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February 02, 2010

Social media misconceptions 3 : Social media is a fad

Social media misconceptions 3 : Social media is a fad

In this, the third blog in my series on Social Media Misconceptions, I deal with the misconception that social media is a fad.

Let's understand the definition of the word "fad": A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze.

On that basis alone, the misconception is blown out of the water. Because social media has been around for at least 15,000 years - from when the first cave man painted some drawings on a cave wall to explain which animals were important to his life!


You see, social media is simply the social sharing of information through media! People have been doing that for centuries. The media might have changed over the years - from cave paintings, to papyrus, to stone tablets, to books, to radio, to newspapers, to TV and now we have the web. Instead of using your vocal cords, a chisel, a paintbrush, or a pen to share information, you now have the ability to share it via your keyboard by self-publication on-line.

However, unlike these previous media, the web allows you to leverage and aggregate on-line technologies to spread your messages like never before in the history of man! Most of these on-line tools are free to use, meaning you don't have to have a budget of £thousands, like you would need to produce and air a TV commercial for instance.

There are 31 billion searches on google each month and the web is impacting on every aspect of our lives. We currently know that 25% of all web user-generated content is in respect of products and services, and this is growing.

~ Informal conversation is probably the oldest mechanism by which opinions on products and brands are developed, expressed, and spread. ~ Johan Arndt


When I bought my new Audi, I searched on the web for "Audi A5 reviews". The first two or three listings were Audi, which I ignored. The rest were peer review and these are the ones I took notice of. There is a whole new business exposure channel opening up. It's called Customer to Customer, or Community to Community. If you are not visible in these networks, then you simply won't have relevance to the people searching for your product and/or service.

We've discussed the "media", now let's focus on the "social" part.

~ More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject. ~ Peter Drucker

In other words, if you think about it, people have always done business in a social environment with people they know, like, and, most importantly, trust. Where there is trust, business happens.

If you are still in any doubt as to whether social media is something you should be engaged with, then have a look at these statistics from the excellent Socialnomics Social Media Blog:

1. By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network

2. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

3. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media

4. Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.

5. If Facebook were a country it would be the world's 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia (note that Facebook is now creeping up - recently announced 300 million users)

6. Yet, some sources say China's QZone is larger with over 300 million using their services (Facebook's ban in China plays into this)

7. comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month - Vkontakte.ru is the #1 social network

8. 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction

9. 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum

10. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees….80%

11. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females

12. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the population of Ireland, Norway, or Panama. Note I have adjusted the language here after someone pointed out the way it is phrased in the video was difficult to determine if it was combined.

13. 80% of Twitter usage is outside of Twitter…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?

14. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen

15. What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…

16. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube

17. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles…some studies show it's more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English

18. There are over 200,000,000 Blogs

19. 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily

20. Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth

21. If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour

22. Facebook USERS translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks and cost Facebook $0

23. 25% of search results for the World's Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content

24. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands

25. People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them

26. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations

27. Only 14% trust advertisements

28. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI

29. 90% of people that can TiVo ads do

30. Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009

31. 25% of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video…on their phone

32. According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available

33. 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.

34. In the near future we will no longer search for products and services they will find us via social media

35. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.

36. Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second

37. Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertiser.

On-line social media will never take the place of meeting face to face, or picking up the phone, or attending a networking event. However, it does allow people to get to know you and trust you through your consistent content ... and, if they do, it will be them picking up the phone to speak to you!

If you have found this blog of interest, then you may like to have a look at my training day, taking place this Saturday in Guildford. It is titled "How to implement a social media strategy for your business". Please click >>> here.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Oon for his wonderful and generous testimonial about by training days: Why do I keep attending courses led by Nick Tadd? This is social media in action!

Regards N


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