Introduced by UM
research director Glen Parker
, the event hosted Facebook and Microsoft among a panel welcoming the launch of the 37,600-person study of social network usage, across 53 markets.
Parker, who pointed to mobile becoming a huge driver of social network use, said the study helped answer questions as to what brands should be doing in the space.
'Most (brands) inherently, aren't social, but users are expecting to see them in the same places as they are in. People are moving away from traditional brand spaces. For all customers - the one thing they all want is good service, but in all other aspects they are completely different. The real challenge is understanding the social network needs of each consumer,' he said.Download the full Wave.5 study here
- but we've picked out a few headlines for you:
- There are 1.5 billion visits to social networks, daily. Of those repsonding to the Wave survey, 61.4% have managed a profile in the past six months, a 10-point rise since Wave.4 in 2009
- Almost half of respondents have accessed brand communities on social networks. The highest motivations for joining were 'to learn' (78.6%) and 'to gain advance news on products' (76.1%)
- Of those who joined brand communities, 71% were more likely to purchase and 63% recommended others to join
To make sense of the stats, UM convened a panel discussion on the socialization of brands. Moderated by Prof. Patrick Barwise
, moderator, Emeritus Professor marketing and management at LBS
, the panel featured Facebook
EMEA vice president Joanna Shields
, Jeannette Liendo
corporate marketing group global campaigns director, Nothern Rock marketing director Anthony Mooney
, digital anthropologist Stefana Broadbent
and James Harris
, head of digital at UM.
Shields opened up by bringing Facebook's impressions to bear on brand activity at its 500m-strong network: 'People are starting to trust institutions less and less but they do trust their friends. If you use Facebook correctly you're in a dialogue. For example, if you follow Burberry, one day you will get a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Murray at New York fashion week, the next day you will get a picture of the new season bomber jacket. It's not just about selling.'
Mooney added that Northern Rock has experienced unlikely, but welcome success in changing the marketing conversation around its bank in a North East trial, by hosting book clubs on and offline. 'The one thing that struck me is that this is all still about real people and real relationships. We get hung up on platforms, but it is about real conversations,' he said.
'You can try things out before making costly mistakes', agreed Shields.
has experienced success using social media for CRM and product testing: Liendo revealed: 'It's about being authentic - people want to have a conversation and be listened to. During the launch to Windows 7 we had 250,000 tweets and that was great as we were able to implement 108 product changes before launch.'
Digital anthropologist Stefana Broadbent
provided a note of caution, suggesting her studies of online behaviour were revealing little change in people's intimate networks, which remained at around 5 peers, on average. However, her observations included a view that changing technology meant the door into the personal home actually more open than ever, with more personal interaction than when TV invaded the living room half a century ago. Broadbent also noted the impact of smartphones - Wave.5 finding that mobile social media users accessed their networks 18 percent more than the average user. Suggesting 'mobile phones are the new cigarettes', Broadbent claimed work restrictions and lack of computer access were driving the huge uptake in the mobile web.
A fascinating conversation backed the Wave.5 findings, highlighted slides from the report linked below, that the social sphere provided unrivalled opportunity so long as brands kept their ears open and targeted consumers on their terms.www.umwww.com