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Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
Social Media Reality Check
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Social Media Reality Check

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Comprehensive new research into social media usage, views and habits of Canadian consumers and public relations practitioners. …

Comprehensive new research into social media usage, views and habits of Canadian consumers and public relations practitioners.

More than 1,500 Canadian social media users were surveyed.

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  • 1.  
  • 2. Social Media: The Practitioner-User Perception-Reality Gap
  • 3. Background
  • 4. (Consumers) social media users drawn from general public General Users Marketing / Communications Practitioners Campaign objectives Campaign types Corporate Support / Budget Monitoring & Meas’t. Social Media Releases Awareness, Usage, Source of Info / Call to Action (credible, influential, impact on opinion, attitude, reported / likely behaviour) Looking for the gap / overlap between practitioner perception and user-reported reality
  • 5. Method <ul><li>This research consisted of two separate surveys being conducted online. </li></ul><ul><li>General Users (users) </li></ul><ul><li>The first survey was conducted among members of Leger Marketing’s Online Panel of adult residents from across Canada. Respondents were screened to be users of social media. In total, 1,516 surveys were conducted. With a sample of this size, results can be considered accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>A second survey was conducted with Marketing / Communications Practitioners. These respondents were obtained primarily from CNW Group’s client lists and were also screened to be users of social media. In total, 615 surveys were conducted with this group. With a sample of this size, results can be considered accurate to within +/- 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. </li></ul>
  • 6. Summary of Results
  • 7. Awareness, Understanding, and Usage is High <ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers who use social media have a high awareness of what is out there. </li></ul><ul><li>While most use a limited number of sites, they use them frequently, with this frequency on the rise. </li></ul><ul><li>While keeping in touch is the most often mentioned reason for using social media, two-fifths research products and services and believe this is an important function of the sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Two-fifths also use it to “talk” to and learn from organizations, while one-fifth actually produce content such as writing or contributing to a blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Many general users have not yet transferred the usage of social media to their professional lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners have a higher awareness of social media and its uses when compared to general users. </li></ul><ul><li>They are on these sites more frequently than general users and are not new to the social media arena. </li></ul><ul><li>While most practitioners feel they understand the uses of social media, many admit they could be making better use of it. </li></ul>
  • 8. Social Media is a Source of Information, but not THE Source of Information <ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><li>Users view social media as a source of information, but they are not relying on this as a source. Instead, it is being treated as one of the many sources in their information tool box. </li></ul><ul><li>While both privately- and corporately-initiated information is considered believable to most, it is not more believable than other traditional sources of information (such as television, advertising, and corporate websites). </li></ul><ul><li>While most do not think bloggers are self-serving or have ulterior motives, they also do not consider them main influencers of their decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners put more stock in social media as a source of information than users do at this time, and believe that consumers will find this information more credible and more influential than they actually do. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners also believe that social media usage has a stronger impact on reputation than the users find true. </li></ul>
  • 9. Practitioners Use Social Media with Purpose, but Many are Unsure if Purpose is Being Met <ul><li>Practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners are using social media for marketing campaigns and/or, to a lesser extent, community building and stakeholder relations. </li></ul><ul><li>While these campaigns are supported by management, fewer say that they have a specific budget devoted to social media. In return, few managers are asking for proof that the social media involvement is working. </li></ul><ul><li>While many use social media with an objective in mind (primarily generating visibility, awareness, and dialogue), these objectives are not formal, nor are they measurable. Those who use measurement tools usually rely on traffic counts, and neglect analyzing the messages being communicated. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, few practitioners are up to speed on what messages are being communicated about them in social media, who is communicating these messages, or how quickly these messages spread. </li></ul>
  • 10. Conclusions <ul><li>Usage of social media is high. It is frequently used as a source of information, but this is not its primary function. As a result, it has not taken the place of other traditional information sources. Despite this, users are not opposed to the idea that it can be a source of information and consider it to be a credible one. </li></ul><ul><li>While practitioners have over-estimated the influence of social media at this time, with the use of social media increasing, it is possible that it may become a more influential medium in the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners are currently using social media with objectives in mind. While they realize that they could be using it better, they believe that they currently have a good understanding of how social media can work for them. </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, practitioners have little awareness of (a) what is being said about them in social media and (b) who is doing the talking. They rarely measure or track social media messages and have little concrete awareness of whether or not their campaigns are meeting their objectives. </li></ul>
  • 11. Results in Detail
  • 12. Social Media Use Among both Users and Practitioners
  • 13. In general, how often would you say that you use social media applications? At least once a day 49% 62% Social Media Tools are Used Regularly <ul><li>Almost half of the social media users surveyed are on such sites at least once a day, with one-in-three (29%) using it more frequently. Only one-fifth use the applications less than once a week. </li></ul><ul><li>Women (55%), younger users (under 25 – 73%, 25-44 – 53%), and prosumers (those who actively contribute or post content) (62%) are more likely to use the sites at least once a day. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners are using the sites more frequently, with three-fifths saying they visit daily. Practitioners who are new to their business (5 years or less – 68%) and who work on the agency side (66%) are more likely to be daily users of social media. </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516, Practitioners n=615
  • 14. Would you say you use social media more or less than at, say, this time last year? Less - 11% More - 48% Usage is on the Rise Among Users <ul><li>Overall, usage of social media is on the rise, with almost half of users saying they are using it more than they were last year, while only one-in-ten are using it less often. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who produce content are even more likely to have increased their usage in the past year (57% vs. 46% of those who do not produce content). </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 15. How long would you say you&apos;ve been using social media of some form? Most Practitioners Have Been Using Social Media for 2+ Years <ul><li>Most practitioners are not new to social media, having used it in some form for at least the past year. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who have been in business for less than 10 years are more likely to have been using social media longer (i.e. more than 2 years – 80%), while those who have been in business longer are more likely to have started in the past 6 months (13%). </li></ul>Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 16. Which of the following social media tools or sites are you aware of? Which of the following social media tools or sites have you used? Facebook and YouTube are Prominent Among Users <ul><li>Facebook and YouTube are known by the vast majority of social media users, with three-quarters saying they have used Facebook and two-thirds having used YouTube. </li></ul><ul><li>While more than half are aware of MySpace and blogs, they are less frequently employed. </li></ul><ul><li>Quebecers are less likely to be aware of (79%) or have used (62%) Facebook. </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 17. Which of the following social media tools or sites are you aware of? Which of the following social media tools or sites have you used? Practitioners: Higher Awareness but Use Different Tools than Users <ul><li>Practitioners have higher levels of awareness for all the sites tested. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, when it comes to sites used in their professional lives, sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, and blogs are used more by practitioners than the general users, while sites like Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace are less likely to be used. </li></ul>Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 18. Which of the following do you do? One-Fifth of Users Produce Content (Prosumers) <ul><li>With the popularity of Facebook among general users, it is not surprising that nearly two-thirds use the site to talk to friends or update status. All other applications are used far less frequently. </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly less than one-fifth of general users produce content on social media sites by contributing to or writing a blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to their lower overall usage, its not surprising that Quebecers are less likely to talk to friends on Facebook (50%). Interestingly, however, they are more likely than the rest of the country to upload videos (35%). </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 19. In general, what do you use social media applications for in your personal/Professional life? | Base: Users n=1516 Users Access Social Media for Personal More than Professional Life <ul><li>General users have discovered how to access social media tools in their personal lives but have not yet transferred that over to their professional lives (i.e. two-fifths do not use social media in their professional lives at all). </li></ul><ul><li>While more than three-quarters use social media for keeping in touch with friends or family, only one-quarter use it for keeping in touch with colleagues or networking. While almost half use it to read about topics of personal interest, only 22% use it to read about topics of career-related interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Quebecers are more likely to use it for entertainment (67%) than keeping in touch (66%). Users 45 years old and older are more likely to use it to research products (35%) than users under 45 years of age. </li></ul>Personal Life Professional Life
  • 20. Please rate how important you find social media applications for each of the following functions. % Rated Very/Somewhat Important Access to Information is Important to the Majority <ul><li>While it is not surprising that keeping in contact with friends and family is most often rated important, accessing information through social media is also considered important to many, with two-thirds saying keeping up-to-date and one half rating researching products and sharing ideas to be important. </li></ul><ul><li>Quebecers are more likely to rate keeping up-to-date and keeping in contact with business associates to be important. </li></ul><ul><li>Users under 25 are also more likely to rate keeping in contact with business associates as important (61%). </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 21. Practitioners are Much More Aware of Professional Applications of Social Media In general, what do you use social media tools for professionally? | Base: Practitioners n=615 <ul><li>Practitioners use social media for many different purposes in their professional lives and more often than general users. </li></ul><ul><li>The most often mentioned reason for using these sites is to stay up-to-date, both by reading and by sharing ideas. </li></ul>
  • 22. Social Media as a Source of Information / Call to Action (credible, influential, impact on opinion, attitude, reported / likely behaviour)
  • 23. How often do you use social media outlets to research products and services before making a purchase? At least Occasionally 61% Users are Turning to Social Media for Researching Purchases <ul><li>Because users find social media to be believable, it is not surprising that they choose to use this venue as a source of information about products and services before making a purchase decision. Three-fifths do so at least occasionally and three-in-ten do so most of the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Regionally, Quebecers are more likely to use social media for research at least occasionally (71%). </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 24. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following | Base: Users n=1516, Practitioners n=615 1/3 of Users Depend on Social Media for Purchase Guidance Practitioners Put More Stock in It <ul><li>Approximately one-third of users depend on social media to help them make informed purchase decisions, while just slightly fewer say they have bought products they first heard about on social media. Only one-in-five, however, say their opinions are influenced by social media. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners put a strong emphasis on social media’s role, with half believing users turn to social media for honest reviews that affect their opinions positively. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box)
  • 25. To what degree do you believe the information you find on privately-initiated/ corporately-initiated social media applications when it comes to new products and services? Believable - 56% 60% Users Find Both Privately &amp; Corporately Initiated ‘Sites’ Believable <ul><li>General users find social media applications to be a believable source of information on products and services. Whether these sites are private or corporate initiatives does little to change beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>Younger users are more skeptical, with two-fifths of those under 25 finding both privately- and corporately-initiated sites unbelievable (43% and 40%, respectively). </li></ul><ul><li>Prosumers are more likely to find privately-initiated sites believable (66%). </li></ul>Base: Users n=1516
  • 26. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Practitioners Find Social Media to be More Credible than Users Do <ul><li>While users turn to social media for information, and find it to be a believable source, they do not find it more credible than other sources of information—especially sources like media or corporate websites. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners seem unaware of this, with more than half believing that consumers would trust social media over advertising or corporate websites. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Users n=1516, Practitioners n=615
  • 27. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Users Do Not Rely on Blogs as Much as Practitioners Think <ul><li>Many users do not think bloggers have an ulterior motive, nor do they believe bloggers to be self-serving. Despite this, only one-third have changed their minds based on a blogger opinion, and fewer turn to blogs (either industry- or organization-based) to influence their decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Interestingly, practioners are not aware of this, with two-thirds believing that users turn to industry blogs and are influenced by them. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Users n=1516, Practitioners n=615
  • 28. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Practitioners Believe Social Media Affects Reputation More Than Users <ul><li>While two-fifths of users believe that companies involved in social media are working hard for their business, only one-fifth feel that social media affects a company’s reputation with regard to trust, transparency, loyalty, or relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners, however, believe their involvement with social media is much more impactful. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Users n=1516, Practitioners n=615
  • 29. The Practitioner-Only Context Corporate Support Campaign Types &amp; Objectives Monitoring &amp; Measurement Social Media Releases
  • 30. Which of the following statements best describes you: Gaps in Knowledge of Social Media <ul><li>While few practitioners say they do not understand the best ways to use social media, most admit that they could be making better use of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who have been in business for less than 10 years are more likely to say they understand how to use social media (85%). </li></ul>Understand 80% Don’t Understand 19% Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 31. Campaign Objectives: Visibility, Awareness, Get Them Talking <ul><li>Most of the objectives surrounding social media campaigns involve creating a buzz – be it through increased awareness / visibility or the generation of talk. </li></ul><ul><li>One-half have specific messages they hope will be delivered through these applications. </li></ul>How would you characterize your social media campaign objectives? Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 32. Campaign Types are Largely Marketing Driven <ul><li>Almost half of the practitioners surveyed are involved in campaigns to pull visitors online, while one-third say they are involved in marketing campaigns and one-quarter in community building. </li></ul>How would you describe the types of social media campaigns you undertake most commonly? Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 33. Do you set formal, measurable objectives related to what you want to accomplish with social media? Few Have Formal Social Media Objectives <ul><li>Only one-quarter of practitioners have objectives that they are trying to meet with their social media involvement. Of these, only 15% say these objectives are actually measurable. </li></ul><ul><li>C-Level practitioners are most likely to say they have formal, measurable objectives (26%), whereas Managers and Directors are more likely to say their objectives are not formal (43%). </li></ul>Formal Objectives 26% Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 34. The Practitioner-Only Context Measurement
  • 35. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Practitioners Believe Social Media Helps, But Are Not Asked to / Attempting to Prove it <ul><li>While three-fifths of practitioners believe that social media helps them meet their overall objectives, only one-third say they are being expected to prove it in terms of ROI or objectives met. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal teams are not involved in social media work. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 36. Traffic Counts are the Most Common Measurement Tool <ul><li>Half of practitioners measure their objectives through traffic counts, while one-third analyze content or tone. </li></ul>How do you measure against those objectives? Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 37. The Practitioner-Only Context Monitoring
  • 38. Do you monitor how your business or products are being discussed in social media? Would you say that you ... Few Monitor Social Media <ul><li>While most say that they have some understanding of the best ways to use social media, few have a system in place to allow them to monitor how their company is being discussed in this form. </li></ul>Have a Monitoring Tool 30% Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 39. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Few Know What is Being Said About Their Organizations <ul><li>Only one-third of practitioners know what is being discussing about their organization or industry in the social media realm. </li></ul><ul><li>Even fewer are aware of where the messages come from, how fast these messages change, or how far they spread. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 40. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Few Know the Bloggers Who Discuss Their Organization <ul><li>Not only is there a lack of awareness about the messages, most do not know who is involved in these discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Only one-quarter agree that they know which bloggers talk about their organizations, how influential they are, or how visible they are. Only one-in-ten have demographic information on these bloggers. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 41. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Few Know Who Their Influencers / Opinion Leaders Are &amp; Who to Approach to Engage <ul><li>Not only are practitioners unaware about what is being discussed online, they also do not know who should be talking about their business in these circles. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 42. Corporate Support of Social Media
  • 43. Does your company or organization encourage and endorse dialogue or open online conversation on issues in your industry? Half of Organizations Encourage Open Dialogue <ul><li>One half of organizations encourage dialogue or open online conversation on issues in their industry. </li></ul><ul><li>While one-quarter know that they are not encouraged to do this, the other quarter do not know. </li></ul>Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 44. How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Use of Social Media is Supported <ul><li>Practitioners are supported by senior management in their use of social media, though one-third say they find it challenging to secure funding for such endeavors. </li></ul>% Agree (Top 3 Box) Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 45. Do you have a budget devoted specifically to social media? Few Have Budget for Social Media <ul><li>Few practitioners have a budget devoted specially to social media. Of those who do, most say this budget has increased since last year. </li></ul><ul><li>Of those who have increased their budget, 49% have done so by less than 50%, while 33% have done so by more than 50%. </li></ul>Is this budget for social media more or less than what it was last year? Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 46. Do you expect to have a larger or smaller budget to spend on social media next year? One-Quarter See Their Budget Increasing <ul><li>While there is a lot of uncertainty about a social media budget for the upcoming year, one-quarter of practitioners believe their budget will be increasing, while one-fifth feel it will stay the same. Few see their budget being cut. </li></ul>Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 47. Social Media Releases and Standards
  • 48. Half are Aware of Social Media Releases; Few Use Them <ul><li>Half of the practitioners are aware of social media releases, but of these, only one-quarter use them even occasionally. </li></ul><ul><li>Quebecers are less aware of social media releases (34%). </li></ul>Are you aware of social media releases? How frequently do you use social media releases? Is it ... Base: Practitioners n=615
  • 49. To what degree do you support social media standards? Social Media Standards are Supported <ul><li>Practitioners show support for social media standards, with one-quarter supporting them strongly and two-fifths supporting them somewhat. Only 6% of practitioners do not support this type of standard. </li></ul>Do Not Support Standards 6% Support Standards 69% Base: Practitioners n=615

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