The rate of social growth and its implications for marketing can be terrifying for many companies. Digital and social murdered traditional push marketing, and spawned a new age of conversation, content marketing, and consumer empowerment.
But the following stats should only frighten you if you’re not acting now to use them to your advantage. So before checking under your bed for the social boogeyman, here are a few strategy tips (and some cheesy horror jokes to boot).
Every time you blink, there are 150+ new tweets.
Twitter now gets 200M+ tweets per day. Users have an average of 1300 followers, up from 1082 in 2011. And while they’re retweeting brands more often, they’re tweeting less original content about brands and products.
In the Twitter noise, no one can hear you scream. Shouting about your brand and products won’t get users’ attention – you have to give people a reason to want to follow you, read your tweets, and share their thoughts about you with their own networks. Be creative. Pizza chain Mellow Mushroom gained new followers (and a lot of laughs) with their recent campaign: if you follow the chain on Twitter, they’ll follow you back – in real life. Video of mascots in mushroom suits stalking Twitter users around town have over 19,000 views, and featured Twitter are likely to share their experience with their networks, amplifying the brand.
Mobile traffic will overtake PC traffic by 2013.
Last year marked the first time more mobile devices were purchased than PCs. Consumers now spend 10% of their media time on mobile phones – yet only 1% of all ad spend is spent in mobile. They’re active in social – 350 million people access Facebook through mobile, 20% of smartphone owners are Twitter users, and 13% of those use Twitter daily. As the smartphone adoption growth rates continue to climb (mobile penetration is still only 32% worldwide), the time consumers spend on mobile will predictably climb as well.
Meanwhile, the call (and texts, tweets, and searches) is coming from inside your house… in your aisles. Eighty-four percent of smartphone owners use their phones to aid in-store shopping – checking prices, reading consumer opinions, reviewing shipping options.
Don’t hide from this behavior – encourage it to own the mobile experience in stores. Offer a helpful mobile app with a barcode scanner that lets users find additional product info and order options. Use free wifi in your stores to track mobile activity and look for trends to improve your app.
24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Do you like scary movies? YouTube has them and millions of other videos, which collectively get 2 billion views per day. More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than was created by the Big 3 networks in 60 years.
Brands can use this content to influence sales. Over half of consumers feel more confident about their purchases when they watch related videos. And they’re turning to video from other consumers as well as brands. As of March 2012, 36% of consumers watched a “customer testimonial/review” video while shopping for apparel within the last six months. And 26% watched consumer-generated (non-testimonial) videos. Invite these types of videos on your site, and share them on your product pages to add a sense of “touch and feel” to the online experience.
A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
The professional social network is spreading faster than a zombie virus. Every Fortune 500 company has at least one executive on LinkedIn. It’s is an opportunity to connect with people you’d otherwise never get access to – as my colleague Ian Greenleigh calls it, a “social side door.”
On its first trading day on the NYSE, $LNKD shares rose 171%. Many speculated this bullishness was mostly due to the market’s hunger for social stock, as Linkedin was the first social network to go public. While that may be true in part, it doesn’t mean the network isn’t valuable. The data LinkedIn captures on employment and corporate activity reveals trends to power highly-targeted ad campaigns and corporate intelligence.
Don’t be afraid of social; it’s only a nightmare for the unprepared. With the right strategies to truly engage consumers and learn from data, social is a brand’s dream.