Social media users are more likely to respond to product offers shared by friends and family in their networks than to offers included in sponsored posts and social display ads, finds Yesmail in newly-released survey results. While that’s not an entirely surprising result given the generally greater influence of earned than paid media, the study also details the types of deals that are most likely to be shared. › Continue reading
Notes: 3 in 4 American adults claim to be very or somewhat concerned about having too much personal information about them online. The majority of respondents have little to no trust in social media sites, and 6 in 10 believe it likely than social networks sell their contact information. About two-thirds are concerned that social networks sell their personal data; similar proportions are concerned that websites (70%), online service providers (63%) and apps (67%) sell their information.
The report examines 8 content categories across 3 prominent social networks, deriving an index representing the relative difference between sharing activity on those specific channels and overall sharing activity within a specific category. The results show that:
- Twitter generates 8% more Arts & Entertainment sharing activity than average, with Facebook about average and Pinterest under-indexing in this category by a significant margin;
- Twitter generates 67% more Business & Finance sharing activity than average, with Facebook (14% less) and Pinterest (20% less) under-indexing in this category;
- Both Pinterest (+13%) and Facebook (+9%) over-index in Family & Parenting content sharing activity, while the opposite is true for Twitter;
- Facebook and Pinterest are about average in terms of Health & Fitness sharing activity, while Twitter sharing of this content is far below average;
- Facebook! > (+21%) and Twitter (+20%) each generate more content sharing about Politics than average, while Pinterest (-94%) tends to not be a sharing channel for this type of content;
- Science & Technology sharing activity is above-average on Twitter, but below-average on both Pinterest and Facebook;
- Sports content sharing is far above average on Twitter (+93%), and just as far below-average on Pinterest (-86%); and
- Pinterest generates a whopping 226% more Shopping content sharing activity than average, with Facebook (-17%) and Twitter (-43%) both under-indexing in this category.
drag2share: Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks
We tend to talk about social networks in terms of size, because audience reach is one of social media’s biggest advantages. That’s why Facebook gets so much attention. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, it’s a beast.
But as audiences adopt newer social networks, and people’s social activity becomes increasingly fragmented, other measures of social network activity become more important, especially for businesses trying to determine where to best allocate time and resources. How much time users spend on each social network and how engaged and interactive they are with content there are increasingly important ways of evaluating the sites.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence calculates an Engagement Index for top major social networks and compares their performance in terms of time-spend terms per-user, on desktop and mobile. We also look at how the different top activities on social media — photo-sharing, status updates, etc. — are indexing in terms of activity, and which sites drive the highest volume in each category. This report complements our popular reports on social media demographics and global audience sizes.
Here are our findings:
- Social is now the top Internet activity: Americans spend more time on social media than any other major Internet activity, including email.
- Social-mobile rules: 60% or so of social media time is spent not on desktop computers but on smartphones and tablets.
- Facebook attracts roughly seven times the engagement that Twitter does, when looking at both smartphone and PC usage, in per-user terms.
- Snapchat is a smaller network than WhatsApp, but outpaces it in terms of time-spend per user.
- Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn made major successful pushes last year to increase engagement on their mobile sites and apps. The new race in social media is not for audience per se, but for multi-device engagement.
- Multi-device social media: Our analysis is based on BI Intelligence’s social media Engagement Index, which compares the effectiveness of social networks in keeping individual users engaged across smartphones and desktop PCs (for an explanation of the Index, sign up for instant access to BI Intelligence).
drag2share: Social Networks Are Developing Very Different Windows Into Their Users Based On The Data They Collect
People use each social network very differently. On a very basic level, Instagram is for photo-sharing, Twitter is for posting news and pop culture content, Pinterest is for design, and Facebook is for everything in between.
The different ways people use social networks also heavily impacts the kinds of data these sites collect on users. This then informs the kind of hyper-targeted content served back to users from friends, publishers, or advertisers.
In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we take a close look at the kinds of information each of the biggest social networks collects on its users, and how that data fits into the overall strategy of each network.
Here are some of the unique pieces of data each social network is collecting:
- Facebook’s interest/social graph: The world’s largest online community collects more data via its API than any other social network. Facebook’s “like” button is pressed 2.7 billion times every day across the web, revealing what people care about.
- Google+’s relevance graph: The number of “+1s” and other Google+ data are now a top factor in determining how a Web page ranks in Google search results.
- LinkedIn’s talent graph: Twenty-two percent of LinkedIn users have between 500-999 first-degree connections on the social network, and 19% have between 301-499.The rich professional data is helping LinkedIn build a “talent graph.”
- Twitter’s news graph: At its peak late last year the social network was processing 143,199 tweets per second globally. This firehose of tweets provide a real-time window into the news and information that people care about. Fifty-two percent of Twitter users in the U.S. consume news on the site (more than the percent who do so on Facebook), according to Pew.
- Pinterest’s commerce graph: More than 17% of all pinboards are categorized under “Home,” while roughly 12% fall under style or fashion, these are windows into people’s tastes and fashion trends.
- YouTube’s entertainment graph: What music, shows, and celebrities do we like? YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable network, according to Nielsen. YouTube knows what they like to watch.
- Yelp’s and Foursquare’s location graphs: These apps know where we’ve been and where we’ll go. Foursquare has 45 million users and 5 billion location check-ins.
drag2share: Facebook Still Dominates Social Commerce, But For Certain Products Other Networks Are Gaining Traction
When it comes to formulating a social commerce strategy, knowing which social networks have the most influence on retail purchases, and what types of merchandise consumers are looking for on different social networks, should help retailers attract more customers.
Shopify, which provides e-commerce services to small- and medium-sized merchants, analyzed 37 million social media-referred visits to 90,000 online storefronts. Only 1.4% of those social-referred visits converted into a sale, but as we’ve said before, social media isn’t a particularly effective channel for closing sales. Rather, social media excels at the early stages of the shopping process — “top-of-funnel” activity — when consumers are still browsing and researching products.
The data does not account for consumers who return to sites later to complete a sale, after an initial social network referral occurred.
Nonetheless, Shopify’s analysis does shed light on which social networks are driving sales for certain types of merchants. It is also a good indicator of which social networks are strongest for top-of-funnel retail activity as well.
Facebook accounted for nearly two-thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores, while Pinterest came in second with 13% of visits. Approximately 85% of all completed sales that originated from social networks came from Facebo! ok.
Certain industries saw nearly all their social sales happen on Facebook. These industries include photography, sports and rec, pet supplies, and jewelry and watches.
It’s not surprising that the world’s largest social network accounts for the majority of social media-referred sales across industry.
Perhaps more interesting is which secondary social networks are emerging as sales drivers. Here, differentiation is more apparent by industry.
- Nearly three-fourths of social media orders for antiques and collectibles originated from Pinterest.
- Almost one-third of social media orders for electronics and appliances were referred by Reddit. This is likely a result of Reddit’s roots as a niche site for developers and technology professionals. Shopify notes that orders from Reddit across all types of merchants increased 152% in 2013.
The findings indicate that merchants of all types should have a Facebook presence. As for what other social sites make sense for a given retailer, there is variation by product.
Some of the more electronics-based stores might want to take a look at Reddit. Pinterest is solidifying itself as a major social commerce player, just behind Facebook. However, its value for small- and medium-sized merchants fluctuates across product categories.
More use video sharing
Business-to-business (B2B) marketers are already looking ahead to 2014, and the outlook for the year seems positive. The Sagefrog Marketing Group surveyed US B2B marketing and management professionals from a cross-section of industries in the summer of 2013 and found that 45% of respondents expected to see an increase in budgets in the next year, while 52% thought their outlays would remain the same.
The top four most popular marketing channels for B2Bs were all digital, according to the survey. Websites were the most uniformly employed technique, used by 85% of those polled. Email marketing was second at 72%, followed by social media (67%) and search engine optimization (56%). Just under half of respondents relied on trade shows, while four in 10 used direct marketing.
Eighty-four percent of B2B marketers used social networks this year, up from 79% in 2012, while both blogs and microblogs saw a decline in B2B use this year. Photo sharing also saw a precipitous decline over the last year. Video sharing, however, continued its growth trend, in use by 37% of surveyed B2B marketers.
In September, B2B Magazine released an analysis of data from Kantar Media, which found that ad spending among t! he top 50 B2B advertisers in the US had increased by 4.8% between 2011 and 2012 for a total of almost $4.3 billion. However, the only channels that saw ad spending growth were television, outdoor and consumer magazines. Online display ad spending dropped by 1.3%, according to B2B Magazine. Still, online display ads accounted for 10.5% of US B2B ad spending, behind only television (59.6%).
Tags: b2b marketers, budgets, bump, consumer magazines, cross section, direct marketing, email marketing, growth trend, management professionals, marketing budget, marketing channels, marketing group, outlays, photo sharing, precipitous decline, respondents, search engine optimization, social networks
Gamification, or the use of game elements to promote desired behaviors among customers and employees, has been a popular business strategy for decades. Loyalty programs, cereal box prizes, employee-of-the-month schemes, hidden tokens within video games and applications — these are all examples.
But the always-on mobile age has vastly expanded opportunities for gamification. Integration with social networks means these experiences are shared with friends, acquaintances and co-workers. A smartphone-carrying employee or consumer might be drawn into a gamified experience at any time, wherever they are.
In fact, gamification represents the fusion of four trends: the explosion of social media usage, the mobile revolution, the rise of big data, and the emergence of wearable computing. Already, marketers, enterprises, and even governments are using gamification to achieve and expand their goals.
Tags: acquaintances, business strategy, cereal box, co workers, drag and drop, emergence, employee of the month, explosion, game elements, google, marketers, mobile age, mobile revolution, smartphone, social networks, tokens
Thirty-five percent follow brands or stores on social
Although mothers are known to be especially active on social networks, that does not mean they will necessarily endorse their favorite brands by following them on social media. A June 2013 survey of US mothers participating in the Allrecipes.com community found that just more than one-third of respondents followed brands or stores on social media, while 65% said they did not.
This still put mothers ahead of Allrecipes.com participants overall in terms of their receptivity to following brands on social. More than seven out of 10 total respondents said they did not do this.
But that doesn’t mean mothers aren’t inclined to share their preferences and recommendations at a reasonably high rate—it just may be on their own terms.
A July 2013 Burst Media survey of US mothers on the web found that across all age groups, well over half of respondents posted about products or services on social media. And about 70% of the youngest mothers surveyed—those between 18 and 34 years old—did so. Shopping and retail ecommerce sites were also popular places for sharing opinions on products or services.
The Allrecipes.com survey found that a major incentive among mothers who did follow brands and stores on social was to receive discounts or special offers. Seventy-one percent of those who followed a brand socially said they di! d so for the discounts, and 69% did so to receive special offers.
Similarly, Burst Media’s research found that 56.1% of mothers surveyed shared coupons or incentives on social, a significantly higher rate than followed brands on social media. Of these coupon-sharers, more than one-quarter posted about coupons at least somewhat frequently.
Mothers are on the web scouring for deals and discounts, and they want to share what they find with others. They might not be overwhelmingly inclined to passively endorse a brand or store on social media, but with the right incentive, they’re much more likely to spread the word around.
Tags: age groups, allrecipes com, burst media, coupons, incentives, media survey, participants, receptivity, respondents, seventy one, sharers, shopping, social networks, special offers, survey found that
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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