Nielsen, the research giant, weighed in this week with its survey on the state of social* media globally. No surprise, Facebook tops the charts with 750 million members. You can read the graph and the slide presentation below for the detailed results. There were two “ah ha” findings for me.
Customers Trust Other Customers
First, the study reports that 60% of social media users create reviews of products and services. What’s more, the study says, consumer created reviews/ratings are the preferred source for information about product/service value, price and product quality.
This is huge. Why? Because companies that spend millions on advertising and social media campaigns are no longer the principal influence behind buying decisions. You can’t fool the public into buying an inferior product when you have millions of users ready to pounce and rip the product to shreds in very public reviews.
This was reinforced for me just last week when I was considering the purchase of a new all-in-one printer. The phone rep I spoke to recommended a model, but I decided to go online to look at customer reviews. They were awful. Paper got stuck in the feed constantly. Guess whose opinions I valued the most? When buying clothing online I check the reviews to read if other customers believe the sizing, color and quality is as advertised.
Not all reviews are negative. In fact, I think most online customers feel an obligation to report when something is very good, too. I know I do.
Blogger and Tumblr Rank High
The other “ah ha” was the high rankings of Blogger and Tumblr. Blogger is the number #2 social networking and blog site in the U.S., in terms of time on site, with 50.1 million unique visitors, up from 17% from a year ago. Tumblr is coming on strong, with more time spent on it than Twitter. I think of Tumblr as the sort of kitchen sink of social media. You can share anything you find or create. Post text, photos, quotes, links, dialogues, audio, video, slideshows, and more. So far Google+ is no where in sight.
Here is the graph with total minutes spent on the leading social networking sites.
Here is the slide presentation of the study’ findings.
*State of the Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011, by incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey Company.