As I’m preparing for my October 14th presentation on developing an effective social media strategy, I’ve been doing a lot of research. Consequently I’ve come across some very interesting news stories on the current state of social media. Some pretty good news and articles in fact.
One that particularly caught my attention is from the Boston Globe, about consumers stating that they want to see more and more companies on social sites:
A study from Boston consultant firm Cone finds that almost 60 percent of Americans interact with companies on a social media website, and one in four interact more than once per week.
According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, 93 percent of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present, but also interact with its consumers via social media. In fact, 56 percent of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.
“The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone. “It isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”
Another very interesting piece is from CMS wire reporting the increase in traffic to blogs and how consumers are increasingly turning to them for information and guidance:
The 2008 Insight Report from MarketTools indicates that 68% of American adults visit online blogs, communities or social networks, and 33% of those surveyed say they visit these sites to read up on product reviews to help them make a purchasing decision.
Six months ago, only 42% of adults were flocking online to visit blogs, online communities or social networks. Today, on a daily basis, one in five adults, with more women than men, is surfing the web.
The third interesting one is not a news item but tips from Paul Gillin on how to deal with online negativity. Since so many companies cite negative feedback as a concern, this is particularly relevant today:
Anyone who embarks upon a social media campaign risks opening him- or herself to attack. Even the most noble causes can run afoul of extremists. In the vast majority of cases, these problems can be contained with sufficient planning. The trick is not to get caught flat-footed by criticism you didn’t expect. In fact, when managed professionally, negativity can actually enhance your image by demonstrating that you’ve thought through the issues in detail.
Now you’ve probably heard about Tina Fey’s SNL skit on Sarah Palin. Well, did you know that more people watched it online than the original broadcast on TV? Shows you the power of social sites and increasing importance of the digital medium. AdAge reports:
About 51% of viewers who have seen at least one of the skits are watching on the internet, indicating that viewing preferences for this type of content are shifting toward the computer.
About 23% of all views came from YouTube, including video of other talk shows that showed clips of the skit, with 17% of views attributed to NBC.com and 4% to Hulu.com
Some additional reading: