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The Age of Access: Report Proves Consumers use Social Media More and in New Ways

One of the most impressive statistics revealed in Nielsen's 2012 State of the Media Report on social media is that people are spending 82 percent more time using the web on their phone, and much of that time (30 percent) is spent on social networking sites. "

Is Your Business Cashing in?

A fact you probably don't want to hear: Nearly a third of people aged 18-24 use social networking in the bathroom. A fact you do want to hear? Ten percent of people made an online purchase after seeing a company's advertisement on a social media site. As social media experts in Kelowna, at Twin Creek Media it's our job to know what's new as well as how and why social media works. That's why we read the just-released 2012 State of the Media Report, created by global marketing firm Nielsen, which offers some surprising statistics about how people are using social media. Here are some of the numbers and trends we wanted to highlight for you so you can see how your business can benefit from these bandwagons:

Phones and tablets are the places to see.

People aren't just using PCs to access social media. In fact, 46 percent of social media users thumb across their smartphone's screen to use social media. In the U.S., people spent 5.7 billion minutes on social networking sites on their mobile phones. What about tablets? Sixteen percent of those surveyed said they use their tablets to access sites like Twitter and Facebook instead of their home computer. What does that mean to you? Maybe your web design needs updating so your site offers users mobile-friendly screens and tools. That way, when social media junkies connect your site from a place like Pinterest, they can read, browse, and make purchases on your pages with ease.

A likely place for complaints, 'Likes', and FAQ's.

Social media isn't just one channel for customer service. For many users, it is the tool consumers use to voice complaints as well as satisfaction and access frequently asked questions. "In fact, one in three social media users say they prefer to use social media rather than the phone for customer service issues," says Deirdre Bannon, one of the social media researchers at Nielsen who helped prepare the State of the Media report. How can your business make use of this emerging trend in customer service? Invest in the time to respond to complaints on Twitter, or compliments on Facebook. Delegate someone to be your in-house customer service response person so those online comments and questions are replied to in a timely way. Then, use that feedback to improve your operations.

Social networking sites--new today, exploding tomorrow.

We know, it's hard to keep up. First it was Facebook and Blogger, then Twitter and LinkedIn. New social networking sites are popping up all the time. Many of them offer something different, and they're so in tune with their target, they're catching on. According to the report, Facebook and Twitter are still at the top, with 154 million and 37 million unique PC visitors respectively in 2012. But niche networking sites like Reddit (a news-sharing tool) and Foursquare (a food, friends, and entertainment mapping tool) are taking their share of the pie. What's the next big hit? The site where users share shots of cool things they've seen. "Pinterest emerged as one of the breakout stars in social media for 2012, boasting the largest year-over-year increase in both unique audience and time spent on any social network across PC, mobile web, and apps," says Bannon. Keep an eye out for next week's post on how to make the most of Pinterest, and check out our tips for scoring loyal customers with Instagram.

Not sure how your business should be using social media to connect with customers? The social media, branding, and web design professionals at Twin Creek Media in Kelowna can help. Contact us today!