Universal McCann have just published Wave5 of their Social Media Tracker. It provides a great snapshot of social media usage from around the world. The overall report is useful for brands and social media agencies alike and provides particular insight to people planning multi-national soial media strategies.
Among other things, they asked internet users if and why they join brand communities (see diagram below). And found that those who had joined brand communities were 71% were more likely to make a purchase as a result.
This backs up what we have found with clients in a range of industries and shows the power that online communities can bring to brands.
Why people join brand online communities (McCann)
The report is well worth a read and is Required Reading from FreshNetworks this week. You can find a full version to download here.
Earlier this year, we posted about research from Universal McCann looking at the impact of social media. Thanks to Simon at Curiously Persistent, I came across some new and equally interesting research from the team their. This time they look at the influence we have online, how we respond and react to other people, and how user-generated content informs our decision making.
This is a timely piece of research, as we posted last week, 25 million US adults base their purchasing decisions on social media. The Universal McCann research looks into this behaviour in more detail.
I won’t try to summarise the whole thing here, but it has become required reading at FreshNetworks. For us the research is particularly useful in highlighting how and why people are using social media and online communities to effect change across a range of domains, from politics to shopping. The data on which these conclusions are based are worth exploring in more detail but the message for brands is clear: we’re in a new world of transparency.
In this world, it is easier for people to have their voice heard and to hear the voices of others. Everybody matters and everybody can be part of an exchange with each other and with a brand. Brands need social media strategies to reach out to these people and to truly engage in these new transparent terms. Scary stuff at times, but there are some great examples of where this has worked (and if you want to see some jump to the end of the presentation below).
I saw a really useful set of research findings today from Universal McCann, the third wave of their research into the impact of social media. The research comes from a couple of months ago but is a fantastic digest based on a large respondent base.
The slide deck is below and is very detailed and worth going through, but I thought I’d pull out three highlights that resonate with our own experiences at FreshNetworks.
- The research highlights the power and continuing rise of the Asian social media market. China has more bloggers than the US and Western Europe combined and across the region social media growth is huge. I’ve seen this for a number of years, often investigating the Asian market (especially South Korea, China and Japan) for clients wanting to know what the next thing to hit the Western Europe might be.
- Video is the fastest growing reported area with significant growth in penetration across all regions. We see this every day – a growth in the use of video on sites and of making video portable and shareable. I know that the BBC in the UK has seen a significant rise in the viewing of video in its news site since it started embedding video rather than linking to it.
- There is a measurable impact of social media on brand reputation. The research shows that 34% of people post opinions (positive or negative) about brands and that 36% feel more positive about brands that have a blog. This is an interesting finding, our recent post on brand blogging talked about how brands might get this right, this research underlines the importance of getting it right.
The slide deck below covers the full detail of the research findings and I really think it is worth your while reading it. It’s particularly useful for looking at how different regions and countries are developing in different ways.