The 2012 Nielsen report on Social Media was released in December and it’s clear ‘social media is coming of age’. If you are a business owner, understanding the impact that social media can have on your business, knowing how to structure a comprehensive social media strategy and successfully engaging your target market online should now be key components to your overall marketing strategy. Here are some stats from the December 2012 Nielsen report. If you are interested in the full report, you will find it by clicking here.
It’s important to note the rise of mobile web use and be sure that your website renders well to a mobile device! If appropriate, you might also consider creating a mobile app for your business as they now account for more than a third of social networking time across PCs and mobile devices.
It was also noted that while the PC based social media audience declined by 5% over last year, the time spent on social media increased by a whopping 24% meaning a deeper level of engagement.
So, which sites were most visited and how did they perform in 2012?
Pinterest was the standout this year and experienced exponential growth. If you are a business owner in the following verticals, a Pinterest presence would be worth considering:
- Arts & Crafts/DIY
- Style & Fashion
- Home Decor
To read more about Pinterest, please click here to access an earlier post.
Overall however, Facebook continues to dominate and is still the second most visited site on the web next to Google. For more information on how to increase your level of engagement on your Facebook Business page, please click here to access a previous post.
Google+ also experienced good growth this year. It would be worthwhile exploring a Google+ account as many of the Google services are now tied into it – including Google Places and YouTube. Google continues to tweak its offerings, however it is also pulling many of the free services it has previously offered and they continue to test developers’ and SEO organizations patience with its algorithms that control the search engines.
Twitter and WordPress enjoyed modest growth and Tumblr continues to be quite popular with the youth. MySpace and Blogger continue to lose ground.
LinkedIn growth was flat as LI struggles to find ways to allow users to engage in more meaningful ways. LI recently introduced changes to the profile, including the removal of the events function. They also did away with the Apps feature and added the ability to add media links to images, presentations, videos, and documents which is a welcomed change. They are also working on providing rich media functionality to the new profile, so if you are a Slideshare or Portfolio Display user, your content for these apps has moved to the “Summary” section on your profile on the new design. On a negative note, one clumsy feature is how you add your blog back in to your LinkedIn profile if you are a self hosted WordPress user. You must now have a WordPress.com profile, tie it to your self hosted site, install the JetPack Plugin and configure it to link your blog to your LinkedIn profile.
Social Care (customer service on social media), is becoming imperative particularly for global brands, although I always caution small business owners to keep a watchful eye and ear to the ground as customers choose when and where to voice their questions, issues and complaints. One should be prepared to engage users in this space – good, bad or indifferent. According to this Nielsen report, one in three people now prefer social care over contacting a company over the phone.
Of particular interest is the shift in the customer decision making journey as brands no longer can control how and when customers will make a buying decision. Opinions, tastes and preferences expressed by larger pools of influencers (friends, family and peers) now dictate what a consumer will likely do so it’s important to be part of the conversation – listening, learning and reacting to how consumers are relating to your brand.
I am excited to see what 2013 brings! Who will be the newcomers? What will be the standout site? Social media is an exciting and challenging space to be in, but the rewards can be big and ignoring it would be a mistake. One thing is for sure, it’s fast moving and ever changing. Don’t get left behind! If you need help, consider contacting a Social Media specialist like myself or someone in your own area.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change -”. ― Heraclitus
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