A significant of majority (59%) of social media users surveyed for the study said advertising is a "fair price to pay for social media sites and features," though that percentage has actually declined four percentage points from 63% in 2009.
A smaller, but significant share of social media users (15%) said they are more inclined to purchase from brands that advertise on social media sites, a level Knowledge Networks says compares "favorably with levels found among HDTV viewers and VOD users." That percentage is down slightly from 16% in 2009.
While the companies did not release details on specific advertising categories, Patricia Graham, Chief Strategy Officer of Knowledge Networks said the influence "varies widely" by advertiser and brand. The ongoing tracking study measures the effects of social media on consumers covering 39 specific product categories, ranging from financial services to giant retailers to packaged goods.
Another early insight disclosed as part of this morning's release is that mobile platforms and applications can greatly compound the advertising and brand effects of social media. Of 13- to 54-years-old smartphone owners who have apps on their phone, almost a third (32%) said they are more inclined to purchase the brands that advertise or have marketing messages in the app. And almost three quarters (70%) of them said ads are a fair price to pay compared to social media's 59 percent.
The study also found that ads within apps also appeal to smartphone owners between the ages of 13 and 54, with 40% saying that ads they see while using their smartphones are usually relevant to their "needs and interests."
"Marketers can expect more impact reaching social media users via mobile, based on these new findings," said Chuck Martin, director of the Center for Media Research. "As more people move to smartphones, there will be an increased opportunity for advertisers to improve their reach to consumers with increased relevance."