By Catherine Fee, ADMA – Discussing Cara Pring’s article from The Social Skinny
I recently read an article by Social Media Guru Cara Pring on 99 New Social Media Stats for 2012. There were some interesting points that I’m sure most marketers would profoundly agree with, and then some that I feel might be a little too good to be true for 2012. Cara first discusses general social networking stats, the most interesting being that “social networking is the most popular online activity, with 22% of time online spent on channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.” Marketers have really focused on this 22% with “90% of them using social media channels for business, and 93% of these rating social tools as ‘important'”.
This might not be surprising to a lot of marketers, however what is more surprising is that we still haven’t figured out a solid marketing strategy on social sites as more and more organisations are still trialling interactions, rather than having concrete solutions to enhance their social presence. Is this the future of social marketing or will we be able to implement solid, measurable strategies online?
One channel which might be the saving grace of social marketing is mobile, with “42% of mobile users sharing multimedia via Facebook” consultants and marketers alike are capitalising on new mobile opportunities.
According to Nielsen, social networking is the fastest-growing category among users of both apps and mobile browsers, growing 240% and 90% respectively. eMarketer estimates that by 2015, the population of mobile social network users will reach 79 million. The one thing that both mobile and social offer consumers is local search. More and more people are searching Facebook for their local trainer or hairdresser and mobile complements the search by allowing applications like Foursquare and Facebook to show your geographic location, which opens local marketing up to a whole new world of opportunity that has been recently lost through the internet and the globe at everyone’s doorstep.
The trend is clear; people are switching to mobile devices and social to perform local searches for products and services, “20% would purchase within a social media site” says Cara.
According to Cara, “Social commerce sales should total $9.2 billion by the end of this year and are expected to climb to $14.25 billion in 2013 and $30 billion in 2015”. One thing that can make a solid social strategy is discounts and knowing that “60% of people are willing to post about products/services in Facebook if they get a deal or discount.”
One current hot topic that Cara discusses is Pinterest – something that I feel will drive online commerce even further (particularly the fashion industry). Pinterest is now the third most popular social network, behind Twitter and Facebook (in the US) and it is mainly comprised of females (at 60%). Interestingly enough according to Cara, “over 20% of Facebook users are on Pinterest daily”. Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of social media driven purchases by Q2 2012 (Facebook 60%) and according to Cara, buyers referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy something and spend an average of 10% more than visitors from other social networks”.
In terms of customer service, “17% have used social media in past year to obtain a service response” and users are willing to pay a “21% premium” for brands that deliver great service through social media? And with the current debate of Facebook potentially charging customers for the service, could they instead charge organisations a premium for a customer centric Facebook page?
“83% of social media users have not completed an intended purchase because of poor customer service and will inform 53 people (compared to 49% and 17 people for those not active on social)”, it might be worthwhile for brands to start investing in a social centric customer service model.
To sum up, it’s clear that brands who are not socially active online need to start investing their time and money – this applies to both local and global brands. In fact, local brands have more opportunity than ever to capitalise on the online environment. Only time will tell whether things like Pinterest will have the buying potential that we expect from it and as long as Facebook remains a free tool for customers, then it will continue to have enormous potential for marketers.
And finally, Cara said that this took her a decent chunk of her time to put together so if you like the full 99 statistics, she would appreciate a bunch of flowers, a million dollars or just post a thank you message in the comments section. You can like Cara on Facebook, Pinterest and on Twitter.