Almost sixty percent of Americans interact with companies on social media sites; 25 percent do this frequently, (defined as more than once per week) according to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study. 93 percent of those

surveyed believed that companies should use social media, and 56 percent say they feel more connected with a company via social media.

Interestingly, while studies show that more women than men use social media sites, Cone’s survey indicates that men are twice as likely to interact with companies via social media more than one time per week. "The ease and efficiency of online conversation is likely a draw for men who historically do not seek out the same level of interaction with companies as women," says Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone.

Other findings from the survey are: 43% believe that companies should use social media for problem solving; 41% for product feedback; 37% for brand activity; and 25% for marketing.

"The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media. It isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion," says Hollywood.

By Mark Alvarez