Search Engine Marketing Firm iProspect Survey Reveals Nearly Half of Search Marketers Place Content on Social Networking Sites

Search engine marketing firm iProspect today announced the results of the iProspect Search Marketer Social Networking Survey, sponsored by iProspect and conducted by JupiterResearch. The survey reveals that 48% of search marketers proactively place content on some of the most popular social networking sites, including MySpace, YouTube, and LinkedIn. In addition, the survey revealed that marketers primarily place content on these sites to drive traffic and create brand awareness.

Fielded in February of 2007, JupiterResearch conducted a formal survey of search marketers using questions composed by iProspect. Respondents were targeted by familiarity with their company's search marketing efforts and screened for involvement with marketing their company's products. A total of 794 qualified search marketers completed the survey.

Partnering with some of the largest and best known brands in the world, search engine marketing firm iProspect commissioned this survey in an effort to gain insight into the use of ten of the most popular social networking sites as a channel by search marketers. The key findings demonstrate that these sites are already being embraced by a significant percentage of search marketers as vehicles to drive website traffic and create brand awareness in particular, as well as both influence and generate direct sales.

"The results of this survey are quite interesting in light of the results of the iProspect Social Networking User Behavior Study we published in April," commented iProspect President Robert Murray. "In that study we asked the U.S. adult online user population which sites they were visiting, with what regularity, and with what intent. It's eye-opening to see that marketers' use of these sites doesn't match up as closely to visitor intent as one would think."

Among the key findings of this most recent survey is that the following percentage of search marketers have proactively placed content on the following social networking sites: MySpace (18%), YouTube (15%) LinkedIn (15%), del, (14%), Craigslist (14%), Amazon (12%), Yahoo! Answers (10%), FaceBook (3%), iVillage (3%) and TripAdvisor (3%).

Compare marketer's participation on these sites listed above to the Internet user population's propensity to visit these sites at least once a month (as reported in the April 2007 iProspect Social Networking User Behavior Study and you can see some real discrepancies. According to the April study, the percentage of Internet users visiting the following social networking sites was as follows: MySpace (23%), YouTube (20%) LinkedIn (2%), (1%), Craigslist (10%), Amazon (29%), Yahoo! Answers (9%), FaceBook (6%), iVillage (5%), and TripAdvisor (3%). Murray noted, "As you can see, marketers are not as consistently present on those sites where the Internet user population visits most frequently."

The other key finding is that the main reasons marketers place content on these sites across the board are to: drive traffic (51%), create brand awareness (32%), direct selling (25%), and influence a purchase decision (15%). It is important to note that marketer intent varies widely site by site, consistent with user intent. Respondents indicated that MySpace (50%) and (62%) are used by search marketers primarily to drive traffic, while Amazon (60%) is used more often to directly sell a product; which is consistent with the April study.

Compare these marketing participation objectives with the Internet user population's motivations to perform searches on these sites: research a product or service (38%), entertainment (36%), make a purchase (29%), and to connect with others (20%). Murray concluded, "Clearly, marketers are trying to align their participation on social networking sites with visitor intent - which was one of the key recommendations we made in our user study published in April. For example, a marketer's participation on a particular site can be as closely aligned as trying to influence or close a sale with a user who is in research or purchase mode, or as loosely related as a marketer trying to drive traffic or create brand awareness through a user who is searching a site to network with other people or be entertained."

About iProspect

iProspect is the Original Search Engine Marketing Firm. The company helps many of the world's most successful brands maximize their online marketing ROI through natural search engine optimization, paid inclusion management as a Yahoo! Search Submit Certified Ambassador, pay per click advertising management via their own patent-pending bid management agent called iSEBA, and numerous other related services.

With offices in Watertown, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California, as well as in Madrid, Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, iProspect can be contacted at 1-800-522-1152, or by visiting