New Research Provides A Social Media Reality Check

CNW Group and Leger Marketing today announced the results of new research into social media use in Canada (disclosure: CNW Group is a client).

The research provides a useful insight into social media trends along with some of the challenges that social media faces, but also sheds an interesting light on the differing perspectives between practitioners and regular social media users.

The top-level results are available online now. The full results will be released in a webinar on April 29 (register through the site).

Some key findings:

  • 49 per cent of social media users use social media at least once per day
  • 31 per cent of users agree that social media is more credible than advertising
  • 61 per cent are researching products to purchase
  • 36 per cent depend on social media to help them with purchase decisions
  • 40 per cent are “talking” to or learning from specific organizations
  • About one-quarter of users feel better about an organization that is engaged in social media
  • 89 per cent of users say they use social media the same or more than they did last year.

Once you dig down into these top-level facts, though, it gets more interesting.

User/Practitioner Gap

Social media is highly influenced by practitioners. For example, 19 per cent of social media users say their opinions are influenced by social media outlets, while 53 per cent of practitioners said the same – a significant difference. Similar, though smaller, differences show through in responses to other questions.

The implication of this is that practitioners often think that other people find social media to be more credible than they do in reality. 

There’s a gap between social media practitioners’ perceptions and those of users. However, given the time that social media has been around, the proportion that are influenced by social media is a good start.

Measurement is uncommon

Practitioners are generally only using broad objectives – there is a lot of room for improvement.

As well, few practitioners using social media tools are measuring what they do, and even fewer are going beyond looking at traffic. Interestingly, few managers are asking for this at this point. You can differentiate yourself by proactively digging deeper.

Room for improvement

While practitioners have a higher awareness of social media and its uses, they still think they, and organizations could use it better.

  • Few practitioners have a dedicated budget for social media
  • Few are monitoring social media (which astonishes me – I see it as a foundational piece for social media engagement)
  • Few practitioners are using social media for community building – most use it for marketing (although the lines blur in my eyes

Interesting stuff.

Which points stand out for you?

18 Responses toNew Research Provides A Social Media Reality Check

  • Thanks for this post. I’m loving the way ecommerce and social media are merging. There is so much to gain for the future. I’m excited to be part of the innovation.

  • The flip-side of some of these results:

    * 69 per cent of users DON’T agree that social media is more credible than advertising

    * 64 per cent DON’T depend on social media to help them with purchase decisions

    * About THREE-quarter of users DON’T feel better about an organization that is engaged in social media

  • Interesting findings in light of the recent IBM research into marketing to the digital consumer. Their report suggests an increasing spend in the interactive/online arena and more of, what they call, “brandsactional” work – which I take to mean appropriate brand activity among social networks.
    Take a look at it via http://www.pr-media-blog.co.uk

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    Interesting analysis of recent social media stats: [link to post]

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    #tourismtip how your ideal visitors in Canada may be using social media [link to post]

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  • Careful you know the rules when using social media - marketing fundi :

    […] results of a survey, thanks to Dave Fleet for the introduction, conducted in Canada show some trends to take note of. Users of social media […]

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    A great post from @davefleet New Research Provides A Social Media Reality Check [link to post]

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    A #socialmedia reality check. Talks about social media trends: [link to post]

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    Research Provides A Social Media Reality Check. via @davefleet [link to post] Measurement is uncommon.

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