BERLIN: Social media users in Germany have mixed opinions concerning the role of brands on Facebook, a new study has revealed.

Mindshare, the media agency, surveyed 497 Facebook members aged between 18 and 49 years old, to assess evolving views in this area.

Only 20% of the individuals polled expected their favourite companies and products to be active on the Web 2.0 site.

Netizens signing up as a fan of a brand also typically opted to follow offerings they were previously aware of, instead of discovering such items on Facebook's pages.

Elsewhere, a modest 11% of the panel had searched for information about goods and services using this platform, measured against 84% primarily engaged in keeping up with friends.

"It is very difficult to win new customers here; rather, relationships with old friends - that is, existing customers - can be enhanced," Thorsten Mandel, MindShare's managing director, digital, told Horizon.

"Brands that want to get involved on Facebook should first analyse precisely what users expect, and then how they can provide it."

Data sourced from Horizon; additional content by Warc staff