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Social Networking Use Triples In Just One Year And Companies Take Notice

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If you find yourself spending more and more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites, you’re not alone.  According to The Nielsen Company, Americans are now spending three times as much time on social networking sites than they did a year ago.  This is a significant shift in what people are doing on the internet.  Time spent on social networking sites now account for 17% of total time spent online.

Of course advertisers are starting to take notice.  In this recession companies have dramatically reduced their advertising and marketing budgets, but they’ve increased spend on social networks and blogs.  Spend is up 119% from last year. ($108 million in August 2009 up from $49 million in August 2008).  It’s interesting to note that while spending is up across across all industries, the change is quite dramatic in entertainment (up 812%) and travel (up 364%).  I expected the consumer goods industry to spend more than they’re currently spending as social media can be a perfect vehicle for branding and loyalty for quite a few consumer goods brands.

Year-over-Year Percent Change in Online Ad Spend by Industry (U.S., August 2009)

Estimated Spend on Top Social Network Sites Year-over-Year Percent Growth
Industry Aug-08 Aug-09 On Social Network Sites* On All Sites
Entertainment $1,097,700 $10,012,800 812% 40%
Travel $473,700 $2,198,200 364% -11%
Business to Business $683,400 $1,941,700 184% -8%
Automotive $1,110,200 $3,085,800 178% -26%
Health $1,131,500 $2,754,900 143% 8%
Web Media $11,231,800 $26,855,700 139% 30%
Software $526,400 $1,202,500 128% -29%
Financial Services $3,233,900 $6,415,900 98% -10%
Public Services $6,836,500 $13,203,100 93% 13%
Telecommunications $12,449,500 $23,550,300 89% -1%
Consumer Goods $1,913,400 $3,349,200 75% 8%
Hardware & Electronics $654,000 $1,022,900 56% -47%
Retail Goods & Services $8,101,400 $12,556,800 55% -12%
Source: The Nielsen Company

Written by Atique Ullah

October 6, 2009 at 4:17 PM