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09 March 2011

Social Trend: Businesses moving in

According to one new report you can look for more businesses in the social space. Researchers with Gartner forecast that by 2015 at least 40% of 'large enterprises' will be on Facebook. This probably doesn't surprise many of you; but one more facet might: these businesses will use the social network for business as well as pleasure.

According to the report businesses will utilize Facebook to circulate business information, but will also use it for personal information. Customer service, especially, will be the focus as businesses look for more engaging ways to interact with their customer base. Customers, of course, are already looking for businesses in the social space.

"We expect the high-profile nature of social networks and social [Customer Relationship Management] CRM for customer service to rapidly advance adoption from early adopter to mainstream deployments despite the volatile and rapid evolution of social networks in general," said Drew Kraus, Research Vice President with Gartner.

But, before going social, brands need to have a plan of action - because simply throwing up a social networking shingle is not enough. Marketers need to monitor the social space, there should be an employee base whose task it is to watch the socnets and respond to issues quickly.

Facebook and YouTube continue to be the biggest social networks according to Experian Hitwise data. Facebook accounts for more than 60% of social visits, while YouTube accounts for nearly 20%. MySpace has fallen to only about 1% of the social share while Twitter remains under 1%.

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