Internet marketing specialists are failing to capitalise on the customer insight that social networking sites can provide, it has been claimed.

A study conducted by analytics provider SPSS shows that businesses are not using social networking sites as a source of consumer opinion, Precision Marketing reports.

The news source states the survey results indicate around 90 per cent of businesses do not use social networking sites as a way of gauging customer opinion on certain products.

"Once businesses tap into online data from social networks, they can be overwhelmed by the amount of information available," senior vice-president of market strategy at SPSS Colin Shearer told the news source.

He added that businesses would be missing vital market insight by not capitalising on the information provided by social networking sites.

Indeed consumers tend to be more candid about different firms when talking on social networking sites, Mr Shearer claimed.

In related news, the Associated Press, citing the Wall Street Journal, notes that Microsoft has approached Facebook over a possible takeover, but the two firms are not in active discussions at this stage.

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