Posts Tagged ‘Pew Internet’

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Businesses – Are you failing to maintain your online presence?

April 13, 2012

Negative Comments Can Spread Like Wildfire

It’s not enough to have an online presence anymore.  It is great that you have a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, and YouTube channel, but are you maintaining them?  In 2011 we saw many businesses leap online, eager to try out social media and leverage the communication and business power of these tools. Now, a year later, the scary fact is that most of these websites and social accounts have been abandoned or are not being used effectively (or even correctly in some situations).  You may have had the right intentions by setting these accounts up, especially if you were doing it to secure your IP and registered business names to protect your corporation.  If you set up accounts in order to have access to the platform, to monitor or listen to feedback, criticism, and comments, that is also a great reason to be on social media, but only if you are engaging back. OK, so now you are thinking to yourself: “So what?  We have a presence on social media platforms as our bosses told us we had to do.”

What if I told you that these abandoned, neglected, and incomplete accounts are actually hurting your business, and that they were actually costing you money to your bottom line, in spite of the fact that it was free to set up accounts on most of these platforms. If you are neglecting, abandoning, and failing to complete and monitor these accounts, you are losing customers, for the following reasons:

  1. The perception that your company is “Out of Date”, “Out of Touch”, and downright “Incompetent” in engaging your audience on social media – Many customers that encounter your business on the web, will check out these accounts just to see what is happening.  If, for instance, your Twitter account hasn’t been updated in the last 90 days, you are perceived as being “out of touch” and therefore a company that is seemed as approachable and eager to listen to a customer.  Incomplete profiles, pages without headshots or branding, or important information missing, such as contact info, gives off the impression that you are incompetent, especially to the under 35 crowd that is pretty much living their lives on the internet and mobile devices.
  2. The perception that your company isn’t listening – 98% of all internet users expect you to not only have a presence on these social media platforms, but they want you to engage with them as well on these platforms.  Especially when a customer has a question or complaint. Today’s internet users in this text driven society, demand and expect to have a response from your company quickly on the social media platform where they made the comment or complaint.  24 hours is an eternity and will not gain you any favors.  You need someone to actively manage these accounts and respond. 
  3. The perception that your company is ( insert descriptor word here: bad, evil, inept, uncaring, etc.) – More and more web companies live or die by their online reputation. If your company lets too many negative reports build online over any subject, without addressing and responding to these comments and complaints, can lead to the escalation of the issue, and in turn its ability to go viral.

Ultimately, you can think of each of these social media accounts the same way you would as building little campfires.  If you neglect them, all sorts of things can result. Your best hope is that they fizzle, die, and disappear.  occasionally though there are those fires that can flare up, escape its confines and end up becoming a raging wildfire, leaving behind swaths of ruin for your business.  If you are struggling with how to maintain your social media accounts, contact us and we’ll help you to take control of your accounts. www.sterlingcrossgroup.com.

All stats were compiled from www.pewinternet.org

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The Cost of Not Entering into Social Media – How it Hurts Your Company (Part One)

October 27, 2008

Let’s talk about the obvious cost to your business – Loss of Market Share & Market Penetration, or more simply stated audience, awareness, and customers.  Whether you realize it or not, your audience is moving online in greater numbers every day. There has been a longstanding myth that has been perpetrated, that states the as the Baby-Boomer Generation retires, we are losing the largest segment of a purchasing audience ever, and that there will never be so many goods and services sold again.  That is blatantly false. 

First of all, that claim only considers a “generation” contained in the U.S.  Our markets and audiences are and have to be considered as global generations.  The mere fact that your business has a website means you are able to reach a worldwide audience.  Second, the generation being defined as Gen Tech, those that are 18 and under right now, will have grown up, never knowing a time without the internet or cellphones.  In summation, they are on the horizon, and are the largest (world) populous generation recorded, and will have ten times the purchasing power of the Baby Boomer Generation.

The existing generations are also streaming online in greater numbers than ever.  Here are a few stats[1]:

·         78% Of Americans 45-60 years of age are computer users

·         86% Of Gen X (30-45) & Gen Y (18-30) are computer users

Here is what they are doing online[2]:

·         90% of all purchasing decisions, from where to eat, to what product to buy, to healthcare & business decisions begin with research performed by an online Search Engine.

·         48% of internet users purchased a good or service in 2000 that increased to 71% in 2006.

·         54% of business professionals reported in April of 2007 that they utilize the internet for research and purchases related to their business.

·         In April, 2007, Technorati reported they are tracking more than 75 million blogs and that 175,000 new blogs are being created each day.

·         YouTube serves more than 100 million videos every day.

·         During 2006, the number adults who had downloaded a podcast grew more than 70% in the first six months alone.

·         A podcasting audience totaling 10 million people in 2006 is expected to grow to 55 million by the year 2011.

How about Social Media?

According to a recent survey[3], it was found that 60% of Americans use social media, and of those, 59% interact with companies on social media Web sites. One in four interacts more than once per week. These same subjects surveyed also found that 93% of Americans believe a company “should have a presence in social media,” 85% say having a presence is not enough, and that companies “should also interact with consumers via social media.”

The Survey revealed interesting facts about what users of social media actually expected companies to do on social media platforms: “The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, “it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”

The bottom line, is that as more and more of your target audience is increasing their activity on the web, they expect your company to be doing the same (increasing your activity, services, and solutions as well). How much market share, market penetration, and revenue can your company afford to lose by not entering into Social Media?


[1] 2000-2007 Pew Internet & American Life Project

[2] 2000-2007 Pew Internet & American Life Project, Technorati, & YouTube

[3] 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study

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