Red wine, is there anything better? I would have to argue that only a few things are greater…1) God 2) My family and 3) Social media!
Although red wine did make my top five list, my third greatest love and passion is social media. I love the fact that it changes every time I wake up in the morning. I love the fact that if we are not on top of the trends, we lose out on the connections. I love that we need to keep “social” in the “media” and vise versa. Now, we all know that i LOoooove social media, but what does social media really mean to Canadians and Americans alike?
• Canada boasts some of the world’s highest internet penetration and social networking usage rates.
• Social network users view social media as their online home—a hub for communication, entertainment and information.
• Canadians readily adopt social network activities, often at rates higher than users in the US.
• By year’s end, eMarketer estimates that about 15.1 million internet users in Canada will have visited social networking sites at least monthly, up from 13.6 million in 2009.
• Penetration will rise from 59% of the internet audience this year to 68% by 2014, when 18.4 million people in Canada will be socializing online at least once a month.
• eMarketer estimates that 127 million people in the US, or 57.5% of internet users, will use social networks at least monthly this year.
• Facebook alone has over half a billion active users worldwide. Still, many of the smallest businesses don’t believe their customers can be marketed to on such sites, according to an August 2010 survey from customer review platform RatePoint.
• Respondents, the majority of whom were business owners with just one to five employees, were split on whether social media was a quick way to connect with current or future customers, but sentiment was largely negative. When asked if they thought customers wanted to hear from them on social sites, only a quarter of businesses thought they did.
• In addition, 20% of small businesses did not think their customers spent time on social networking sites; another 27% were undecided. And nearly a quarter did not believe their customers did research online before doing business with their company
• With a majority of US internet users on social networks, chances are the customers of even small local businesses are there. According to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, 97% of US internet users used online media to look for local products and services in Q1 2010, and 90% used search engines. Research from comScore and TMP Directional Marketing shows that, looking for local businesses, searchers are much more likely to use a search engine than a social networking site as their primary resource, but both are used, especially among young people.
• “Social media use is no longer limited to one demographic; everyone is adopting,” said Neal Creighton, CEO and co-founder of RatePoint, in a statement. “While many small-business owners are uncertain, big brands are investing heavily in social media. Social media can be a great equalizer for small businesses to compete alongside larger brands and SMBs are missing out if they are not involved.”
Knowing about on-line trends is not enough. Are we/you doing something about it?
In 2010 small medium enterprises spent 27% of their marketing budgets on websites.
Email marketing took second place in marketing dollar spend by small medium enterprises with approximately 30% of their marketing dollars spent there.
Social media took third place where SMEs spent approximately 3 of every 10 marketing dollars.
Where will you spend your money this year? Well, if you’re like me and love social media…I bet on social media!