If you grew up watching television in the 80’s, you probably remember knowing someone in school who was a “Nielson family.” What this meant is that they voluntarily submitted their TV viewing habits to the Nielson company, which was then compiled and averaged for ratings information across the country. In this new era of media consumption, the Nielson company has followed suit, and announced the release of their annual Social Media Report earlier this week.
The report is titled, “Social Media Comes of Age,” and features insights which surveyed 1,998 social media users ages 18 and older between July 19 and August 8 of this year. Nielsen’s global survey involved more than 28,000 people in 51 countries and was taken between March 23 and April 12, 2011. Here’s some of the key findings from the report:
The report says that Facebook is still the top social network, though its tally of unique visitors has fallen 4 percent from the same time last year. Blogger, the second-place network, also saw a slight decline while third-place Twitter saw a gain of 13 percent. WordPress, likewise, saw a 10 percent jump. The break-out social media star of the past year has been Pinterest, which jumped 1,047 percent from the same time last year. Google Plus has seen a massive jump since it’s Sept. 2011 debut, growing at about 80 percent.
Key Takeaway – Your audience is out there on the web. You will need to experiment with social networks to discover the one where your brand and message will connect the best.
Apps and Mobile
Nielsen discovered the rapid proliferation of mobile devices and connectivity is playing a major role in the continued growth of social media.Consumers now spend around 20 percent of their total time online using social networks via their personal computers, and 30 percent of their time online visiting social networks on mobile devices. The total number of minutes spent on social media sites via mobile apps climbed 120 percent year over year, with mobile web usage rising 22 percent and PC usage dipping 4 percent, the report found.
Forty-six percent of social media users now say they use their smartphones to access social media, with 16 percent saying they use social media on a tablet device. Nielsen found that the U.S. mobile web audience rose 82 percent from July 2011 to July 2012, while the mobile app audience grew 85 percent. By comparison, the U.S. PC audience fell 4 percent during that time.
Key Takeaway – Your site, content, and route to discovery should be optimized for mobile browsers. Many blogging platforms offer automatic mobile conversion, but look into site analytics to see how often your site is visited by mobile viewers. A dedicated mobile app might be a powerful strategy for your brand.
The Second Screen Experience
The Nielsen report shows that one in three people using Twitter in June sent messages at some point about the content of television shows, an increase of 27 percent from only five months earlier. An estimated 41 percent of tablet owners and 38 percent of smartphone owners used their device while also watching television at least once a day, Nielsen said.
2012 was a banner year for connected television events, tent poled by the Summer Olympics and Presidential Election. “Twitter has become the second screen experience for television,” said Deirdre Bannon, vice president of social media at Nielsen. “There are big and interesting implications, I think both television networks and advertisers are onto it.”
Key Takeaway - Social media can provide networks with real-time feedback on what they are doing and what fans think instantly. Brands can take advantage of this raw feedback to perfect their product, message, and transform critics into advocates.
The Dirty Truth
One-third of Americans between 18 and 24 use social networking services in the bathroom.
Key Takeaway – People will ALWAYS find time for social media and to be connected. The easier you make yourself and your content available for discovery, people will find it…even if they are….doing business.