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10 answers to questions about social media and young people that can change the way you design and build relationships with your most critical audience.

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  1. 1. A DECODE QUIZ<br />10 answers to questions about social media and young people that can change the way you design and build relationships with your most critical audiences<br />Based on findings from our most recent look into the real drivers of brand and consumer interactions online; 3,000 + respondents, 50 month-long digital diaries, 5 online dialogues…<br />© Decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  2. 2. Q1. What percentage of young people (ages 15 – 34) believes they are influential on social networks?<br />A. 24% (U.K)- 38% (U.S)<br />Digging Deeper:<br />Many people have argued that young people have an inflated perspective on the value of their own opinions, which social media has helped perpetuate. But the data doesn’t really back this perspective up. In both Canada and the U.K., only about ¼ of young people believe they are influential; in the U.S., the comparable number is 38%. These people are important to understand – particularly those with other characteristics that make them “Buzzfluencers.” But marketers should also keep in mind that, for the majority of customers, social media communications will be more about what you can do for them, then how they can impact others. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  3. 3. Q2. What’s more important for getting customers to act on digital recommendations – regular digital interactions, or previous in-person experiences?<br />A. In-person<br />Digging Deeper:<br />Trustworthiness is the #1 consideration factor when determining whether to act on a digital recommendation, be it from a person or an organization. There are many different components to building this trust, which we will be exploring in detail in our upcoming study. In our previous study, one of our more interesting findings was that, in relation to acting in digital recommendations, having had an in-person experience with an organization was a more important factor than regular digital interactions with it.<br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  4. 4. Q3. What percentage of young people have the intention and network to be truly influential online? <br />A. 18 – 35%, depending on lifestage and country<br />Digging Deeper:<br />In order for brands to successfully engage with social media, they need to understand who’s truly influential within their social networks. We call these people Buzzfluencers, an important segment of social media users defined primarily by their attitudes on influence, and their level of online contacts. Of course, Buzzfluencers are not a homogenous group, with particularly interesting differences resulting from life stage segmentation - for example, perceived influence tends to drop once one leaves school, then starts climbing again when one becomes a parent. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  5. 5. Q4. Young people have monthly, face-to-face contact with about 12% of their social network. What percentage do they have monthly digital contact with?<br />A. 21%<br />Digging Deeper:<br />It should come as no surprise that young people have more monthly contact with people digitally than face-to-face. However, it is important to note that they only connect with an additional 10% of their social network this way, with very little variance across countries. This is important for marketers to understand, as many over-estimate the number of useful connections people have online – leading to over-inflated projections, and missed targets. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  6. 6. Q5. Are young people more likely to define themselves as introverts or extroverts?<br />A. Introverts<br />Digging Deeper:<br />When we asked our respondents – all social media users – how people that know them best would describe their personality, “introverted” was more likely to be cited than “extroverted.” DECODE has also found a strong correlations between offline and online social behaviors; those with fewer social interactions in person tend to have fewer interactions online, and vice versa. The key takeaway here is that social media doesn’t make people more social; instead, it reinforces existing habits and character traits. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  7. 7. Q6. Which are young people more likely to do using social media: create and upload things, or share what others have created?<br />A. Create<br />Digging Deeper:<br />We asked survey respondents a series of questions around a variety of different types of digital content (pictures, Twitter updates, etc.). One of the more interesting findings, which was consistent across geographies, was that over 75% indicated that they had personally created and uploaded at least one of them, while less than 50% have shared any type of digital. Part of the story is that for many, social media isn’t really a social experience; another is that pictures account for the bulk of what is being created. If you remove pictures, the number of “creators” drops significantly. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  8. 8. Q7. What percentage of young people do ALL of their using, creating, sharing, and commenting through social media?<br />A. 34%<br />Digging Deeper:<br />There’s a core of people – approximately 1/3rd of young social media users – who do each of the following: creating, sharing, using, and commenting. The number of those who mainly ‘use’ is, of course, high, as nearly everyone feels they watch/look/listen to things online. Similarly, taking ‘creation’ in the widest possible sense (which included creating a profile), nearly everyone ‘creates’ online. However, those who create more ‘first-hand’ content such as blogs, photos or films tended to be those who also shared content. This tendency was backed by comments of those in the diary phase of the study. Gradually, we began to realize that those who were truly influential online were a very small group of Creator-Sharers – those who created content from scratch and disseminated it. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  9. 9. Q8. Which platform has the biggest difference in usage between university students and young parents – Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter?<br />A. YouTube<br />Digging Deeper:<br />When it comes to which platforms Gen Y users are interested in, Facebook is the clear winner – and if you need to build for only one platform, this is it. Usage rates vary from 75% to 85% by country, and remain fairly consistent across life stages. YouTube usage rates are lower, and show a distinct drop off from post-secondary students (53% - 60%) to young parents (42% - 48%). Twitter usage rates remain low (mostly below 20% across segments in all countries), and patterns vary – for example, young parents are more likely to use Twitter than students in the U.S., while the opposite is true in the U.K. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  10. 10. Q9. Which source of digital recommendations led the most young people to make a purchase – family, friends, or brands?<br />A. Brands<br />Digging Deeper:<br />For the most part, Gen Y respondents indicated that social media platforms are more about person-to-person interactions than engaging with organizations. But there was an important wrinkle when it came to impacting purchasing behavior. When asked about which sources of digital recommendations led them to make a purchase, more people cited “brands they are familiar with” than friends or family. That communications from brands were openly cited as more impactful than “word of mouth” recommendations from close connections brings into question many assumptions people have about social media marketing.<br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  11. 11. Q10. What percentage of young people view social media as an important way to communicate with organizations / brands? <br />A. 28%<br />Digging Deeper:<br />When it comes to valuing social media platforms, the ability to communicate with organizations is ranked low on the list across all countries (28 – 33%) - things like the ability to connect with people, be entertained, and keep up-to date on news (among others) continue to be the core drivers of social media usage. But there another side to the story. In some ways, 28 - 33% is a cause for celebration for marketers, particularly in relation to traditional channels (how many users turn on the TV to watch commercials?). And with over ½ of respondents (see Q9) indicating they have made a purchase based on social communications from brands, it appears that social media is becoming a key part of maintaining and leveraging customer relationships. <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />
  12. 12. DECODING DIGITAL CONNECTIONS: <br />ADD YOUR BRAND<br />For our third look at social media interactions, brands and young generations, DECODE has launched DECODING DIGITAL CONNECTIONS; a study that will: compare results with DECODING DIGITAL FRIENDS, deliver practical recommendations to help you develop effective social media strategies, and uncover critical insights related to perceptions and actions between your brand, your competitors’ brands and consumers.Book a presentation today. Contact:<br />UK<br />GERMANY<br />CANADA | US<br />Scott Beffort<br />scott@decode.net<br />416.599.5400 et.28<br />Robert Barnard<br />robert@decode.net<br />+44 207 430 0104 <br />Simon Schnetzer<br />simon@decode.net<br />+49 178-1471497 <br />© decode 2011. www.decode.net<br />