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Marketing Insights

What Does "Using Social Media" Mean?

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Three Critical Things We've Learned During This Economic Crisis

We've all been through a lot since the beginning of the year. Nothing but bad news. Some companies have had to go through the exercises of refinancing, re-grouping, re-thinking and even re-innovating. For many, it was the first real "recession and depression" experience they've lived through.

Here are three "take-aways" from this experience, which have hopefully made your business better than it was before:

  1. Creativity as a necessity: Changes in the economy have forced businesses to be creative about how they increase their sales, and in many cases they have focused their efforts towards their current customers. For many companies, it was "back-to-basics" with an emphasis on the "mom and pop" customer service of the old days.

  2. Differentiation as a necessity: Businesses understood that in order to be memorable in the customers' minds, they had to be famous or known for something. It became better to focus on a specific strength rather than try to be everything to everyone.

  3. Customer conversations as a necessity: As social media exploded onto the landscape, replacing the one way communication of traditional media, businesses realized that what customers were saying about them could dramatically influence their success or failure.

Not Just For Kids: 80% Of Online Adults Use Social Media Once A Month

According to Forrester Research, four out of five online adults use social media at least once a month and half of those people participate in social networks like Facebook. (www.forrester.com)

Although younger people have a foothold on social media, older Americans are getting more involved as readers and active participants.

What does this mean to your business? The 55-plus age group should not be ignored. They will exhibit powerful online voices that can affect your business. If this age group is relevant to your business, you may want to develop a blog, and let them know about it and welcome their comments.

What Does "Using Social Media" Mean? Finally, A Great Answer

We set out to discover what "using social media" really means. Just what are those four out of five online adults doing when they say they "use" social media?

Forrester Research (www.forrester.com/Groundswell/ladder.html) has a great presentation explaining the social media "behavior types." They include:

  • Creators: Active publishers, writers and "uploaders"

  • Critics: Those who post comments, ratings and reviews

  • Collectors: Those who subscribe to RSS feeds and collect articles

  • Joiners: Those who have profiles on various social networking sites

  • Spectators: Those who do nothing but read blogs and watch videos

The next time someone says they're using social media, you'll now know they are participating in one or more of the behaviors noted above.

Ready For The Rebound

This month starts the symbolic 2009 home stretch. Will there be a rebound between now and the holidays? We're going to be optimistic with a resounding "yes!" Our agency's clients will experience a rebound because we've kept them in top shape throughout the summer months.

Topics: Social Media, Marketing, Design


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