T handles, plus they monitor social networks for comments from people who don’t know about the special Twitter account – an automated program watches and collects AT&T references when the team isn’t at work. The team also responds to customer posts on its Facebook wall. (Advertising Age, 6/2/10) AXA Equitable launched an integrated social media campaign with company pages on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The company carried over its 800-pound gorilla mascot from television advertising to Twitter, establishing the Twitter account @AXA_Gorilla. (PR Newswire, 6/2/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 7  3Q10
  8. 8.  A survey of independent life insurance producers found that the segment is slow to fully use social media. Less than three-quarters reported using any social media sites, and only half of those said they used the site for business reasons. Overall, less than 15% think that social media web sites can help generate word-of-mouth leads or stay in contact with clients. (Direct Magazine, 6/10/10) Food trucks are using Twitter and Facebook to keep their customers updated on where they are located, what times they will be in the spot and what menu items are available. The Crème Brulee Man in the San Francisco Bay Area has 12,000 Twitter followers, while Curry Up Now has 2,000 Twitter followers and 1,700 Facebook friends, some of whom will line up at the location before the food truck even arrives. (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/1/10) A global business survey found that 40% of global businesses have used social networks to win new business. Among U.S. businesses only, 35% reported gaining new clients through a social network and 28% percent have set aside part of their marketing budget for use in social networking. (PR Newswire, 7/7/10) Henkel North America turned to social media to promote its new Soft Scrub Total cleaners. The company created a website where people who currently use Soft Scrub could sign up to participate in the test of the new line. Henkel picked “captains” from the thousands of respondents, and sent them kits with samples of the new products. These “captains” posted their comments and reactions to the products on blogs, Twitter and Facebook. (MMR, 7/12/10) Six Flags has partnered with foursquare to offer a “Six Flags Funatic Badge.” Park visitors who “check in” on foursquare ten times before September 7 will receive a “Funatic” badge and qualify for the chance to win a “2011 Exit Pass” that lets them bypass the line at any ride for an entire year. (DM News, 7/12/10) Cold Stone Creamery found a way for Facebook users to buy their in-network friends a real ice cream gift instead of a virtual one. The Facebook member can purchase ice cream, a shake or a smoothie online for a friend in a specific serving size. The friend will receive a Facebook message or e-mail informing them of the gift. The friend then takes the account number referenced in the message to their local Cold Stone Creamery and can receive any flavor in the size specified in the message. When the purchaser sends the eGift through Facebook, that gift is noted on their wall so that other friends can learn about the eGift concept. (Promo, 7/8/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 8  3Q10
  9. 9.  Pampers, Abbott Nutrition and Beech-Nut teamed up to present a web-based television series called “Welcome to the Parenthood.” The series will span fourteen 5-6 minute long episodes following three sets of new parents tackling various parenting milestones. The episodes will air on and the Pampers Facebook page, where viewers can submit stories about their own parenting experiences. Three user-submitted stories will be chosen to accompany each “Welcome to the Parenthood” episode’s digital story book. After the series is complete, one story will be selected as the winner of a year’s worth of free Pampers. (PR Newswire, 7/13/10) Old Spice continued the success of its “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign with a real-time Web request feature. For two days, consumers could submit comments and questions to the “Old Spice Guy” via Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. The agency team behind the ads would then record the actor responding directly to the questions and post the videos on YouTube, sometimes within 30 minutes of the comments/questions being submitted. Updates announcing new videos were sent out via Twitter and the Old Spice Twitter account grew to 43,000 during the campaign. Videos at the Old Spice YouTube channels had been viewed over 58 million times. (, 7/15/10) The latest campaign for a line extension to V-8 Fusion fruit and vegetable juice drink is solely through Facebook. Facebook members who “friend” the V-8 V-Fusion page can enter in their mailing address and receive a free sample of the new V-8 V-Fusion + Tea drink. During the first two weeks of the campaign, V- 8 gave away 1,000 samples a week. The number of samples still available was posted on the Facebook page, so viewers could see how many were left. A few people left complaints on the site after the samples for the week ran out, but more people posted messages saying that they were going to come back the next week and try to get a sample then. (Promo, 7/22/10) The Kelly Blue Book website added a new feature called the Seller’s Toolkit that enables consumers to sell their cars on social networks, high-traffic websites, personal blogs or via e-mail. A study found that 1.9 million private-party purchase offers were made via social networking websites in 2009, resulting in 1.3 million vehicle sales. The Seller’s Toolkit lets sellers create and send a digital “window sticker” complete with custom descriptions and photos of the vehicle for sale. The seller can then post the “window sticker” on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist or their own personal blog. There is also the option to add a “Car for Sale” tab to a Facebook profile page, or an interactive widget on blog pages. The feature also includes a link to the Kelley Blue Book pricing report for that model. (PR Newswire, 7/22/10) The Pfizer Animal Health division of Pfizer has launched four Facebook pages to help livestock producers keep up to date on animal health. The Facebook pages include “Livestock,” Pork, Beef and Dairy. (National Hog Farmer Blog Content, 8/4/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 9  3Q10
  10. 10.  The dessert chain Tasti D-lite has launched a new loyalty program that integrates use of Facebook, Twitter and foursquare. When a customer gets a TreatCard at a Tasti D-lite store, they need to go online and register the card. While they are on the site, they can also connect their Facebook, Twitter and foursquare accounts so that automated status updates, tweets or check-ins will be sent when they swipe their TreatCard at a Tasti D-lite store. For each social network site update that is sent out, the user will earn one extra point per purchase in addition to the one point for every dollar spent on their purchase. The consumers can choose from a generic update message or several different automated messages, which include the location of the store they are at plus notes like “I’m 5 points closer to a freebie.” (Promo, 8/10/10) The Mayo Clinic has launched a special Center for Social Media that will help train health care employees in the use of social media and encourage hospitals, medical professionals and patients to use social media to improve health conditions around the world. The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media will provide: webinar, in-person and on-site training opportunities; consulting and coaching for organizations that want to align their business goals with social media strategies; and conferences such as the Mayo Clinic/Ragan Communications Social Media Summit. The Mayo Clinic already has over 60,000 followers on Twitter and a Facebook profile with more 20,000 “friends.” (Business Wire, 7/27/10) The American Red Cross updated its “Safe and Well” website to make it more social media friendly. The site enables people at a disaster-affected location to list themselves as “safe & well” so family and friends don’t worry about them. The new update allows users to personalize messages for family and friends, update their status on Facebook or Twitter, and even register and/or search the site via their mobile phone. (PR Newswire, 8/4/10) Delta Air Lines added an app to its Facebook page. The Delta Ticket Window lets users purchase tickets for simple round-trip flights (no multi-city trips or reward mile redemption trips) through the Delta Facebook page and share the travel plans with select Facebook friends. (New York Times, 8/22/10) Alcoholic beverage makers are having a difficult time using social media to connect with consumers. The marketers have required visitors to their websites to provide age verification before they can fully enter the site, but that is more difficult to control with Twitter, which doesn’t require users to enter a birth date. The FTC is going to publish a report in early 2011 that reveals how many times their researchers have found alcohol-brand related fan pages featuring photos of drunk frat boys or messages/tweets about binge drinking. (Brandweek, 8/8/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 10  3Q10
  11. 11.  Apple introduced a new social networking service called Ping. The service is built into iTunes and lets users follow their friends’ music purchases, concert attendance and music reviews. (New York Times, 9/2/10) Novartis received a warning letter from the FDA’s Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) regarding its Facebook Share widget available through the Facebook page for the drug Tasigna, which treats leukemia. The widget “presents efficacy claims for Tasigna” but “fails to communicate any risk information” plus it “implies superiority over other products.” (Medical Marketing and Media, 8/5/10) The grocery store chain Giant Eagle has come under fire from its shoppers after running a series of contests on Twitter this summer. Several shoppers who were fans of the chain on Facebook posted complaints that they had to open a Twitter account just to be able to enter the contest, that they find Twitter to be more difficult to use and that Twitter isn’t “popular among Giant Eagle’s target market.” (Supermarket News, 9/6/10) Norwegian Cruise Line is working with YouTube to support the YouTube Vacationer channel. The travel- specific channel will feature videos, vacation ideas and travel advice from Lonely Planet, National Geographic and the Travel Channel. (PR Newswire, 9/8/10) Pampers has added e-commerce shopping to its Facebook page. Pampers’ Facebook friends can order Pampers diapers and baby wipes, as well as Tide, Oral B, Olay and other P&G products, directly through Facebook and have their order shipped by (PR Newswire, 9/30/10) Some companies’ or brands’ Facebook sites are drawing more web traffic than the actual “web site” created by the manufacturer. Oreo cookies have the #3 brand page on Facebook with 8.7 million fans and 71,000 new fans being added every day, but – the multi-brand website created by Kraft Foods that features Oreo – saw its traffic drop from 1.2 million visits in July 2009 to 321,000 in July 2010. Pampers had over 327,000 fans on its Facebook page over the summer, but the site visitor count has dropped from 1.1 million a month in 2009 to 560,000 in 2010. (Advertising Age, 8/23/10) ©2010 by M/A/R/C® Research Page 11  3Q10
  12. 12. M/A/R/C® couples proven research models with innovative approaches todeliver targeted solutions to consumer, prescriber, channel, and B2Bmarketing questions. The result – stronger innovation, dedicated customers,and industry-leading brands.M/A/R/C recently added Mass Opinion Business Intelligence (MOBI®),powered by WiseWindow®, to our methods of research. MOBI is the firstweb measurement technology that converts the millions of unsolicitedopinions expressed online everyday by the general public into actionabledata for businesses.What makes us different? Staffed with the most experienced researchminds in the industry, we deliver research that provides answers instead ofdata. From one-on-one deep dives to accurate predictions of in-marketoutcomes, our seasoned professionals design research that targets the needand delivers the strategy.For more information about M/A/R/C Research contact your AccountManager, or send inquires to brands start with smart research.800.884.6272