How social media and Google are impacting market research - findings from Data Matters 2010

Stephen Whiteside

Few marketers would disagree that social networking is transforming the way that consumers interact both with one other and with brands. Facebook, the world's biggest social network, recently announced that it now has more than 400 million members worldwide, with a quarter of this audience regularly accessing its pages using their mobile phone. Twitter also had a reported 75 million active accounts by the end of 2009, and is adding around 6 million new users every month.

Companies ranging from Starbucks and Coca-Cola to Dell and JetBlue have all sought to tap in to this trend by establishing a presence on these portals. However, while all of these advertisers have seen large numbers of people sign up as "fans" of their products, establishing the payback on this kind of activity, and exploiting the insight these platforms provide, remains a matter of debate.