I watched the recording of Nicole Purviance’s session about social media marketing and found it fascinating and actually learned surprising new facts. When she first presented that globally internet users average about 5.4 hours per month on social networking sites I actually found that rather low. Perhaps it is because my current job is in the software industry and living in Silicon Valley almost every person I know spends a lot more time on social media sites.
The other happy surprise I had was one study showed that over the course of one month Pinterest actually had users spending the most time on its site only behind Facebook and tied with Tumblr. For Facebook its users spent 405 minutes on the site with both Pinterest and Tumblr users spending 89 minutes on their sites. No other social media came close with Twitter being next at 21 minutes. I am a huge fan of Pinterest and spend hours on it a week which I suppose is not all that surprising considering Nicole pointed out the majority of social media users are female, between ages 18-34 and Hispanic. So I fall into 2 out of 3 of those categories.
Nicole also mentioned The Fancy, which could be considered a competitor to Pinterest, but in addition to saying you “fancy” a post you can also click on it to be taken to targeted advertising and pricing of that particular item. I don’t think I find that aspect all that appealing but it probably does serve its purpose.
In regards to how companies use social media they are using it all across the board in order to monitor customer satisfaction, advertising and one use that surprised me was to find potential employees. Facebook has proven to be the preferred medium for companies to interact with their customers and Nicole points out that the best way to have a successful social media presence is to provide ways for your customers to interact with you and give them a reason to come back over and over.
I think more and more companies are taking advantage of this marketing tool as I find my local bookstores sending “invitations” to come to author signings, other companies offering giveaways for “liking” their page or offering up coupons to get a discount on their latest product.
I think use of social media by companies large and small will continue to rise. More and more people will be coming online and there will be entire generations who do not know a life where they are not online. I found it interesting when my parents were visiting that to find restaurant reviews, plumber recommendations, etc. they would turn to the yellow pages or the newspaper where as I would first head to Yelp to see what others had to say.