This year will likely see an increase in the number of brands using social marketing to reach consumers.

In 2007, as many as 48 percent of brand marketers will deploy marketing on social networking channels. Last year, about 38 percent were messaging on the channel.

Adoption of social marketing tactics stems from the discovery "30 percent of frequent social networkers trust their peers' opinions when making a major purchase decision, but only 10 percent trust an advertisement," said Emily Riley, JupiterResearch analyst and lead author of the report.

Brand involvement with social networking sites may be a new norm, but it's still early days according to Diane Rinaldo, senior director of the retail category at Yahoo. "We're very much in the early stages of this, and there have been some brands really getting out there and testing, being adventurous, and sometimes creating their own social networks."

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