Are you harnessing the popularity of social networking?

According to a recent study carried out by comScore, more than 70 per cent of internet users in Australia visited a social networking site in June. This poses a real opportunity for retailers and suppliers who are trying to push their business and the services they offer.

According to the findings, 70 per cent of Australians on the internet have at one stage visited a social networking site, which is an increase of 29 per cent from the previous year.

“Social networking continues to grow both across Australia and throughout the world,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.

“Social networking is now an essential part of peoples’ daily online routine, providing a level of engagement and reach that far exceeds most other content categories.”

Hodgman also emphasised that the ability to harness the medium is a real tool for marketers.

“Understanding how to leverage this audience successfully is both a challenge and significant opportunity for most digital marketers today,” he said.

According to the findings nearly nine million Australians visited a social networking site in June, which is undoubtedly makes it one of the most popular content categories on the web.

The most popular amongst the group is Facebook which clocked up more than six million visitors and grew 95 per cent from the previous year.

MySpace is in second spot with 3.5 million visitors, up five per cent, followed by Windows Live Profile with nearly two million visitors.

It may be surprising that Twitter was not mentioned in the top three, but this will undoubtedly change in the future due to its rapid adoption in the online world.

According to the results, Twitter amassed 800,000 visitors in June, which is up from just 13,000 visitors a year ago.

Hodgman reiterated how important social networking is for the majority of internet users.

“Knowing that the vast majority of a site’s visitors are social networking users should be a wakeup call to any marketer trying to understand its audience,” he said.

“Engaging your audience is not only about how you interact with them when they are on your site, but also about how you reach out and interact with them through other online channels, including social networks.”

“As social networking sites increasingly become one of the internet’s most popular destinations, it is especially critical for media companies to engage their audience where they are spending the majority of their time online.”

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