2006 proved online social networking media sites drives e-commerce traffic. Labels: Jointblog
YouTube, MySpace, Xanga, Facebook, Gawker, UrbanBaby, ColbertNation, TV show fan sites and hundreds more served as strong central gathering places online, creating opportunities for users to participate, gather, and to be marketed.
Once gathered, they eventually leave for another site. But where do they go when they leave? Analytics are increasingly showing social media users are going to e-commerce sites to make purchases.
According to Hitwise, one in 20 Internet visits went to social networking sites during September -- nearly double the proportion of traffic a year ago. This was led by MySpace.com -- the kingpin of social media, with an estimated 130 million users as of late November (according to BusinessWeek). Since News Corp. acquired MySpace more than a year ago, its membership grew by more than 80 million new users -- many of them e-commerce businesses (including many Fox TV shows).
Other social sites making big traffic gains including Bolt (up +271%); Bebo (+95%); Orkut (+63%); and Gaia Online (+41%) (reference: Hitwise).
Social media sites create a new "hub and spoke" model, with the social site (like MySpace) the "hub" and traffic to various e-commerce sites the "spokes". Shopping, classified job/product listings, telecommunications, banks, and travel all received big bumps in traffic from visitors coming directly from MySpace pages.
LeeAnn Prescott, director of research at Hitwise, says:
"Social networking has become such a significant force on the Web that users are integrating it into other daily Web activities. As MySpace grows, it's showing up in the upstream and downstream [traffic] of other categories that you wouldn't necessarily think would be related."Although average MySpace users have gotten older, many teen-oriented brands such as American Eagle Outfitters and Hot Topic remain among the most popular off-sites visited by MySpace users overall.
Photo-sharing (PhotoBucket, Flickr) and video-sharing sites (YouTube) are another traffic magnet for the social networking "hub and spoke" ecosystem.
Talk amongst yourselves: How well are you partnering your e-commerce product offerings with a social networking companion site? Do you need to DIY?
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, December 06, 2006,
- At 12:16 PM, NYCA said...
Don't forget your target audience. Many sites like SecondLife are attractive places for brands to wind up, because they are getting a lot of media attention right now. But the truth is that many brands' target audiences aren't spending time there yet. A little due diligence can go a long way.
Michelle Edelman is director of strategic planning at NYCA, a full-service marketing agency that grows businesses with inspired ideas. To find out how NYCA can grow your business, log on to www.nyca.com.
- At 12:40 PM, KennedyCS said...
I agree, Michelle, keeping the target audience front and center is essential for campaigns. SecondLife's "island" concept (Dell, etc.) is something to watch...will it move the needle adding to brand value? Can something obtained in someone's SecondLife translate to FirstLife sales?
- At 3:01 PM, bestonline323 said...
Make a “favorites” folder for the social media sites your buyers use. Each one of the above sites should be placed in a Social Media “favorites’” folder in your Internet browser. (Make life easy by using the same branded log-in name and secret password for each one.) Check each site regularly, and vote for any content that mentions your brand. Each vote brings your content closer to being seen, and acted upon, by interested consumers. “There’s a lot of opportunity there for ecommerce companies to use social networking to build their brand,” says Zingsheim.
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