Social Media gathers pace in 2009 with advertisers

Use of online social media ramped up in 2009 with nearly nine in ten advertisers incorporating this as part of their media mix more often than a year ago, according to a poll by Harris Interactive and LinkedIn.

Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against The Machine

The news comes as a Facebook campaign to take Rage Against The Machine to the Christmas number one slot proved successful at defeating X Factor winner Joe McElderry.

However, according to the survey, social media is not enough alone, with the majority of those using online social media using it in an integrated campaign (64%). Rage Against The Machine’s campaign benefited from news coverage and general discussion as well as its Facebook pressure appeal.

According to the survey, the popularity of social media is not just because it is fashionable: most agencies/advertisers recognise the importance of their brands and products establishing a social networking presence.

The vast majority of advertisers/agencies think that online social media is at least somewhat effective in promoting products and ideas (84%). But the proportion of clients who think it is very effective (21%) suggests these programmes are still being driven by their agencies (35% who think that it’s very effective).

Andrew Freeman, senior media consultant at Harris Interactive, says: “The research shows that social media is not just hype, there is true momentum behind it – but it also warns us that not everyone thinks of it as doing the same job. Strangely, over 1 in 5 of the client advertisers (21%) think of their social media campaign as a stand-alone activity – three and a half times the number of agencies (6%) who think of it in this way.”

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