Social media and social networking are a rather constant part of our lives. Businesses and marketers cannot ignore social media as a way to get in touch with customers. Social media networks are useful not only for disseminating messages, but also for engaging clients and providing customer care. The Nielsen’s Social Media Report shows that social media comes of age. The report’s findings are useful to marketers as they point out the growing number of people browsing the Internet, their habits and the importance of mobile nowadays, as well as sales generated by social networks.
First and foremost, social media networks are getting more and more visits from users. U.S. consumers spent 121 billion minutes on social media sites in July of this year, according to this report. This shows a 37% growth to the last year’s number of minutes. 63% of this year-over-year growth is due to mobile apps and mobile web, 46% of social media users saying they connect using their smartphones and another 16% using their tablets.
Consumer usage of social media evolves, as social TV is a new trend. Over 33% of Twitter users said that they have tweeted about TV-related content, and 44% of the US tablet owners and 38% of US smartphone users connected to social networks while watching TV. Another interesting finding is that one in three US consumers prefers to use social media instead of phone or email for customer care.
As entrepreneur Herman Friedman noted, “Social media is important to businesses as well as consumers share their experiences online, and other potential buyers check this feedback before making a purchase.”
In what advertising on social networks is concerned, the sales generated aren’t very big as a result of advertising campaigns on such networks. Just 10% of social network users went further and made an online purchase based on a social ad, and only 8% have made an offline purchase.
A look at the top social networks shows that Facebook is number one, again, regardless of the device used for access (tablet, smartphone or PC). This social network is followed by Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, tumblr, MySpace and Wikia. True, some wouldn’t consider Blogger and WordPress as social networks, yet blogging has its social aspects.