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UK marketers surveyed on social media trends

Over half of the UK's top marketing experts are not up to speed with social media and how it works as a marketing and communications tool

Over half of the UK's top marketing experts are not up to speed with social media and how it works as a marketing and communications tool, according to a recent survey conducted by McCann Erickson UK.

46 per cent of the senior marketing professionals surveyed admitted that their companies' IT departments proactively blocked access to popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter – rendering them incapable of effectively monitoring what was being said about their brands. Those that did have access cited Facebook and Twitter as the top two most used social networking sites in an index that included LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Google Groups, MySpace, Bebo and Plaxo.

65.6 per cent of marketers in the survey admitted that they did not have adequate knowledge on how to use social media correctly in marketing, while 67.5 per cent thought that social media was used more by the youth market (under-25s). According to Nielsen however, people using Twitter tended to be older, with 35–49 year olds making up 42 per cent of traffic to Twitter.com. 62 per cent of survey respondents admitted to accessing it only at work.

Joanna Randall, head of PR at McCann Erickson Bristol, said: "This study highlights that some of the UK's major businesses are ignoring social media channels – but they do so at their peril. Word of mouth is now more powerful than ever; opinions can be shared with a global audience at the click of a button; we all have the ability to influence, both positively and negatively, and therefore as marketing professionals we should be considering how best to harness the power of social media."

14th May 2009

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