'Faces Of Social Media' Unveiled: Knowledge Networks, MediaPost Partner On Category Specific Research

To help marketers, agencies and publishers understand how social media is influencing consumer brand perception and purchasing decisions, Knowledge Networks has teamed with MediaPost Communications Inc., the publisher of Online Media Daily and the parent of the Center for Media Research, to launch the "Faces of Social Media," a new, long-term tracking study providing a consumer-centric view of social media's affect on 30 key product categories.

The new syndicated report will track the marketing impact of social media in the general population and on users in five explicit social media segments ranging from "Evangelists" to "Passive Users." Parallels will be drawn from category-specific comparisons with non-users of social media to address the true incremental effect of social media.

"We are helping CMOs and brand managers decide to what degree they should play in social media and how best to target specific audiences," stated Simon Kooyman, CEO of Knowledge Networks. "We are painting a more sophisticated picture of social media's influence, showing where and how category consideration and [social media] level of influence intersect."

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"While there is a sea of data about social media, little of it speaks to the needs of marketers who are trying to make specific plans for their categories and brands," added Chuck Martin, Director of MediaPost's Center for Media Research.

The report, which will publish biannual trends, will begin with a report benchmarking what proportion of product category consumers are the highest-potential targets across each of the social media user clusters, how their use of social media is impacting brand perceptions and decisions, how it relates to demographic composition, which social media platforms dominate, and how specific social media features influence the process, how use of social media impacts use of other media, perceived trust of social media information about specific product categories, the influence of "friends" versus "non-friends" on the attitudes of social media users, etc.

To ground the social media/category comparisons, the companies said overall media consumption for each social media segment will accompany the data, as well as a "Social Media Influence Score."

Knowledge Networks is one of the top 15 survey-based consumer research companies in the U.S., and is highly regarded for the quality of its research methods and the representation of its consumer panels.

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