SocialTrendsReportJUNE 2012
Social Trends Report 2012Table of ContentsOverview........................................................... 3Key themes ...
Social Trends Report 2012Top brands share top socialtrends for 2012 Like any young ecosystem, the only constant in the soc...
Social Trends Report 2012Data-responsive brandswill rapidly gain groundSocial data is a brand’s most                      ...
Social Trends Report 2012using social data. A new reusable tape     And this expectation of improvementproduct, for exampl...
Social Trends Report 2012This consumer-brand relationship offeedback and improvement is rewardenough for most consumers, s...
Social Trends Report 2012marketing to cover what consumers           up soon after his review by thankingreally care about...
Social Trends Report 2012channels, thousands of conversations        And with mobile, the ZMOT can nowtake place on 3M’s b...
Social Trends Report 2012                                             Enter the sentiment graph, which“Knowing how        ...
Social Trends Report 2012Social, interest, and sentimentgraphs combine for crystal-                      “ ord of mouth ca...
Social Trends Report 2012Brands will become mediaBrands no longer have a captive                                          ...
Social Trends Report 2012and communicating it in a voice they                 people to talk about with each otherrecogniz...
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Social Trends Report (BazaarVoice)

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Social Trends Report (BazaarVoice)

  1. 1. SocialTrendsReportJUNE 2012
  2. 2. Social Trends Report 2012Table of ContentsOverview........................................................... 3Key themes for 2012 Data-responsive brands will rapidly gain ground ..................................... 4 The omnichannel appetite will separate winners from losers ......................... 6 Humanizing consumers will humanize marketing..................................... 8 Brands will become media........................... 11Conclusion.......................................................12
  3. 3. Social Trends Report 2012Top brands share top socialtrends for 2012 Like any young ecosystem, the only constant in the social landscape is change. Brands that seize on this constant change have an unprecedented opportunity to evolve their relationships with consumers. Here are four massive trends that will hasten and guide this evolution. Data-responsive brands will rapidly gain ground. The companies that are quickest to detect and adapt to signals in social data will be leaner, more profitable, and more beloved by consumers than ever before. The omnichannel appetite will separate winners from losers. Consumers are transcending the distinctions between channels, demanding a single, channel-agnostic experience. Brands that seamlessly deliver information, utility, and convenience to the omnichannel consumer will win their business and loyalty. Humanizing consumers will humanize marketing. Consumers are more than the sum of their social connections and interests. The sentiment graph will reveal to companies what’s missing — what consumers truly care about, and the intensity of these feelings. Brands will become media. Brands must become media publishers that attract — not interrupt — consumers with valuable content. Social strategists and marketing thought leaders explored these four trends at Social Summit 2012. Read on to learn how to get ahead of what’s coming. 3
  4. 4. Social Trends Report 2012Data-responsive brandswill rapidly gain groundSocial data is a brand’s most “You create an okay product,valuable ally. It reveals what they buy it. They make itconsumers think, how they feel, andwho they identify with — all through better, tell you how to maketheir own words and actions. And it better. Then you make itwhen companies combine socialdata with commerce, CRM, industry, better, and they buy it again.”and Web data, the resulting Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, WIRED magazineintelligence drives powerful change— if you know what to do with it. The uninterrupted feedback- iteration loop Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of WIRED magazine, touts open source product development. His company 3D Robotics follows an iterative feedback loop, with consumer input driving product innovation. “You create an okay product, they buy it. They make it better, tell you how to make it better. Then you make it better, and they buy it again.” “Every day, the 3M website functions like a focus group,” says Raj Rao, 3M Global Director for eTransformation.Tomorrow’s most successful brands will The global manufacturer has a historycontinuously co-innovate with customers, of co-innovation with consumers.says WIRED magazine’s Chris Anderson. Consumers participate directly in research and development at 3M’s 30 collaboration centers. Now, 3M can co-innovate with consumers virtually “Interesting example from WalmartLabs www.getontheshelf.com. American Idol retail style. 4000 products submitted with chance to be carried at Walmart.” — Ryan Mathre 4
  5. 5. Social Trends Report 2012using social data. A new reusable tape And this expectation of improvementproduct, for example, was inspired by keeps consumers talking. Williamsonline conversations that revealed this reports on customer-drivenpreviously un-served need. improvements company-wide, from development to merchandising,Crowdsourced product decisions also vendor relations to targeted marketing.drive smarter retail. Ron Benson, SeniorDirector of Engineering at WalmartLabs, Crowdfunding site Kickstarter letsdescribes a recent promotion called developers sell their products while“Get on the Shelf.” Walmart invited still in development — buyers purchaseentrepreneurs to submit their product the idea, and the developer usesideas online. Walmart’s customer this early revenue to fund creation.community voted on the 4,000 ideas The developer then invites buyers’submitted, and the top voted products feedback throughout the product’sare now sold in stores and on creation. Buyers influence theWalmart.com. Merchandising teams product’s evolution, giving them awere thus ensured of demand before sense of ownership in the finishedever stocking the products. version, and the product debuts with an organic support community thatConsumers talk — and stay loyal even established brands couldn’t buy.— when brands actAbout 30% of products at outdoorindustry giant Cabela’s carry theCabela’s name. The retailer wondered:if a Cabela’s-branded product gets Move at consumer speednegative feedback, is it a comment Keeping up with change means keeping upon the product, or on the company with consumers. Bazaarvoice Chief Strategyitself? Scott Williams, Executive Vice Officer Mike Svatek says to catch up and keepPresident and Chief Marketing and pace with consumers, companies must:E-Commerce Officer, says the answerlies in how the company uses feedback 1. Have a brand presence in every majorto constantly improve — and how they social network.communicate these improvements to 2.Launch mobile experiences on eachcustomers. When consumers believe key platform.their opinions are truly heard and usedto deliver always-better experiences, 3. nderstand their consumers by collecting Utheir dissatisfaction with a certain and analyzing consumer data.product needn’t cause dissatisfactionwith the brand. 5
  6. 6. Social Trends Report 2012This consumer-brand relationship offeedback and improvement is rewardenough for most consumers, saysStarwood Hotels Associate Director ofSocial Media and Search Marketing,Abbey Reider. Some brands encourageconversations by giving away productsor discounts, but Starwood finds thatthe less “quid pro quo,” the relationship,the more likely it will evolve organicallyover time to something stronger.The omnichannel appetitewill separate winners Acting on consumers’ feedback creates deeper brand relationships than rewards or discounts, says Abbey Reiderfrom losers of Starwood Hotels.Today’s consumers shop everywhere,and in more than one place at a time. Encourage repeat visits withThey check specs on a smartphone from sticky sitesthe aisle. They research products online, The average consumer today checksthen kick the tires in a physical store. They 10.4 information sources before buying.surf products from the couch on a tablet, What if a brand could cut this searchthen buy online at work the next day. to just a few sources by becoming aConsumers who research across online, trusted and comprehensive resource?offline, and mobile channels spend It’s impossible to anticipate every18-36% more than those who don’t. unique consumer’s research needs.This omnichannel shopping isn’t just Social lets brands build communitiesthe future — it’s already the new norm. that, as consumers keep contributing,According to Hal Hawton, President of become more comprehensive andHomeDepot.com, half the people who responsive with time. Consumer-visit Home Depot stores visit the brand written feedback, QA, tweets, andwebsite first. To capture omnichannel other social content speak to uniqueconsumers, brands must deliver the right use cases, in the same language othercontent, through the right channels, in consumers use in search.the right places, at the right time. And by mining this data for trends, brands can improve product copy and 6
  7. 7. Social Trends Report 2012marketing to cover what consumers up soon after his review by thankingreally care about when researching and him, rewarding him with a badgebuying. When shoppers consistently showing how many people hadfind the information they need on a read his feedback, and showing himbrand site, they’re more likely to return how many people had voted theto the brand site over other sources. review helpful. The experience made Sernovitz feel appreciated, and moreGamification — using psychological likely to book with the hotel again.motivators common in games toencourage and reward desiredbehaviors — is another way toencourage repeat visits. “You set “Go beyond the bordersgoals around actions you want of your own brand sites toconsumers to take, reward them fortaking those actions, and push them engage across your retailtoward the next level,” explains TonyVentrice, Senior Game Designer at channel properties.”Badgeville. Visual cues like status bars, Bob Buhowski, Digital Marketing Manager,and logical progressions like points in LG Electronics USAa loyalty program, can guide visitorstoward desired actions like buying,contributing feedback, subscribing,and sharing with social networks. Destroy the walled garden, invite others inA key motivator in gamification,and in building loyalty generally, No matter how comprehensive a brandis feeding consumers’ egos. site, some consumers will inevitably“Recognition is big,” says Ventrice. look elsewhere while researchingGiving consumers a platform and buying. “Go beyond the bordersto appear expert and influence of your own brand sites to engageothers feeds our human need across your retail channel properties,”for recognition, and lets us feel says Bob Buhowski, Digital Marketinghelpful. Andy Sernovitz, CEO of Manager at LG Electronics USA.WordOfMouth.org, recalls an Retailers and vendors can shareexperience with a hotel that asked social data for mutual benefit. Whilehim for a review. The hotel followed manufacturer 3M sells mainly through “Love hearing how much The Home Depot values the relationship with manufacturing partners to get closer to the customer!” — Bob Buhowski 7
  8. 8. Social Trends Report 2012channels, thousands of conversations And with mobile, the ZMOT can nowtake place on 3M’s brand sites. 3M happen anywhere. 2011 marked thesyndicates these conversations to first year when people bought moreretailers — over 100,000 reviews to mobile devices than PCs. Soon, fourseven retailers at last count — to ensure billion people will be connected viashoppers find the information they mobile — creating “hyperconnectedneed in order to purchase, wherever consumers,” as Bazaarvoice’s Svatekthey’re buying. puts it. With a phone or tablet handy, consumers can easily accessOn BestBuy.com, LG syndicates review everything they need to make acontent and answers shopper questions product decision anywhere they are,via badged brand reps. Retailers then and immediately act on it. To influencepush this content to online properties, these decisions, companies muststores, and mobile applications. make product and service informationShoppers reward brands and channels and consumer opinions convenient,that make their decisions easy — LG’s digestible, and available everywhere.Buhowski cites a 64% conversion ratefor BestBuy.com visitors who read This is especially true for companiesanswers from LG reps. like retailer JewelryTV, which have no offline presence. The phone or tabletRetailers can likewise share consumer is the second screen beyond the TVconversations with manufacturers. Best or PC that connects consumers toBuy syndicates reviews to the LG brand the brand. Brian Wilhelm, Director ofsite with the Best Buy logo. Visitors Online Marketing for JewelryTV, saysresearching on the brand site can that 17% of the retailer’s business nowclick through to the product page on comes via mobile channels.BestBuy.com to buy.Follow the mobile consumer Humanizing consumersor get left behind will humanize marketing Oversaturation of impersonal,Google defines the “Zero Moment irrelevant marketing has madeof Truth,” or ZMOT, as the moment consumers distrusting of andwhen someone first decides, through disengaged with traditionalonline research, to buy something. advertising. To capture their attentionConsumers today needn’t even be and interest, marketers mustshopping to suddenly realize a new finally understand what individualneed or discover a new product — consumers truly care about, andnew products find consumers online market to them accordingly.via social sharing and curation. 8
  9. 9. Social Trends Report 2012 Enter the sentiment graph, which“Knowing how uses all of a consumer’s comments, ratings, opinions, and conversations you feel is core to shared online to discern how they feel and what they care about — which knowing you. It’s the speaks more directly to who they are, difference between says Matt Marx, Bazaarvoice Product Director. “Knowing how you feel is knowing that you’re core to knowing you,” Marx explains. generally interested “It’s the difference between knowing that you’re generally interested in cars, in cars, and knowing and knowing that you’re passionate about powerful engines.” Suddenly, that you’re passionate it’s possible to really know a consumer, about powerful and speak to their individual needs. engines.” Matt Marx, Product Director, Bazaarvoice The sentiment graph lets brands know consumers as individuals The social graph defines a consumer by his or her connections to others on social networks, while the interest graph approximates his or her interests based on an analysis of data like the content of their social updates and Deliver highly relevant advertising by combing sentiment, social, and interest graphs, says Bazaarvoice’s Matt Marx. profiles, clicks, pages visited, and time on site. While both are useful, neither provides a completely accurate portrait of who a consumer is, what they look for in brands, or how they feel. 9
  10. 10. Social Trends Report 2012Social, interest, and sentimentgraphs combine for crystal- “ ord of mouth cannot Wclear context be faked”Based on a consumer’s socialconnections, interests, and sentiment, Suzanne Fanning, President,brands can deliver hyper-targeted, WOMMAhighly relevant advertising. Considera consumer who frequents travel sites(interests), who has articulated a strong aged 18 to 34) trust the opinions ofpreference for long battery life in his strangers online over those of friendsonline technology reviews (sentiment), and family. Consumers don’t alwaysand whose nephew recently posted agree with the people they know —about his new Android tablet on online, they can instead find informationFacebook (social). Combining these from experts or people more like them.three graphs, an advertiser can target When brands serve these opinions, theythe consumer individually with ads must be authentic — or risk irreparablyfor an Android tablet touting battery losing consumers’ trust.life, and an aggregate rating of 4.7 As Suzanne Fanning, President of thestars from reviewers who identified Word of Mouth Marketing Associationthemselves as frequent travelers. (WOMMA), puts it, “Word of mouthThe unprecedented consumer cannot be faked. Well, it can, butunderstanding possible through these you will be caught, and it will notgraphs can also power highly-relevant look good for you or your company.”curated shopping. When a visitor Fanning says brands must embrace thereaches a retailer’s site, for example, idea that happy, interested people willthe site can dynamically display say good things about companies andproducts based on the visitor’s likes, their products — and these genuinedislikes, and interests. sentiments are the basis for loyal consumer-brand relationships.Authenticity above allRelevant opinions delivered based onthe sentiment graph lose all value whenconsumers question their authenticity.Over half of Millennials (consumers “The ultimate marketing tool comes 2 life when u combine social + interest + sentiment.” — Nicole Bernstein 10
  11. 11. Social Trends Report 2012Brands will become mediaBrands no longer have a captive “I’ll be interested if you’ll beaudience in traditional media channels. interesting.”Companies today can’t just broadcast Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief,any message and expect everyone tolisten. Meanwhile, social allows anyone WIRED magazineto create, publish, and share media.In this democratized audience, thecontent readers deem most valuable Kate products they’re taking, butrises above the noise. also other things that are not product-focused.”Serve the audience tocommand attention Knowing how to say it is just as“I’ll be interested if you’ll be important as knowing what to say,interesting,” says WIRED’s Anderson. says WIRED’s Anderson. He urgesBrands must become media brands to craft a distinct, memorablecompanies, capturing attention voice like no other, and be consistentby being helpful, interesting, or across every media channel, fromentertaining. Anderson says that print to broadcast to online. He citesbrands need to start acting more like Martha Stewart as one of the mostmagazines, and create compelling successful brand media voices ever.content that people want to interact The Martha Stewart brand literallywith and share. Stop marketing. Stop assumes a persona authentic to itsselling. Start educating, entertaining, namesake founder. Groupon, asand informing in ways that captivate another example, has a voice that’sthe people you want to reach. cheeky, funny, and lighthearted. It turns simple coupons into opportunities toAt Kate Spade New York, “We really see entertain and delight with story, settingourselves as a media company,” agrees the brand apart.Johanna Murphy, VP eCommerce.The brand engages fashion-conscious Participate, don’t dominatewomen with style tips and media aboutreal life. It ran a Twitter series, written by “A brand is the sum of all conversationsreal young women taking a road trip to happening around the brand,” says Kylethe Coachella music festival. The ladies Lacy, Principal of Marketing Researchingtweeted pictures and recaps of their Education for ExactTarget. The wayencounters and, of course, the Kate to get people talking is the same waySpade products they brought along. to get their attention: by creating“They’re talking about packing — what content they enjoy and see value in, 11
  12. 12. Social Trends Report 2012and communicating it in a voice they people to talk about with each otherrecognize and are drawn to in attract more attention and ultimatelyany context. build more loyalty than companies that only talk about themselves.Kate Spade sparks conversations onbrand-relevant aspects of everyday life. Swim with the current orThe brand also encourages its fans tocreate and share content — the Kate be swept awaySpade Facebook page hosts consumers’ These trends create a marketplaceproduct feedback, and the branded where real consumer-brandPinterest account shares pins from users relationships are more importantof Kate Spade products alongside other than ever. A world where symbioticfashion and images that inspire them. partnerships between the people who buy products and services, and theThe shift from passive viewers to people who sell them, aren’t a pipeengaged, active consumers means dream — they’re a business reality.branded content has to be something Bazaarvoice helps companies betterpeople want to engage with — not just understand consumers, so they canlisten to or watch. And though it may serve them better. Find out more atsound counterintuitive, a great way to www.bazaarvoice.comget people talking about a brand is tonot talk about the brand — or at least,not just about the brand. Companiesthat provide interesting things for www.bazaarvoice.comThis document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and otherInternet Web site or company name references, may change without notice. Some examples depicted herein areprovided for illustration only and are not guarantees of a specific result. You bear the risk of using this document.This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Bazaarvoice service orproduct. You may copy and use this document for your internal, reference purposes only.© 2012 Bazaarvoice, Inc. All rights reserved. Bazaarvoice and any Bazaarvoice service or product name or logoused herein are trademarks of Bazaarvoice, Inc. All other company or product names may be trademarks of therespective companies with which they are associated.

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