Performics and ROI Research recently unveiled S-Net (The Impact of Social Media), the second wave of a study that began in October 2009. The two companies surveyed 3,000 U.S. social network users in April to explore how social media permeates consumers’ lives and affects communication, shopping and other activities, as well as how social networking habits and preferences have trended since last October.
Generally speaking, social networkers reported strong support for Facebook, with 13% more maintaining active accounts in April 2010 compared to October 2009. All other networks included in the study registered a reduction in active accounts over the same time period: MySpace, YouTube, Windows Live, Classmates.com, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Overall, the study documents the continued expansion of the role of social networking in users’ personal lives:
• 51% say social sites are the best way to communicate with friends and family
• 39% of Twitter users respond to other people’s tweets once a week or more
• More than 30% of respondents access Facebook and/or Twitter from their mobile phone (through a browser or application) once a day or more
Social networkers want more brand interaction
The study also asked questions about brand interaction and, as was the case in October during the first wave of the study, many participants have hopped on the brand wagon. Specific to brand interaction, many social networkers already actively engage:
• 40% use social sites to connect with brands and products
• 50% of Facebook users click on Facebook ads to “like” a brand
• 37% learned about a new product or service from a social networking site
• 32% have recommended a product/service/brand to friends via a social networking site
• 32% of Twitter users re-tweet content provided by a company or product
This widespread participation between social networkers and brands is attributable to companies “getting it right” when it comes to social engagement and giving users what they want. For example, a whopping 90% said that at least some of the companies and/or products they are a fan of are doing a good job providing relevant content. More than a third said most or all of them were doing a good job. So it only makes sense that social networkers reported a desire for more of the same from the companies they follow:
• 49% want more printable coupons
• 46% want more notifications of sales and special deals
• 35% want more information about new products
As users continue to integrate social networks into more aspects of their lives and embrace brand interaction, marketers seeking to capitalize on social media opportunities may want to accelerate their efforts.
CMOs can get started with a simple five question audit:
1. Are we engaging our customers with social media?
2. Have we determined the best social networks and vehicles for our brands?
3. What have we done to expand and refine our efforts to date?
4. Have we established performance and ROI metrics for the social channel?
5. What are we doing to stay ahead of the curve and encourage innovation?
For more information or to request a copy of the study’s findings, see the S-Net post on Performics’ blog.
Michael Kahn (email@example.com) is senior vice president, client services at Performics and a monthly contributor to Chief Marketer.