Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The statistics that say you must take social media seriously

Graphic representation of less than 0.0001% of the WWW, one of the services accessible via the Internet, representing some of the hyperlinks. The use of the Internet as prior art in patent law is surrounded by concerns as to its reliability.Image via Wikipedia

I have been working through a range of statistics that show how significant social media is for PR and marketing.

While UK internet users are all saying they want to hear from brands and companies on line, with rare exceptions, marketers and PR people cant quite make the leap of faith to do it.

Perhaps this list of links will suggest to them that it is their inhibitions that are the problem and not whether this space is commercially important.

Perhaps this too, will suggest that online PR is a great career move. Perhaps this will show the Universities they need to be able to teach this stuff.

So here goes (and if you want to add any... help yourself)

  • London School of Economics Reports: a 7 per cent increase in word of mouth advocacy unlocks 1 per cent additional company growth.

  • National statistic office report six in ten Internet users go online dail

  • IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Online retail sales in the U.K. grew 54% in 2007 over 2006, reaching £46.6 billion from £30.2 billion http://tinyurl.com/62ee4x

  • IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. 15% of all British retail sales took place online last year. http://tinyurl.com/62ee4x

  • 40,362,842 UK Internet users in Nov/07 http://tinyurl.com/6255h5

  • 66.4 % penetration, of the population http://tinyurl.com/6255h5

Growth in social media

Social Media affects consumer behaviour

Top Brand mentions in social media


  • Reasons for people going online

(Source: National Statistics Office)

What people do online

Social media affects every stage of the shopping process

  • A study by DoubleClick shows that the web is the most influential medium in shaping consumers’ purchasing decisions, with shoppers using it at every stage of the shopping process, from first awareness to final purchase. http://tinyurl.com/58coe9

Should be % of marketing spend

  • Internet advertising has again buoyed the UK advertising industry with above-expectation 41.3% year on year growth in the first half of 2007. This takes the sector to a half-year high of £1,334.3 million – compared to £917.2 million just a year ago – lifting online advertising’s market share significantly, to 14.7%. http://tinyurl.com/2xg2kr

  • Where is Internet advertising going?


  • Audience engagement in online advertising is 18 per cent more effective than its print equivalent, and people are also 15 per cent more engaged in magazine articles online than in print. So much for print advertising. http://tinyurl.com/4kzf3c

  • But is advertising the answer? Nope!

New research into the effectiveness of different advertising mediums has revealed that advertising on social networks has had very little impact on consumers so far. http://tinyurl.com/657yj2

  • Since July 2006, Topshop has seen more visitors to its site come from its pages on social networks like MySpace than from search engines. Advertising don't work involvement does http://tinyurl.com/5tgpfm

  • Over 90 per cent of marketing departments are planning to launch a social media campaign in 2008 http://tinyurl.com/66pq63

  • A survey, conducted by LEWIS PR at PR Week’s New Media Conference, revealed that 75 per cent of attendees are planning to use a blog as a social media asset in 2008 – an increase of 50 per cent on 2007. The number of firms planning to use social networking is tipped to increase from 33 per cent to over 70 per cent. http://tinyurl.com/66pq63

  • What Web 2.0 is most effective for US companies http://tinyurl.com/57xrgh

Online vs print media (popularity, growth etc)

  • Average Time Spent on Social Nets 3X Longer Than News and Media Sites


For any target demographic there are numbers;

What sites are 1835 working women visiting? (not just media)

  • In all countries except the UK and the US, more men than women use the internet. In the UK, the split is equal (50/50), while in the US 52% of internet users are women, with 18-34 year-old women being particularly active in both countries (Ofcom).

  • Women outnumber men for the first time among UK residents going online. Females between 25 and 49 spend more time online than males the same age.” http://tinyurl.com/3lac2o

  • 18-34 age group is where women spend more time online than men (57 per cent compared with 43 per cent). http://tinyurl.com/2pms2u

Importance of social media
  • Two thirds (66 per cent) of 18-35 year olds in the UK are actively engaged in social networking and almost two in five (38 per cent) are members of two or more online forums or social networking sites. http://tinyurl.com/5qoksh

  • Negative comments posted on online forums and social networks put off customers. http://tinyurl.com/5qoksh

  • Nearly 1.5 times as many 18-35 year olds would rather accept a friend request from a brand than have banner adverts on a social networking profile page. The best way to get users to accept friend requests was identified as through offering special offers and discounts (60 per cent) http://tinyurl.com/5qoksh

  • 70% are 25-44 y/o. 70% are in long term relationships, 83% are employed over half full time.

  • 28% 'couldn't do without it'

  • More important that TV, magazines and radio

  • Internet is six times more than nearest rival (TV)

  • Compared with other media the internet is regarded as the most important, achieving a 37% share. TV followed and only managing 24%. 63% of those surveyed ranked online first or second in terms of importance and 45% considered the internet “very important to me” with 28% of women going as far as to say they couldn’t live without online!

  • 67% regard the Internet strong on community. That three times greater than magazines!

  • 92% of women identified shopping with their use of the internet, over nine times as much as its nearest rival. Buying fashion online is now as important as booking travel, with 63% of women claiming to do both.

  • The convenience of being able to research products and services before purchase online or in the high street is also valued with 75% of females identifying this as important. The internet is enhancing women’s lifestyles. 67% of women considered the internet to be strong on community, with 84% using the internet to keep in touch with friends and family.

  • 55% of all British users of social networking websites were women. Similar research by Nielsen Online shows that women aged 18-24 account for 17% of all users of the social sites, while men in the same age group account for 12%. http://tinyurl.com/22tlp8

  • A recent poll by Game-Vision showed that 30% more women bought computer games in the six months to July 31, 2007, than in the same period in 2006. The survey also found that there were more female owners of Nin-tendo’s handheld DS console in the UK than men (54% against 46%). http://tinyurl.com/22tlp8

  • "Video streams at broadcast network TV websites were nearly two times more likely to be viewed by women age 18-34 than men, who accounted for 22% and 12% of streams respectively. http://tinyurl.com/67qjxu

  • Different types of products are likely to be best advertised on different types of video websites.
    For instance, a female products brand may have better luck effectively reaching its target audience through a network TV website than through YouTube. http://tinyurl.com/67qjxu

Corporate site important but declining


How regularly do folk go online

  • 88% of women who use the internet aged under 44 use the internet daily.

  • Most adults (59 per cent) who had used the Internet in the last 3 months used it every day or almost every day, with the age group 25 to 44 using it the most (63 per cent). http://tinyurl.com/46u4wc

Where are client target audience currently reading about the brand online?

Its easy to see how far the client has got: Only 16 in Blogs, 26 videos, 288 mentions in MySpace, 14 people and 14 groups in Facebook. A profile in Wikipedia and was last updated 17 days ago (five changes). But it does not figure in Twitter. There are 26,400 indexed pages that refer to the client in Google (Budweiser has seven million).

We cab see where the online communities are active. e.g. Social Networks are the most popular social media for this client.... But how active are they in other media?

Whos doing digital well?

  • The web continues to drive sales at PetMed Express. In fiscal 2008, e-commerce generated 65% of sales and accounted for 83% of growth. http://tinyurl.com/437p8

What are competitors thinking of doing?

  • More than three quarters of company respondents say that the importance of online customer engagement to their organisations has increased in the last 12 months.

  • The most frequently cited benefits for companies implementing customer engagement initiatives are 'improved customer loyalty' and 'increased revenue'.

  • More than half of respondents say their companies are either using or planning to use web-based widgets to engage with their customers more effectively.

  • Around two thirds of respondents say the mobile channel will be 'essential' or 'important' for customer engagement in the next three years.


Here are some examples in the public sector campaigns:

  • Ministry of Justice - BarCampUKGovweb was an idea for an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.

  • National Health Service - The Our NHS, Our Future activity is putting a lot of weight on its online engagement components.

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office - when David Miliband arrived, engagement shot up the agenda, particularly online. Not content with just the Secretary of State blogging, staff from across the FCO were invited to get involved too.

  • Government Communications Network - the Social Media Review and associated activities led by GCN.

  • Downing Street - it’s use of ePetitions

  • Communities and Local Government - the CLG rebuilt its corporate website using community software.

  • Defra - the software that runs the CO2 calculator, complete with government data made freely available under general public licence. Google has used it in its carbon footprint widget.

  • DirectGov - according to the ONS, 6 in 10 of the UK’s web users have accessed government services via DirectGov.

  • Ministry of Justice - Digital Dialogues, which is in its final phase, has been putting data about government blogs, forums, webchats etc in the public domain.

  • SS/SIS - a bit of a Is involved in a range of interesting developments.

Do we know or have an idea of how much other brands are spending on digital activity alone?

I hope you enjoy the links.

There are zillions of them and they all point one way.