Smaller companies are more likely to already be engaged in social media for low cost marketing.
By Tim Greene
Why social networking?
I’m not going to be one of those guys who goes on-and-on about how every printing company simply has to jump onto every technological fad that comes along, but I will say this: The statistics that exist on the adoption of social media are simply amazing both in the volume of users and the velocity of their growth. There are three major social networking sites that have become the leaders at this point: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so just consider some of the numbers on these three.
Facebook was founded in 2004 and is looking at a billion users worldwide. More than half of those users log in every day. Think about that—that is the equivalent of 1.3 times the entire population of the United States—every man, woman, and child—going to one Website every day.
Considering Twitter, more than 250 million Tweets are sent every day. In October 2009, LinkedIn announced that it had 50 million users. By April of 2011, just 18 months later, the company surpassed 100 million users. In February 2012, less than one year later, LinkedIn announced it had surpassed 150 million users.
There are many other social-networking sites and I am not going to get into which ones are going to emerge, especially because it seems that increasingly they are connected. That is, a post to one can be published to others with the click of a button.
Are these people just killing time online?
A recent study done by Performics involved surveying nearly 3,000 people that use social media. It concluded that 50% of users actively seek purchase advice and 50% of users actively give advice on social networks. Sixty percent of users are somewhat likely or more likely to take action on product, service, or brand recommended by a social contact. There were 59% of users who follow a company or brand who are more likely to recommend that company or brand, and 58% are more likely to buy the products of that company themselves. Social networks are used by 53% at least “frequently” to provide feedback to a brand or retailer. As many as 53% of users state that companies should communicate using social networks at least once a week.
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