The travel industry is most at risk of losing business through comments made on social networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace, according to a recent report.
The 2007 Social Media for Brand Report, by internet marketing company Tamar, found travel products and services are at risk from negative comments on social networks, with almost 58% of those surveyed saying comments would lead them to abandoning a purchase.
The survey questioned 700 adults aged 18 – 35 in the UK and found 80% of those that use social networking sites have chatted about, commented on, or reviewed a product online.
Tamar director Neil McCarthy says brands need to be aware of their presence in online forums and must try to manage their reputation.
“The rapid growth of social networks and user generated content is shifting the online balance of power away from marketers towards the consumer, and the effectiveness of traditional online marketing channels is decreasing,” he says.
“With so many consumers actively commenting on brands through social networks, online reputation is becoming even more important.”
“Social networks are a large and unregulated channel with a massive user base, through which brands could see their good reputation built through other channels, undone very quickly.”
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh