The 12 Truths About Social

2012-01-14 by Aaron Sarno

Social Media Truth

Compiled by McCann Truth Central, based on a series of research studies conducted across 19 countries, 30+ focus groups, and 12,000+ online studies – to find some absolute truths in the Social Media world.


The list was released at CES, then publicized online via a number of channels, including press release distribution.

The list of “truths” revolves around branding, consumer perceptions, and the role of social in modern business practices. Understanding some of these truths could mean the difference between failure and success for any company doing business online. Without further ado, here is the complete list of 12 Truths About Social:

  • Truth #1: The Nature of What’s Private and Public Has Changed: the monumental rise of social networking has caused a huge shift in the nature of what people believe is private. 75% globally agree, “People share far too much information online these days.”
  • Truth #2: There’s no Shame in Being a ‘Stalker’: with the advent of social media outlets, peoples’ walls have come down in the context of personal information. 1 in 3 people have Googled people they hardly know, and 1 in 4 have read a partner or friend’s text messages.
  • Truth #3: Consumers are Spending More Time Monitoring Their ‘Personal Brand‘: consumers around the world admitted to multiple online personalities. In emerging markets like India, 35% of people say that they monitor their online brand by Googling themselves more than once a month.
  • Truth #4: Consumers Have a Growing and Complex Ecosystem of Friends: connecting’ to a broader network of friends has replaced the singular need to ‘belong’ to a tight-knit group of friends. 47% of youth globally want to be remembered for the quality and quantity of their connections.
  • Truth #5: Even within the Complex Online World of Friendships, Consumers Still Know What Makes a Real Friend: in these new, online spaces for people to be social, a lot of fake friends have cropped up. Yet data indicates the values that make a real friend are quite clear. Asked which values they seek in a best friend, young people globally opted for ‘truthful’, chosen by 42%.
  • Truth #6: The Need to Broadcast Oneself Is Constant: southern countries are embracing new technology and are much more keen to share about their lives. 80% of Chileans and 77% of Indians agree that they like sharing thoughts and opinions with friends online, versus only 46% in the UK and 31% in Japan.
  • Truth #7: Everyone Now Has Some Type of Audience
  • Truth #8: Everyone will become More Focused on Their Own Online Story: with the introduction of Facebook Timeline people will become even more focused on their own story.
  • Truth #9: Brands Should become part of Their Consumer’s Personal Stories: as brands offer more events and experiences to consumers, recognize that there is a lifecycle within the consumer timeline – each stage will be reflected through social media.
  • Truth #10: Social Proof is a Powerful Force in Marketing: globally, over 90% of 16-30 year olds agree with the statement “if a company or brand impresses me in some way, I will make a point of telling my friends about it.”
  • Truth #11: If Brands Seeks Advocacy, Make it Worthwhile to The Consumer: 37% of the global population known as ‘Savvy Shoppers’ are willing to engage with and socialize with brands and businesses, but want to receive something tangible in return.
  • Truth #12: When it comes to socializing with brands, customers want value: globally, 86% of consumers understand that there are major benefits associated with sharing data with businesses online.

What do you think about this list? Do you feel there are other aspects to be added and discussed, or is this comprehensive enough? And how does it apply to your own social behavior?

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