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Another recent report from the leading technology blog Tech Crunch highlighted the expanding role social sites such as Facebook are playing in sharing widgets and applications. Incorporating data from Gigya, a company that powers widgets on more than 5,000 sites, Tech Crunch found that the distribution of shared items broke down as follows:
Twitter recently announced a new feature, called @anywhere, designed to enable users to send and receive its short messages while they are browsing other Web sites, making it easier for partner sites to reach the mass of tweets posted by users.
While the exploding activity among social channels has been impossible to ignore, many companies are still debating the channels potential to drive purchases. However, new research study from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business, which is featured in the March issue of the Harvard Business Review, made strides in supporting the influence businesses see by creating and marketing fan pages.
The research for the article, "How Effective is Facebook Marketing?" built a test case around a Houston-based bakery called Dessert Gallery. The study, based on surveys of more than 1,700 respondents over a three-month period, found that compared with typical Dessert Gallery customers, the company's Facebook fans:
While Facebook is clearly having more of an impact from a BtoC standpoint, DemandGen Report’s new “BtoB Buyer Transformation Survey” showed social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter are having a growing impact with business purchases. More than 20% of buyers connected directly with potential solution providers via social channels, and 37% posted questions on social networking sites looking for suggestions and feedback as part of their research process.
The survey also showed the growing influence social media, blogs and other Web 2.0 tools are having on the BtoB buying process. A majority of respondents said Twitter and LinkedIn influenced their decisions during the “Solution Analysis” and “Problem Identification” phases. Nearly 90% indicated that blogs impacted their research during the “Solution Analysis” phase and 3 in 4 respondents said social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Delicious were utilized during the early Analysis phases.
WRITTEN BY ANDREW GAFFNEY
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2010