UK search agency Tamar has some interesting findings in it's 2007 Social Media for Brands Report.
- 80 per cent of people who use social networks have either chatted about, commented on or reviewed a brand or product on an online forum or social network.
- Two thirds (66 per cent) of 18-35 year olds in the UK are actively engaged in social networking
- Almost two in five (38 per cent) are members of two or more online forums or social networking sites.
- There is a clear correlation between age and social network use, with usage figures increasing amongst younger age groups, peaking with eight out of ten 18-20 year olds actively engaged in social networking.
- 59 per cent of men take negative comments about brands seriously or very seriously as opposed to only 47 per cent of women, with travel brands most at risk from user generated comments followed by consumer electronics, financial services and communications brands such as broadband and telephone providers.
- Nearly 1.5 times as many 18-35 year olds would rather accept a friend request from a brand than have banner adverts on a social networking profile page.
- The best way to get users to accept friend requests was identified as through offering special offers and discounts (60 per cent).
- In contrast only 5 per cent said that they would be enticed by previews of forthcoming services, and only 10 per cent by exclusive products or services.
- 18-35 year olds are most receptive with more than half (51 per cent) stating the they would even be willing to act as a brand advocate (e.g. set up groups for brands, encourage friends to join and participate) on social networks in exchange for offers and discounts. This rose to almost two thirds (64 per cent) in the 18-20 age group, who are also the biggest users of social networks.
The 2007 Social Media for Brands Report polled the views of a representative sample of 698 UK adults aged 18-35 between 20 June 2007 and 22 June 2007. The research was commissioned by Tamar and conducted online by YouGov.