Social media today has become a powerful tool, not only to communicate with family and friends all over the world but also as a strong influencer of brand perceptions. In our recent survey on your online experiences we tried to understand, amongst other things, how panel members communicate using social media. Here are some of the interesting things that 435 panel members shared with us:
Firstly we noted that people across genders, ages, regions and languages joined in – in fact more than 90% have participated in some form of social media! We could pick up some demographic differences. Jo'burgers, for example are the most likely to participate in social media and young people are the most unlikely not to participate.
What types of sites are mostly visited?
· Participants are mainly invested in communication / interaction, as are achieved via Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.
· Respondents also like to share specific content amongst a community such as photos, art and video or live video casting. Popular sites include Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Youtube and Skype.
· In the third place, they like to share reviews and opinions by accessing and contributing to product and business reviews (Hellopeter) and Q&A sites (Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers).
· The purpose of collaboration and authority building is not well represented. While some document management and editing is done via social media by means of e.g. Google docs, the potential of receiving customised news or accessing traffic information for customised routes are not realised.
· Achieving the objective of pure entertainment, such as through virtual worlds or games, is not an important driver for our social media participants. Looking at social networking, which is mostly done via Facebook, the most popular reason why you joined is to get in touch with people you haven't seen in a while followed by staying up to date with what is happening in friends and family's lives. You also shared with us that you enjoy social networking because it is a cost effective way of communicating and because you have a choice with who you would like to communicate. So why do people not participate in social networking?
· People who do not participate in social networking expressed their concern about identity theft.
· Social networking is perceived as something that would take up time and as such this segment does not have the additional time to participate.
· Mistrust in the purpose of social networking.
· An association with an addictive activity that one should try and avoid.
· A preception that it is more suited to young people.
· Some also indicated that they do not take part in social networking because they do not have the technology available to do so, but if they could they would like to get connected.
We had a great response on this survey and think it is a worthwhile topic to keep up to date with. Hope to hear from you again in a follow-up survey.
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