Social Networking now bigger than email – Nielson Online

Nielson Online in their latest Press Release yesterday highlighted that social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online activity ahead of even email. Of particular interest to financial services marketers was the finding that the social network and blogging audience is becoming more diverse in terms of age: the biggest increase in visitors during 2008 to “Member Community” Web sites globally came from the 35-49 year old age group (+11.3 million).

I know from personal family experience that sites such as Facebook and MySpace are becoming increasingly important socially as the 35+ age group are using them to stay in contact with younger family members such as nieces, nephews and children, as well as getting in contact with their old alumni.

To date many financial services marketers have been hesitant about targeting consumers via social media sites. Given the amount of time people are now spending on these sites together with their rapid adoption, this will have to change. Those who are prepared to be the first to dip their proverbial ‘toe’ in the  water are likely to benefit most.

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