Research from affiliate network, LinkShare, reinforces the need for targeted adverts on social networking sites

London, 7th July 2010: Affiliate network, LinkShare, has today released results from its latest piece of consumer research, showing that adverts placed on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are still failing to engage consumers and have actually declined in popularity since the last consumer poll in August 2009.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 consumers, revealed that just 3% of respondents found similar adverts on personal social networking sites, such as Facebook helpful in assisting their purchasing decisions – down from 9% in 2009. In addition just 2% of respondents considered adverts on professional social networks, such as LinkedIn useful – down from 5% in 2009. On par with the previous research findings, consumers found promotions and offers (50%) and direct email (22%) the most useful forms of online marketing.

When asking which sectors respondents thought were using online marketing communications most effectively, supermarkets, travel companies and fashion brands came out on top. Respondents also agreed that they would be most interested in seeing online marketing communications from these sectors. Consumers would be least interested in being contacted by motoring companies (3%) and the entertainment and culture sector (6%).

Liane Dietrich, UK Managing Director at LinkShare, commented on the findings: “It is apparent from the research that more needs to be done by brands to improve the quality of adverts within social networking sites to further encourage click-throughs and consumer interest. Facebook overtook Google as the most viewed website in the US earlier this year with social networks also overtaking search engines in the UK – clearly there is a disconnect.

Dietrich continues; “While the results may be surprising to some, this goes some way to show that brands cannot assume a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to social sites. Facebook recently announced its intention to increase its advertising revenue by working with big consumer brands. Those brands and affiliates looking to get in on the trend must ensure adverts placed on social networks are specifically targeted to meet consumer’s individual needs and enhance their online shopping experience. Perhaps then we may buck the trend.”
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For further information please contact Chloe Wilkinson or Annette Leach on 020 7608 2500 or linkshare@hotwirepr.com

About LinkShare UK
LinkShare is the world's largest affiliate network with over a decade of affiliate marketing experience. Since launching in the UK in 2006 LinkShare has partnered with some of the UK’s leading brands such as AVON, Coast, Elemis, French Connection, Hamleys, House of Fraser, Kurt Geiger, LEGO, Oasis, Radisson Edwardian, Speedo, T.M.Lewin, Topman, The White Company and UNIQLO. Well-respected by both advertisers and publishers, LinkShare provide access to a unique network of quality publishers, alongside market-leading tools to maximise ROI. Superior service combined with technology innovation allows advertisers and publishers to acquire and retain new customers, increase revenue and drive results. LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, London and Tokyo. LinkShare is a division of Rakuten, Inc. For more information, please visit: www.linkshare.co.uk

Published on: 9:31AM on 8th July 2010