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Americans’ Social Media Habits Highlight Business Potential

Local Businesses Should Consider How Customers Are Using Social Media

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Euro RSCG released some interesting findings from a study exploring the different ways Americans are using social media to "redefine their lives." The study looked at 1,228 social media users in the United States.

"Word of mouth has always been the most powerful marketing tool; what social media has done is dramatically increase the scale, velocity and immediacy with which people can influence each other and create the biggest revolution to hit our industry since television," said David Jones, global CEO of Euro RSCG. "One of the interesting findings of the study is that it’s the combination of online and offline experiences that creates the biggest impact."

Other findings include:

- Even though 53.5% of respondents have met new people through electronic media, face-to-face interaction is still the "gold standard"

- Consumers are engaging more in multi-way exchanges of ideas and opinions among consumers and brands

- Consumers are not only move involved with family and friends, but they have increased involvement in political and humanitarian issues.

- 40% agree that social groupings online can be truly social, while only 14% disagree. According to Euro RSCG, figures varied little across age, gender, ethnic, or income groups.

Marian Salzman"Online social networking has become part of our culture so quickly, it’s easy to forget just how new it is and how much it’s a work in progress. People are still experimenting with the different options and finding ways to make it part of their life," said Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America. "Forget the images of sad antisocial types. Smart consumers are mixing and matching the tools that come available to meet their social needs. Electronic tools are making them even more socially active, just as the telephone did back in the day."

Perhaps more interesting than the statistics provided by the firm, are the key takeaways it cites. This includes things like the fact that social media is an important consideration for any communications strategy, and the fact that it’s impossible to predict how bits of communication will spread across social media.

The firm also says that even though the web is world-wide, its emerging power is hyperlocal. This is because this is the space where online and offline most often meet. That is a key reason why businesses, particularly local businesses should not ignore social media. 

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