Is Facebook the Most Powerful Market Research Company?

On May 5, 2011, wrote:

From both a marketing and consumer perspective, Facebook is king. Few can deny the power of Facebook to pull and aggregate social data on a massive scale. According to an eMarketer report, Facebook has overtaken Google in “social sign-ins.” In Q1 2011, Facebook was the top network ID used to sign in to a website to share content, at around 35% of the user social login market share.

The social sign-in is a new feature that online publishers love. Website registration is often times a daunting task and is attributed to high exit rates. Social sign-ins use pre-existing identities to login to a website, bypassing annoying registration forms. The most important benefit of social logins is to increase engagement and access more profile data.

From a marketing standpoint, social sign-in allows marketers to aggregate crucial demographic data that was previously unknown. Marketers are able to understand what gender and age groups are accessing their materials, in addition to potentially rare information such as, what movies they like and how many friends they have.

According to Mike Melanson on Read Write Web, what a user is sharing is, “depending on your settings, this can be anything from your basic details like name and time zone to more intimate details, like your friends list, your E-mail address and even your phone number.”

In terms of market share, is Facebook one of the biggest market research companies in the world?

This news highlights the fact that Facebook passed Google in terms of social sign-ins. Google dropped from 38% last year to 31% Q1 2010, where Facebook rose from 27% to 35%. Does this mean that webmasters are more willing to put Facebook social sign-ins on their webpage or more people are using them? One thing is known: Facebook and Google both aggregate similar information; and Google is potentially more incriminating from a user’s standpoint. But Facebook can give solid information for marketers, like demographic, interests, music, and sports.


Social sign-ins also have viable opportunities at the e-Commerce level. According to Marketing Charts, “Survey data also shows that 75% of consumers will avoid creating a new user account for an e-commerce site, with 54% leaving the site or not returning, 17% going to a different site if possible, and 4% leaving/avoiding the site. 55% of consumers agree they are more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes them; 20% disagree.”

Marketers also love social logins because of the sharing aspect. Social sharing boosts word-of-mouth and gives you the ability to get referrals for content. People are more likely to purchase from your business if they have a referral from a known source.

Facebook is growing in multiple business industries. They are a viable advertising platform for many small businesses as well as a market research company. As the Facebook comments application continues to grow, it is likely they will continue to eat at Google’s social sign-in market share.

About the author: Matt Krautstrunk is an expert writer on everything from social media marketing to call center companies based in San Diego, California. He writes for Resource Nation, an online resource that provides telephone answering service advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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