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Influence of Social Networking Felt on Retail

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People follow brands on social networking sites to find out about promotional offers and sales.

More Internet users are visiting websites immediately after a visit to Facebook, according to a new report by the consumer intelligence company Experian Hitwise. The figures seem to show, the company concludes, that the influence of Facebook on online retailing is increasing.

In data collated in the UK for the month of September, social networks are sending 13% more traffic directly to online retailers than September 2009. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter currently account for 75% of all visits to social networks, Facebook alone taking up 55% of these visits. Around 1 in 10 visits to websites took place after a visit to Facebook, which is an increase from 1 in 13 in September 2009.

After Google, Facebook is now the second biggest source of traffic to all websites. “Social media are becoming an integral part of online business. Forecasts estimate that $4.3 billion will be spent advertising through social networks in 2011, a 29% increase from this year,” the Hitwise report says. “The most popular reason for people to follow brands on social networking sites is to find out about promotional offers and sales.”

Experian Hitwise

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