(c) Can Stock PhotoThe Friday Wrap reviews some of the best, most interesting and newsworthy posts and articles from the last week. The items included in the Wrap are chosen from my link blog, which you are always welcome to visit: LinksFromShel.tumblr.com. I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year?
Digital fully integrated into technology consumers' lives
A new study from IDG Research Services reveals the degree to which social media, video and mobile devices have become integral parts of consumers' decision-making processes. The Echo Effect: understanding the Value of Tech Buyers found that 95% of respondents use at least one social media site, where 44% said exposure to tech products positively affects the likelihood that they'll purchase the product in question. The same number said that seeing the product referenced in social channels also makes them feel satisfied with the company. They're willing to recommend the company (42%) and experience feelings of brand loyalty (40%). Two-thirds of respondents own and regularly use two or more mobile devices; they spend a third of their time each week accessing tech-related information on a mobile device. Ninety-three percent watch tech-related videos and 72% have forwarded, shared or posted a video. Forty percent watch these videos on a mobile device. "Video viewing also drives purchase behaviors," according to Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog coverage; "65% of consumers have researched a product as a result of watching a tech-related video in recent months and close to half of them looked for a product in a retail store (45%), visited a vendor website or contacted a vendor for information (45%), or purchased a product (44%).
Failing to answer customer tweets a lost opportunity
In the IDG study above, when respondents were asked how brands should engage in the social space, most answered that they should just answer consumer questions. That's good advice, considering only 29% of large retailers use Twitter to actively engage with customers. Digital marketer Acquity studied 50 retailers-90% of which had Twitter accounts-and found that fewer companies have set up shop on Pinterest and Instagram, but those that have are more likely to engage with shoppers. "Although most brands are signed up for the major social networks, many struggle to understan d how they fit into their overarching business strategy," Internet Retailer quote Acquity EVP Jay Dettling.
Consumers prefer doing business with social companies
There's a theme in the first two items of this week's wrap. Let's keep it going. Mass Relevance has shared results of a study that found 59% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that have established a solid social media presence. "Another 60% of those surveyed reported that they are more likely to share a brand's message if the brand has integrated social media into their digital properties," writes James Dohnert in an article on ClickZ. Nearly two-thirds say they have made a purchase decision based on content found in social channels. More results: 56% of respondents are more likely to encourage friends to try a product from a social company, and 75% "are already talking about brands on social media channels." That number leaps to 91% in the 18-34 demographic. And, consistent with the stories above, 63% are more likely to buy a product or try a new service if they read positive comments about them in social channels.
Nearly half of social networkers engage with brands online
And one more: Forrester Research found that the number of people who go online daily, spend more time online and interact with brands while they're there is on the rise. Forty-five percent of respondents who use social networks have interacted with a brand via social media in the last three months. The number of people who like or follow a brand is up, although Twitter doesn't seem to be much of a factor, with only 7% saying they follow brands on Twitter and 7% posting feedback to a brand's Twitter account, according to a Todd Wasserman story on Mashable.
Sharing product information? Facebook is the top social channel
Facebook is the number one social site for consumers to share product information with their networks. Social commerce service provider 8thBridge found that people who shared product information via social media "were heavily predisposed to doing so on Facebook," according to a report from eMarketer. (The report also noted that a fair number of people don't share product information at all.) Sixty-three percent or those responding to the survey use Facebook to alert communities to products information; only 25% do so on Twitter. The results may not be terribly surprising given that respondents were Facebook users, "but the data does demonstrate that a majority of those on the social network are willing to create awareness of products." They share because they want others to know their personal tastes (38%) or want to share a product or experience that made them happy (35%).
Companies aren't communicating their BYOD policies
More and more employees are bringing their own personal mobile devices to work and using them for work purposes-as many as 68%, but some accounts. But according to results of a survey from tech company Globo, only 29% of companies have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy and 42% of respondents "don't know if their company's BYOD policy allows IT to have full access to their personal devices," according to a Bulldog Reporter Daily Dog item. "These findings show a significant lack of communication between companies and their employees with respect to BYOD, an issue that must be addressed."
Augmented Reality primed for growth in 2013
One technology I can't seem to get people excited about is Augmented Reality. Yet a VentureBeat piece by Trak Lord-head of marketing for AR company Metaio-offers five reasons why we can expect to see the technology's star rise in the year ahead. These include the imminent arrival of Google's AR-enabled glasses and the fact that smartphones will come with AR integrated into the handset. "In 2013, expect to see the next generation of...GPS-based experiences, incorporating not only data from on-board sensors like the gyroscope and camera, but other niche mobile technologies that rely on proximity such as NFC," writes Lord. We're also seeing a decline in the gimmicky AR apps as more utilitarian tools take center stage. Finally, we're likely to see a killer AR app appear in the new year.
New York Times' Snow Fall project: unifying text and multimedia
If you haven't had a chance to see Snow Fall-an exercise in multimedia storytelling from The New York Times-don't miss it. Praise has been heaped on the tale of skiers and snowboarders trapped in an avalanche in the Cascade Mountains. Appearing in the Grey Lady's online edition, the story marries text, photos, videos and interactive graphics "that blend seamlessly and come alive on the Web page," according to Jeff Sonderman, writing for The Poynter Institute's blog. Sonderman interviewed Times Graphics Director Steve Duenes, who said the goal was to "find ways to allow readers to read into, and then through multimedia, and then out of multimedia. So it didn't feel like you were taking a detour, but the multimedia was part of the one narrative flow." As organizations seek to distinguish their content, Snow Fall could serve as a blueprint for taking full advantage of the medium's capabilities. You'll find the multimedia story here.