Those involved in online advertising have been advised to consider all the benefits that social media can bring.

Internet marketing on social networking sites is failing to realise its potential, it has been suggested.

Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer, noted that traditional display ads may not offer the best opportunities for companies.

She explained that users are more interest in information sharing and capitalising on this could bring greater results, stating: "Social networks are where consumers feel comfortable expressing their feelings – good or bad – about companies, products and services."

A study by eMarketer revealed that 44 per cent of internet users log on to a social networking site at least once a month, yet just five per cent of all online ad spending goes to the medium.

And founder of ad agency Deep Focus Ian Schafer told the research portal that creating widgets and other applications could help those involved in internet marketing reach potential customers more effectively.

IT PRO editor Maggie Holland recently suggested that firms using web 2.0 technologies – including blogs – may find that they attract more clients.

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