Hot off the press – the Yellow Pages 2013 Australian social media report was released 2 days ago and if you missed some of the key takeouts, I’ve summarised my 4 big takeouts that I deem most relevant for marketers – to save you from reading the entire report.
1) The importance of mobile in social media strategy
As mobile internet usage continues to grow exponentially – consumer consumption of social has shifted to the small screen. For the first time, mobile has become the preferred platform to access social media. The report revealed 67% of consumers are now accessing social media (up from 53 per cent in 2012) from their smartphone, while the proportion using laptops and PCs to access social media decreased to 64 per cent (down from 69 per cent in 2012) and 46 per cent (down from 54 per cent) respectively.
Implication? One of the most obvious implications relates to timing – 37% of consumers now check their social media presence first thing in the morning and 42% do so just before they go to bed. Equally mobile traffic is known to peak after ~5pm and as well as on the weekend therefore marketers need to consider how this impacts timing of content distribution to maximise effectiveness.
2) Social influence on path to purchase
The report revealed one in five consumers research a product or service on social media before buying and 58% of those who had researched ended up making a purchase (up from 40% in 2012). Of those only half were made online highlighting the importance of social media for bricks and mortar stores.
But which product categories are people researching? Fashion and electrical goods topped the list, followed by computers, cosmetics and fragrances and music.
Implication? Quantifying the value of “influence” is of key importance to digital marketers working in industries where the transaction / conversion is made offline / in-store given it is not as easy to track as an online purchase. This is particularly true for channels like social media as many marketers are still struggling to demonstrate ROI.
3) Acquiring and engaging followers / fans
For brands still in the early throws of developing social strategy – the report gave some key signals as to what consumers are looking to get from following a brand. Discounts came up trumps – followed closely by giveaways, product info, tips and advice and coupons.
Implication? Attracting and retaining fans / followers will become tougher as brand noise heightens. Whilst it may seem obvious, it is important brands set clear expectations around the value consumers will gain from following them on social media and even more important that brands deliver on that promise. Equally as consumers show interest in a range of different offers and content – it is important that brands continually test and learn not only different types of content but different formats to determine what resonates with their audience.
4) The role of customer service in social media strategy
Content strategy is however only half of the story as more and more consumers turn to social media to complain about a product, service or experience. The report found 66% of businesses leveraging social media are dealing with complaints – and there is little surprise why – as many consumers feel this is the most effective way to get a company’s attention.
Implication? Customer service is part and parcel of actively engaging in social media. Marketers cannot develop a social presence in isolation, close cooperation and collaboration with customer service (as well as other areas of a business) is vital to ensure issues are being effectively dealt in a timely manner.
Big 4 not enough? If you have a few hours to spare – download and read the complete report here.