Brazilian Web conference examines social-networking for businesses

Sao Paulo, Apr 4 (EFE).- Business leaders, analysts and consultants gathered at the Web Expo Forum in Sao Paulo to analyze the potential of social-networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to help Brazilian companies increase their efficiency.

Cloud computing, mobility and social-networking sites offer businesses new opportunities for online marketing and evaluating consumers' response to products, experts said.

Social-networking sites have spurred the rapid development of new business tools for providing customer service, Stefan Lindegaard, author of several books on innovation, said.

"They allow better interaction with customers and the ability to obtain real knowledge" about products, Lindegaard told Efe.

Advertising firms and media outlets can use social-networking sites to increase revenues, but many other businesses see these Web sites as a way "to be more efficient," Lindegaard said.

Twitter and Facebook allow businesses to identify trends, detect problems and forecast consumer behavior, Vortio co-founder Braulio Dias said.

Social-networking sites have experienced exponential growth in recent years, providing businesses with new tools for reaching existing and potential customers, experts said.

Facebook had 1.2 billion users at the end of 2012, while YouTube was drawing 490 million users per month and Flickr housed 5 billion photographs, Statistic Brain, a Web site that specializes in statistics, said.