Social Networks – Universal McCann launched their Wave 5 study

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For the fifth time, Universal McCann (UM) has published their research its Wave 5 study which focusses on the global use of social networks. The study is the largest and most consecutive social media research worldwide. This year it reached out to 54 countries and 37,600 survey respondents.

The study was introduced by UM research director Glen Parker who pointed to mobile becoming a huge driver of social network use. He mentioned that the study helped answer questions as to what brands should be doing in the space and what the impact is for their business.

„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“.

Some key findings of the study…
– Social Networks get 1.5 billion visits – daily.
– 61,4% of Wave repondents have managed a profile in the past six months – 10-point increase since Wave.4 in 2009
– Nearly half of respondents have accessed brand communities on social networks.
– Main 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

For me it was interesting to see in the study results how the use of blogs is changing. The use of personal blogs dropped by 15% and also family blogs decreased which does not surprise me as it is a time-consuming effort. Today, people tend to write personal blogs on social networks, an increase by approximately 20%.

Spot On!
In a panel discussion that followed the introduction of the Wave.5 results, Facebook EMEA VP Joanna Shields explained how marketing communication is changing. „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,“ she stated. Social Networks is not about selling in my eyes but those brands who understand their clients will know how often, intense and persuasive they can be in their conversation with their brand fans. It is the mixture, the tone and the creativity of the content that makes the stream a must-follow for „brandvagelists“.

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