Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, says "When it comes to influencing brand perception and purchase decisions... social networking... has a long way to go."
A recent Harris poll also supported this assertion, says the report, showing that word of mouth is a much stronger influencer than social networking. When a group of adults were asked about their information-gathering process for the most recent purchase they made,
- 21% of Harris poll respondents cited "face-to-face with a person not associated with the company, such as a family member, business colleague or friend."
- 12% cited a phone call with someone similar
- 4% mentioned using "public online social-networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace"
- 4% mentioned "private social networking sites, such as customer communities"
- 89% of respondents reported having a Facebook account
- 40% MySpace
- 31% LinkedIn
- 18% Twitter
The overall impact of a brand's presence on social networking sites was shown to be minimal in terms of impact and perception. 96% of respondents said their opinion of a product brand did not change if that brand had no presence on a social networking site, and only 11% of social networking users reported following any major brand through a social networking site, and just 12% of respondents said their opinion of a brand changes if that brand maintains a social networking presence.
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