Content Marketing Blog

Social networks overtake entertainment sites

Social networking sites have outpaced entertainment sites when it comes to the UK’s most popular online destinations, according to new research.

Data published yesterday by Experian Hitwise in its new report (aptly titled Carpe diem – Seizing the moment in Social Media) suggested that 12.4 per cent of all UK internet visits were made to social networking sites during January 2011.

The average session time spent on a social network in January was 22 minutes – and more than 2.4 billion visits were logged during the course of the month.

Social networks have now outpaced entertainment sites – including the BBC’s iPlayer – to become Britain’s most popular web destination.

Furthermore, according to Hitwise director Robin Goad, one in every eight people leaving a social network visit another one immediately afterwards.

He suggested that this behaviour is encouraged by the “connections that exist between the networks”.

Firms – especially transactional websites selling goods or services over the web – that want to maximise their web presence would do well to “harness the power of social networks” to drive traffic to their own sites, Mr Goad added.

His remarks were echoed by Techlightenment co-founder and chief executive Ankur Shah, who observed that brands can use a social media strategy to tailor messages specifically to their target audience.

Custom news content and social media marketing are two ways Australian businesses can build their online presence – but marketing campaigns need careful thought to ensure the right messages are getting to the right people.