Understanding the impact of Social Media.
Social Media is The biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution.
Erik Qualman, Socialnomics
With broadband access cruising to globally reach 95% by 2015, the whole wide world can access a gigantic amount of information never experienced before, in less time than ever.
What is happening and how are Social Media changing our society and modes of communication ?
Studies have shown that :
- 86% of viewers don’t trust traditional advertising.
- In the USA, 24 of the 25 largest newspapers have experienced record declines in circulation.
- Newspaper advertising has gone down almost 20% globally.
- Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns, generate a real positive Return on Investment.
- 90% viewers skip commercial breaks on TV.
- Printed Advertising will grossly drop almost 40% by 2015.
- The global Record industry is experiencing losses of up to 30%.
- The global Film industry lost more than 18 Billion USD in 2011.
These figures which are apparently due to a general loss of control by traditional industry, are, in fact, the direct result of a sharp turning point, a definite customer shift in the way people are consuming communication, information and entertainment.
It’s about users taking control
Vulgarized Internet access has resulted into explosive growths of Social Networks : Facebook, Twitter and other sharing platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Flicker and Instagram. This, by itself, demonstrates how much the user wants to be in control of the media that serves him.
The way people are interacting and sharing information and data, has forever changed the way of building reliable business models. But in any case, will Internet Marketing or Social Media Marketing replace good old traditional Marketing. Real-Life Marketing is indeed still mandatory.
Our head of social media is the customer.
Social Media is the Number One activity on the net, geared by an annual growth rate between 50 and 70%, of the global Internet traffic. Figures like the average 55-minute daily-visit on Facebook by the average user, totaling more than 6hrs per week, show beyond doubt, the take over of virtual socialization on people’s lives and reveal a deep social impact that has never been experienced in human history.
How fast did we get here ?
To understand this sharp and heavy shift, we must look down on history, and understand that Social Media is the new evolution stage in the way we communicate, interact and share information. Here are the facts:
It took :
- 38 years for Radio to reach 50 million listeners,
- 13 years for Television to reach 50 million viewers,
- 4 years for Internet to bring 50 million users online,
- 1 year for Facebook to register 200 Million users.
Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.
Brain Solis. Principal of FutureWorks
Doing business nowadays, is very much determined by what more than 200,000,000 bloggers think and talk about. About 34% of them have their say about brands, by posting more or less objective opinions and THEY are trusted by their peers.
Suddenly the World Changed
To date, more than 50% of the world’s population is under 30 yrs old of which, around 95% have joined, at least one social network. On the other side however, the fastest growing segment on Facebook, which will account for almost 1 Billion users by the end of 2012, is the 55-65 year-old females’ segment. This statement is one of the many disruptive statistics generated by the new social trend. It furthermore supports the fact that 65% of social platform users trust their friends’ recommendations upon purchase decisions, while 27% trust experts and only 8% follow celebs’ recommendations.
Facebook is now the bandwagon pulling Social Media’s exponential advancement. By 2015, it will become the second largest community behind China. While more than 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook, the amount of information exchanged, exceeds the 60 million status-updates mark daily. It is also believed that 1 out of 8 marriages in the USA is accountable to Facebook.
The advent of Smartphones has also helped in the outburst of social media. Where almost 500 million users connect to Facebook via their hand-held mobile devices in 2012, more than 50 million tweets are generated daily by 80% of the Twitter community from their Smartphones.
Off all this stats soup, companies who have an online and social media presence are reaping the most benefits. Studies have shown that companies with a consequent level of Social Media activity saw their sales soar up, with an average 18% steady growth, while those with the least social media activity found their sales plummeting down to -6% decline. This doesn’t mean that huge budgets are keys to success in Social Media though. Engagement, well oriented conversations, relentless dedication and sincere sharing are the main drives of modern online marketing. Forgetting about these basic principles may well spell mayhem.
You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social Media. The old media paradigm was Pay to Play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to PLAY to play.
Alex Bogusky, Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter and Bogusky
Now What ?
So think about all this. Try to figure out who’s watching you, your moves and your moods. The number of users around you is so big that you won’t even know how many are saying good or bad things about you or your brand.
In case of doubt, seek help. Handling Social Media is human-resource intensive and blinding your eyes in front of the deep impact of Social Media on the markets, is like organizing your own business’ euthanasia in a near future.
- The Rise of Social Media as News Source and What It Means for Business [Infographic] (saleschase.com)
- Introducing a New Framework for Measuring Social Media (greatfinds.icrossing.com)
- the final word on the social media revolution! (adscam.typepad.com)