Using social media as a marketing channel can be very effective and one of the best ways to understand the impact networking sites such as Facebook can have is by looking to the past.

This is the recommendation of Bradley Little of NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company that helps businesses harness the potential of pages like Twitter and other similar accounts.

He was speaking at an online branding and social media workshop – hosted by the Internet Advertising Bureau – and responding to a CNN statement released earlier this month revealing that shared news drives global increases in brand metrics, with technology and business world sections proving to be the most shared stories in terms of social media.

Mr Little suggested users of internet marketing services look at a number of case studies to assess effectiveness of using such techniques by examining the impact of social impressions and asking "what are the drivers?"

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