Nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents said they would participate in one or more activities related to shopping and buying on a social networking site, if those activities were available. Nearly as many said they would visit a social networking site to search for gift ideas (47 percent); while one-third (29 percent) said they would buy products on those sites, if such a service were available.
Available is the key word. The service is NOT available! Social networking sites are successful because they allow for real connections. Just because you listed a couple hobbies in your profile doesn’t mean you want a barrage of gift ideas in you inbox. But, because these sites provide the best “word-of-mouth” marketing — marketer types see them as an opportunity.
And it’s a big opportunity. More than one-third of U.S. households shop online. It’s projected that $211.4B will be spent online this holiday season (source: National Federation). I’ve posted about social networking sites previously and the lure of registered users go way beyond any fad zone. Most social networking sites rely on ad revenue for income and ad spending on social networking sites is now at about $350M a year and projected to grow to $2.5B by 2010 according to marketer.
So, connecting the dots with this AMA research…it suggests that revenue from sales on these sites could be worth $Billions and potentially much more than the ad revenue.
If you’re a marketer then you know that:
Social networks are a huge youth e-tailing revenue base and if the marketers go in with stealth tactics or over-hype a brand, they are likely to face a serious backlash rather than gain customer loyalty.