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February 23, 2010

Facebook dominates social network market

Gartner predicts substantial CRM growth

By Vinod

Social media and Facebook will grow significantly this year, according to a Gartner report.

Facebook’s dominance is assured in all but 25 countries, although these do include important markets such as China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia. Membership hit 300 million in September 2009 and if it continues on the same trajectory membership will double by the end of this year, Gartner analysts predicted.

Other shifts include an 80% market growth in social media activities in 2010, but Gartner warned that many firms were struggling to find a firm business case and hard metrics to support their investment. Those firms that managed to find a clear business case that was mutually beneficial for both the company and customer would be the ones most likely to show measurable results.

According to Roger Llewellyn, CEO of data analysis expert Kognitio, businesses need to treat social networks as more than simply communication tools to ensure the best returns.

“Services such as Twitter and Facebook are also vast, constantly-updated sources of information. A number of organisations do not realise this. Indeed, in a recent survey by Baseline Consulting, 23% of businesses said that social networking was ‘overrated’ as a means to communicate with and investigate customers, while 63% were ‘undecided’ on the value of information from social networking sites for their business,” said Llewellyn.

“This is short-sighted: currently, the fastest-reacting, and most immediately useful, source of business information is social networks. Businesses should be expanding, and if necessary updating, their Business Intelligence operations to include social networking. Failure to do this will result in a huge amount of information, opportunity and customer goodwill slipping through their fingers. 

 

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