How big? take a look at this 2015 statistical infographic on the popularity of online videos by HighQ, a producer of software for the world’s largest law firms, investment, banks and corporations.
Interested in seeing how small businesses use social media to generate sales? Curious about which social media platforms are working well for small firms?
For its seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner surveyed 3,720 marketers, business owners, and solopreneurs from the United States and overseas, to uncover various trends. Here are 12 of the most important trends:
- Social Media Critical for Small Business — “96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, ‘Social media marketing is important for my business.'”
- Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing — “The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%.”
- B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C — “Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking.”
- Most Small Business Marketers Don’t Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working — “Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is ‘working.’”
- Small Businesses Plan to Expand Facebook Activities This Year — “The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it.”
- Most Small Businesses Spend 6 Hours or More Weekly on Social Media — “Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time.”
- Small Businesses Identify Increased Exposure as Social’s Top Benefit — “Even though ‘increased exposure’ is more difficult to measure than a metric like traffic or bounce rate, marketers and small business owners rank it the number-one benefit of marketing on social media.”
- Increased Traffic to Website Is Number-Two Benefit of Social Marketing — “77% of the survey respondents have appreciated the traffic that comes to their sites via social referral (clicking from Facebook or LinkedIn to the website for a blog post or landing page offer). Google Analytics and other tools make getting this data possible, even easy.”
- Social Media Cuts Marketing Expenses for Small Businesses — “Early on, social media developed the reputation of reaching audiences at a low price.”
- Small Business Direct Social Sales Rise Over Time — “More than half of marketers who have been using social media for more than 2 years report their channels helped them improve sales. Seventy percent of those with a 5-year social media marketing investment report it helps improve sales.”
- Facebook Dominates Social Media Paid Ads — “The low cost associated with social media ads is just one aspect that appeals to small businesses. The ability to target ads to a narrow geographic (down to the zip code) and demographic market provides another.”
- Types of Social Media Content — “Blogging and visual assets nearly tied at 70% and 71% respectively. The self-employed depend on blogging, with 79% of that faction reporting they blog. At this time, just 10% of marketers use podcasting, but some speculate that podcasting could be an opportunity. Requiring higher budgets and more technology, video content finishes third.”
Click the image to read more.
Each year, new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Some are culturally-driven; others are technology-driven. Many are unusual.
“Although the Oxford English Dictionary editors get the final say, they actually look to us to dictate whether a word should be added. In other words, we have no one but ourselves to blame for all the weird words that make the cut every year.”
“But we can at least share the blame with technology. None of us would be saying “srsly” if we hadn’t felt the urge to shorten words for text messages and E-mails. We wouldn’t be voting anyone off the island if not for the television series Survivor.”
“Want to see what  weird words were added to the OED thanks to Internet slang and technology? Read on.”
Here are ten of the words. They are in alphabetical order:
- Cyberchondriac (n.) – “A person who compulsively searches the Internet for information about particular real or imagined symptoms of illness.”
- Dox (v.) – “To search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”
- Egosurf (v.) – “To search the Internet for instances of one’s own name or links to one’s own Web site.”
- Lamestream (adj. & n.) – “Used to refer contemptuously to the mainstream media.”
- MOOC (n.) – “A free course of study made available over the Internet to a very large number of people.”
- Netiquette (n.) – “The correct or acceptable way to use the Internet.”
- Phablet (n.) – “A smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.”
- Screenager (n.) – “A person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for computers and the Internet.”
- Slacktivism (n.) – “Actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, (e.g. signing an online petition).”
- Woot (exclamation) – “Used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph, especially in electronic communication.”
Click the image to read more.
Yes, you read the title to this post correctly. Despite some stereotypes to the contrary, Wal-Mart is attracting lots of young adults.
“What’s the hottest big retailer with millennials [young adults]? Wal-Mart. The reason may be its investment in E-commerce and mobile, or it could be that its low prices resonated during the economic downturn. Or it could be specialty Tommee Tippee baby bottles [ :-) ].”
“‘Millennials now, as a generation, like Wal-Mart the best, more so than Generation X, more so than boomers,’ said Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart senior VP-consumer insights and analytics. ‘That kind of shocks a lot of people, including inside the company,’ admitted Wal-Mart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn.”
“It doesn’t exactly jibe with the perception that big-box supercenters are losing ground to niche brands, small stores, and E-commerce. Mr. Quinn sees it differently. ‘As millennials become time-crunched with relationships and kids coming along, it’s opening up a strong need for them to have a one-stop shop,’ he said.”
Pinterest is more popular than ever, and just keeps on growing.
Consider these statistics compiled by Craig Smith of DMR: 42 percent of all online U.S. adult women (and 13 percent of men) utilize Pinterest. In the U.S., as of 2015, Pinterest has more than 47 million total users (expected to reach 59 million by 2019); an additional 40 percent of users are from outside the United States. The average visit time is 14 minutes (98 minutes per month). 18 percent of Pinterest users have annual household incomes above $75,000.
Based on these figures, it really is a big deal that Pinterest has now decided to allow “buyable” pins. Here’s how the program will work, as reported by Suzannah Morris for HubSpot:
How Does it Work for Consumers? Next to the red ‘Pin it’ button, there will be a blue ‘Buy it’ button on pins. Any product with the blue ‘Buy it’ button will be available for purchase, directly from Pinterest. Consumers can filter by price and see different color and size options right on the pin. Then, when they’re ready to checkout, all they have to do is click the ‘Buy it’ button and pay with Apple Pay or a credit card. Pinterest is working with payment processors and Apple Pay, so that the consumers’ credit card information is secure. This is initially being rolled out in the U.S. on iPhones and iPads. Desktop and Android users will have to wait for future releases to be able to ‘Buy it.'”
How Can Your Business Get Involved? For the launch, Pinterest anticipates having more than 2 million buyable pins available by partnering with retailers like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom, as well as companies on the Demandware and Shopify commerce platforms. If you’re a Shopify user, you just need to add the Pinterest channel. If you’re a Demandware user, you need to contact your customer success manager. Not on Shopify or Demandware but eager to get involved? Pinterest has started a waitlist for businesses to sign up to be notified when future integrations are launched.”
Click the image to read more from Morris.
At this point in time, millions of organizations (and individuals) have become engaged in social media. However, they are not all at the same stage of development. Some are much further advanced than others.
“Nearly every technology applied to business processes, from change management software to cyber security, now boasts a maturity model. They’re intended to point out how far a company has gone towards optimizing the use of the technology. Social media is no exception.”
“Among the sources of information on social media maturity today, one stands out. It’s business research and consulting firm Altimeter Group’s paper, The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation. The six stages – planning, presence, engagement, formalized, strategic, and converged – describe how companies go from dabbling part-time in social to considering social in every strategic business decision they make in every department. When a company reaches this final, most evolved stage, Altimeter calls it a ‘social business.’”
In what stage of social media development do YOU fall? What are YOU doing to move further along in your development?
Trendwatching.com is an excellent source of information about current and emerging trends around the globe:
“Established in 2002, we help forward-thinking business professionals in 180+ countries understand the new consumer and subsequently uncover compelling, profitable innovation opportunities. We rely on professionals in London, New York, São Paulo, Singapore and Lagos and on our network of spotters in more than 90+ countries worldwide.”
At its Web site, Trendwatching.com makes available a number of free resources. Here are some recent examples:
- “ENLIGHTENED BRANDS — Why brands must evolve to a higher state of consciousness.”
- “POST-DEMOGRAPHIC CONSUMERISM IN ASIA — In 2015, Asia evolves beyond the old demographic models of consumer behavior.”
- “TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH — Why Latin American consumers are demanding honesty – and leaving no hiding place for brands!”
- “CANDID CONSUMPTION — Why increasingly inquisitive, info-craving African consumers will expect brands to be totally transparent in 2015.”
- “NO INTERFACE — Speech, gesture, touch, sight: why truly intuitive technologies are set to transform your customer interactions forever.”
- “CURRENCIES OF CHANGE — Why customers will expect good behavior to be more than just its own reward.”
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