One Third of Internet Users Swayed by Social Content
One in three internet users say that their purchase decisions are swayed by sites with social content, according to a January 2007 survey conducted by JupiterResearch for iProspect. The survey, which was commissioned to explore how consumers use social networking sites, defined a social networking site as one that allows users to post their own content, including sites with user-generated product reviews, such as Amazon.com. The most popular social networking sites are frequented by 25% of internet users at least once a month, iProspect reports, and visitors arrive at the sites primarily through direct navigation and bookmarking. The study also shows that while less than 10% of the internet population visits niche social networks, they are a highly targeted and effective way of reaching very specific consumer groups.
23% of Consumers Turn to WOM to Research Purchases
While 25% of consumers claim the internet as their primary stop for pre-purchase information, 23% of consumers still look to friends, family, and co-workers as their first source of information when researching a potential purchase, according to a survey conducted by market research firm Campaigners for the consumer electronics publication TWICE (This Week in Consumer Electronics). Folks that turn to word of mouth for their technology information do so because their family, friends, and co-workers are “trustworthy, reliable, honest, easy to understand, and have first-hand knowledge,” according to the survey.
Social Networkers Turn TV Off, Internet On
Social networkers would rather log on to their favorite social networking site (17%) than do just about anything, including watch TV (14%), surf the internet (10%), and play video games (9%), according to the April 2007 study, “Never Ending Friending.” Commissioned by MySpace and others, the study also found that 32% of social networkers ages 14 to 40 have increased their internet usage since joining a social networking site. Both TV watching (16%) and video game playing (20%) decreased as a direct result of social network participation. The survey reports that social networkers tend to sync their “real life” and virtual life social networks throughout the day, with 15% saying they’re regularly on their favorite social networking site first thing in the morning, 16% before work/school, 18% at lunch, 25% at school/work, 31% after work/school, 68% in the evening, and 30% late at night. Social networkers say they use the sites to connect with their regular friends (69%), friends with whom they have lost contact (46%), family members (41%), people from outside their city (31%), and people they know only in the virtual world (27%).
55% of Global Corporations to Use Blogs By Year’s End
Fifty-five percent of global executives either currently use blogs as a business tool or say they plan to implement them in the next 12 months, according to a study released in March. Survey results indicate that 63% of executives use or plan to use online video, 43% podcasts, 51% RSS, and 41% social networks. Seventy-one percent of respondents say “improved employee engagement” is the top benefit of social media for their organization, while 59% name “improved internal collaboration” and 47% “creating a two-way dialogue with senior executives.”
* 52% of executives anticipate their social-media budgets will increase over the next 12 months, and 23% say gaining executive support is a key challenge to further adoption.
* Only 26% of executives say they know how to monitor what is being said about their organization, industry, or products online.
* 45% of executives indicate that having employees discussing their organization online poses a risk.
* 70% of executives admit they have no guidelines or policies related to blogging or other social media tools.
SOURCE: The Word of Mouth Marketing Association