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SOCIAL MEDIA Myth Busting
COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA MYTHS:                                       MYTH#1 EMAIL USE IS DECREASING
    PLAUSIBLE OR BUSTED?                                             You’ve seen the headlines: “9 Reasons Why Email is Dead,” Why Email No Longer Rules….
                                                                     And What That Means for the Way We Communicate,” or “Nielsen: Email Use Drops 28
    ExactTarget’s SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS                     Percent in One Year.” With the seemingly endless reports about the death of email, it’s no
    research series is the first of its kind to capture a snapshot   wonder that the commonly-held myth of decreased email usage exists.
    of the modern interactive marketing landscape—as it              The last headline referenced above is the latest article predicting email’s demise and
    stands right now in 2010. In our six reports to date, we’ve      is based on a recent blog post from Nielsen NetView. In their article “What Americans
    examined how consumers interact with brands across               Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity*,” Nielsen presented data that
    popular communication channels like email, Facebook,             highlighted the top 10 internet locations where U.S. online users spend their time,
    and Twitter, providing marketers with key insights on how        including a statistic that shows percentage change in share of time. They report that
    they must combine—not isolate—the strengths of these             consumers spent 28% less time using email between June 2009 and June 2010.
    mediums to build integrated marketing strategies.
                                                                     Despite the fact that Nieslen provided very limited commentary about this statistic, the
    As the industry continues to evolve at a break-neck pace,        media quickly began referencing it as further evidence
    you need to be armed with the truth about the interactive        that email usage is on the decline, creating more
    industry—and what your customers are actually doing—             headlines and blog posts that cited this data as
    in order to successfully communicate with them. And              their primary argument.
    headlines and industry buzz can often be misleading. That’s
    why we’re re-visiting the data presented in the first six        There are several problems with this assumption:
    SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research reports in
                                                                             The media generally overlooked other
    Social Mythbusting.                                               1
                                                                             statistics included in the same blog post
    This newest report will answer your most burning                 about a separate set of data focused on mobile
    interactive marketing questions:                                 use. This second data set shows that mobile
                                                                     email use (accessing email through mobile
    •      Is email on the decline?                                  devices) is actually on the rise. As Nielsen
    •      Is a Facebook FAN really worth $136.38?                   explained in their blog post, “There is a double-
                                                                     digit (28 percent) rise in the prevalence of social
    •      Does Twitter’s success hinge on celebrities like          networking behavior, but the dominance of
           John Mayer?                                               email activity on mobile devices continue with
                                                                     an increase from 37.4 percent to 41.6 percent
    •      Is social media making people less social?
                                                                     of U.S. mobile Internet time.”
    Headlines and sound bites aside, the answers to
    these questions are important to your success as an
    interactive marketer. Our research will deny, debunk,            *nielsenwire, “What Americans Do
    and deliver the answers you need to build an                     Online: Social Media and Games
                                                                     Dominate Activity,” http://blog.
    integrated marketing strategy based on the truth—                nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_
    not commonly-held assumptions.                                   mobile/what-americans-do-
                                                                     online-social-media-and-games-
                                                                     dominate-activity/



2       © 2010 ExactTarget
THE VERDICT:
                                                                                                                     Nielsen’s methodology was developed
                                                                                                                     years ago, when the majority of personal
                                                                                                                     email access did in fact occur through
                                                                                                                     web portals or enterprise email
                                                                                                                     servers. Today, this methodology is
                               -17%                    15-17       19%                                               restrictive because it forces Nielsen to
                                                                                                                     make an assumption that all personal
                                         -7%           18-24                     35%                                 email is accessed through webmail
                                                                                                                     and not traditional desktop clients or
                                         -7%           25-34          23%                                            mobile devices.

                                           -4%         35-44            28%                                          More importantly, this methodology
                                                                                                                     doesn’t account for the fact that more
                                          -5%          45-54         22%                                             and more consumers are using desktop
                                                                                                                     and mobile email clients to access
                                           -4%         55-64         22%                                             their accounts through providers that
                                           -4%         65+            23%                                            still maintain webmail portals. Gmail,
                                                                                                                     Hotmail, Yahoo, and similar services
                                                                                                                     can all easily be accessed through non-
     CONSUMERS’ CHANGE IN                                                                                            web-based clients by simply entering an
                                                                             Use Email More Often                    email address and password. Nielsen
     THE FREQUENCY OF EMAIL
     USE FROM OCTOBER 2009                                                   Use Email Less Often                    operates under the assumption that
                                                                                                                     webmail access is a good proxy for
     TO APRIL 2010 (BY AGE)
                                                                                                                     measuring personal email usage,
                                                                                                                     and this is simply no longer sufficient.
                                                                                                                     How consumers access email is in fact
      Email usage’s percentage change highlighted by Nielsen is in direct contrast with our SUBSCRIBERS,
 2                                                                                                                   changing, but the use of email continues
      FANS, & FOLLOWERS research, where we asked if consumers used email more or less often between
                                                                                                                     to increase. The result? The myth that
October 2009 and April 2010, and 25% of consumers said they were using email more often. Only 6% said they
                                                                                                                     email use is declining is busted.
were using it less often. Combined, these statistics suggest a net of 19% of consumers who are using email
more often. This begs the question: is this myth about email’s decline plausible or busted?




                                                                                                                         TED
To answer this question, we needed to determine which data is more reliable. ExactTarget’s SUBSCRIBERS,
FANS, & FOLLOWERS research is based on self-reported consumer data. While imperfect, the national sample



                                                                                                                     BUS
should at least be directionally accurate. In contrast, Nielsen measures all the internet categories (or channels)
they list in their top 10 through the analyses of “website content categories.” In other words, Nielsen’s
measurement of email usage is based on how often consumers access email through sites like Gmail,
Yahoo, or Hotmail (i.e. web portals), not the time each consumer spends with email as an actual activity.
Desktop clients like Outlook, MacMail, Thunderbird, and mobile devices are not included in the numbers
reported by Nielsen.

                                                                                                                                           © 2010 ExactTarget   3
MYTH#2 A FACEBOOK FAN IS WORTH $136.38
                         In the modern era of Twitter and Facebook, the common question on most marketing minds is often “How can I quantify
                         social media marketing?” A recent study conducted by Syncapse in association with hotspex titled, “The Value of a
                         Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review*,” attempted to do just that—quantify the ROI of Facebook marketing efforts. Through
                         this study, they determined that the average value of a Facebook FAN is $136.38, and that on average, FANS spend an
                         additional $71.84 on products for which they are FANS of compared to those who are not FANS.

                         In our own SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research, we asked consumers if they were more likely to purchase
                         from a brand after becoming a FAN on Facebook, and only 17% of U.S. consumers reported that they’re more likely
                         to buy as a result of LIKING a brand. So do these findings support or debunk the myth that a FAN is worth $136.38?


                         *Syncapse in association with hotspex, “The Value of a Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review,”
                         http://www.syncapse.com/media/syncapse-value-of-a-facebook-fan.pdf



4   © 2010 ExactTarget
Facebook isn’t being used to its
                                32%                                          32%
                             DISAGREE                  49%                DISAGREE                  fullest potential if you’re focused
                                                   DISAGREE                                         on increasing FANS and up-
                                41%
                                                                             31%                    selling or cross-selling to them.
                                                                          NEUTRAL
  MORE LIKELY TO
 PURCHASE FROM
                              NEUTRAL
                                                       34%                                          Instead, you need to figure out
  A BRAND AFTER                                     NEUTRAL                                         how to mobilize the FAN base
     BECOMING A                                                              37%
SUBSCRIBER, FAN,
                                27%
                               AGREE                   17%                  AGREE                   you already have so they can
    OR FOLLOWER                                       AGREE
                                                                                                    share your powerful message
                             EMAIL
                           SUBSCRIBER
                                                   FACEBOOK
                                                      FAN
                                                                           TWITTER
                                                                          FOLLOWER
                                                                                                    across the entire internet.


THE VERDICT:
We believe that the Syncapse findings about the value of a Facebook FAN are in fact plausible and that this research probes important questions that are on the minds
of many marketers. However, the issue of causality is at stake when further examining the purchase potential of consumers after they’ve become a FAN of a particular
brand. The important question for marketers is not whether FANS are worth more than non-FANS. We agree that FANS are very valuable to your brand’s bottom
line. But simply increasing your brand’s FAN base will not necessarily help you earn more money for your organization.

Consider this example: John Doe loves Coca-Cola, and purchases the beverage whenever possible. When he stumbles upon their company page on Facebook, he
immediately chooses to LIKE their brand. But after becoming Coke’s FAN, he doesn’t suddenly purchase Coke more often than before. He’s already reached his purchase
maximum. John was already contributing to Coca-Cola’s bottom line before becoming a Facebook FAN, and the exercise of LIKING them was a result of his already-
established loyalty to the brand.

So while Syncapse’s study does establish the average annual spend of a Facebook FAN, it doesn’t suggest the increase in value that can be attributed
to Facebook, since many of these consumers have already reached their limit to purchase additional products, goods, or services from
brands. Marketers must resist the temptation to view Facebook as merely an acquisition or loyalty channel, where




                                                                                                                          SIBLE
number of FANS is directly linked to ROI. FANS are a valuable part of your marketing strategy, but must




                                                                                                                     PLAU
be empowered to act as advocates for your brand with their own friends and contacts, igniting the
potential for a viral frenzy. Facebook isn’t being used to its fullest potential if you’re focused on increasing
FANS and up-selling or cross-selling to them. Instead, you need to figure out how to mobilize the FAN base you
already have so they can share your powerful message across the entire internet.
                                                                                                                                                   © 2010 ExactTarget   5
MYTH#3 TWITTER'S SUCCESS HINGES ON CONTINUED CELEBRITY USAGE
    The headlines began hitting on Monday, September 13, 2010 with “John          And as a result, it makes sense that individuals might begin to question
    Mayer Quits Twitter, Leaves 3.7 Million Followers Behind.” Many articles      the channel’s chances of future success when stars like Mayer or Cyrus
    followed, as Mayer joined the ranks of other famous celebrities like Miley    choose to leave.
    Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and LeAnn Rimes, who have all left or taken a break
                                                                                  At first glance, our SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research might
    from Twitter in recent months.
                                                                                  lead one to believe that Twitter use is in fact on the decline (see chart on
    As the coverage suggests, marketers and popular media outlets get nervous     page 7), causing some to link this decline to celebrities like Mayer. And while
    when well-known Twitter users suddenly abandon the site, sensationalizing     many passive Twitter users are in fact decreasing their use of this channel,
    the events in a variety of news stories. But why? Twitter’s initial success   highly-influential online consumers continue to increase their use. These
    and rapid growth was no doubt due in large part to big-name celebrity         consumers blog, comment, write online articles, and post to wikis more
    participation from users like Ashton Kutcher, Anderson Cooper, and Oprah.     often than any other online consumer.




6    © 2010 ExactTarget
THE VERDICT:                                                    18%        71%                10% Megaphone
Twitter’s initial success may have
hinged on big-name celebrity
                                                               14%         65%                21% Social Butterfly
participation from individuals like                            13%         63%                24% Open Book
John Mayer. But with more than
160 million registered users, 90                              10%          62%                28% Info Seeker
million Tweets a day, and more
than 370,000 new user sign-
ups each day*, this myth is now                                           OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS, ARE YOU
busted. Twitter’s success no                                              USING TWITTER MORE OFTEN, ABOUT THE
longer hinges on the rich and                                             SAME, OR LESS OFTEN?
famous. To put it simply,                                                   MORE    SAME    LESS
Twitter isn’t for everyone,
and well-known users
are no exception to this                                            20%    51%                29%   Gamer
rule. Like any new product,
many will try it, some will love it, and                       14%         57%                29%   Business First
others will leave it behind.
                                                               13%         54%                33% Enthusiast
Instead of relying solely on big names like Shaq
or Lady Gaga for success, Twitter has made                    8%           59%                33% Shopper
room for a new type of celebrity—an individual
who has become famous as a result of simply                   11%          54%                35% News Junkie
using Twitter. As mentioned earlier, individuals
who do use Twitter are the most influential
                                                              10%          55%                36% Deal seeker
consumers online and can propel their own
                                                              9%           54%                37% Inner Circle
stardom through their Tweets alone. And because
the conversations that happen on Twitter spill over           10%          45%                45%   Cautious
into many other areas of the internet (and beyond),
these heavy Twitter users can become household
names based on the conversations they’re starting
and sustaining online. To them, John Mayer is just    Instead of relying solely on big names like
another user who couldn’t keep up with this fast-
paced, sometimes chaotic channel.                     Shaq or Lady Gaga for success, Twitter has
*Twitter, October 2010                                made room for a new type of celebrity—an

          TED
                                                      individual who has become famous as a

      BUS                                             result of simply using Twitter.
                                                                                                    © 2010 ExactTarget   7
MYTH#4 SOCIAL MEDIA IS MAKING PEOPLE LESS SOCIAL
                                                                                                                               Just as headlines suggest that email usage
                                                                                                                               is on the decline, the myth that social media
                                                                                                                               is making people less social is also fueled
                                                                                                                               by blog posts, articles, and headlines of its
                                                                                                                               own. Malcolm Gladwell was the first author to
                                                                                                                               make this case in his article “Small Change:
                                                                                                                               Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted*.”
                                                                                                                               In this controversial piece, Gladwell argues
                                                                                                                               that the social media revolution will not result
                                                                                                                               in massive social change like we witnessed
                                                                                                                               during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

                                                                                                                               Despite the unpopularity of Gladwell’s
                                                                                                                               argument in online publications like Mashable,
                                                                                                                               Mark W. Schaefer agreed, writing his own post
                                                                                                                               titled, “Is Social Media Creating a Generation
                                                                                                                               of Cowards**?” In the article, Schaefer outlines
                                                                                                                               his concerns about social media inhibiting
                                                                                                                               human interaction, elaborating on the end
                                                                                                                               of social skills, stunted childhood brain
                                                                                                                               development, and “Generation Farmville.”

             Although Schaefer isn’t alone in his assumptions that social media is driving people indoors and away from intimate exchanges, our
             SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS data doesn’t support these claims. In fact, cross-tabulations of our data on increased social media
             usage with data on phone and in-person interactions with friends and family usage tell a different story entirely.

             According to the data displayed in the two charts on the following page, increases in Facebook and Twitter usage actually correlate
             to increases in social, in-person interactions. For example, among U.S. consumers who report using Facebook more often, 27% report
             that they meet with friends in person more often, as opposed to 13% who report meeting in person less often. Additionally, U.S. consumers
             who report increases in Twitter use also report increases in in-person meetings with friends more often than less often (46% vs. 7%).



            *Malcolm Gladwell, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell
            **Mark W. Schaefer, “Is Social Media Creating a Generation of Cowards?” http://www.businessesgrow.com/2010/10/10/is-social-media-creating-a-generation-of-cowards/




8   © 2010 ExactTarget
THE VERDICT:
                                                                                                                                                                In short, individuals who are becoming
                                                                                                                                                                more active on Facebook and Twitter are
                                                                                                                                                                also interacting with friends in “real” (not
                                                                                                                                                                virtual) settings more often, thereby busting
                                                                                                                                                                the commonly-held myth that social media
                                                                                                                                                                is making people less social. And while we
                                                                                                                                                                agree that the seriousness of social media
                                                                                                                                                                addiction—and how it can impact human
                                                                                                                                                                interaction skills—is in fact a real concern,
                                                                                                                                                                our data merely suggests that social media
                                                                                                                                                                doesn’t typically produce a decrease in in-
                                                                                                                                                                person, human interactions.
                                                                       19%
                                 27%                                   MORE                                                                              33%


                                                                                                                                                                    TED
                                 MORE                                                                            46%                                     MORE
                                                                              MEETING WITH FRIENDS IN PERSON
MEETING WITH FRIENDS IN PERSON




                                                                                                                                                                BUS
                                                                                                                MORE




                                                                                                                          CALLING FRIENDS ON THE PHONE
                                        CALLING FRIENDS ON THE PHONE




                                                                       63%
                                 60%                                   SAME
                                 SAME                                                                                                                    55%
                                                                                                                                                         SAME
                                                                                                                 46%                                            In short, individuals
                                                                                                                 SAME                                           who are becoming
                                                                                                                                                                more active on
                                                                       19%
                                 13%                                   LESS                                       7%                                     13%    Facebook and Twitter
                                 LESS
                                                                                                                 LESS
                                                                                                                                                         LESS
                                                                                                                                                                are also interacting
                                                                                                                                                                with friends in “real”
                             AMONG CONSUMERS                                                                     AMONG CONSUMERS
                          INCREASING FACEBOOK USE                                                              INCREASING TWITTER USE                           (not virtual) settings
                                                                                                                                                                more often.

                                                                                                                                                                                           © 2010 ExactTarget   9
CONCLUSION: SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTIONS AREN'T A ZERO-SUM GAME
                          The myths outlined in this research report—both plausible and busted—are based on a false assumption that
                          social media interactions are a zero-sum game, where an increase or decrease of activity in one channel only
                          happens when there’s a corresponding increase or decrease of activity in another channel.

                          But marketers must change the lens through which they view new data, findings, and reports in the interactive
                          industry if they hope to get an accurate view of what, when, and how their customers are using online channels
                          like email, Twitter, and Facebook. This much is true: consumers are engaging across a variety of interactive
                          channels at a break-neck pace, having learned how to multi-task
                          and divide their attention among simultaneous online activities.
                          And when marketers rush to interpret new data and reports from
                          companies like Nielsen or Pew that cite an increase in one
                          channel or a decrease in another, they often make
                          the mistake of beginning mathematic problems
                          in their head: “If Pew reports that consumers are
                          using FourSquare more often, that must mean that
                          they’re spending less time in other places like email
                          or Twitter, right?”

                          Wrong! Increases in one channel’s use DON’T
                          necessarily equal decreases in another.
                          Consumers are constantly engaging across
                          channels simultaneously. They link these
                          technologies together so that an update in one
                          channel is replicated in another. In the end,
                          technology and multi-tasking have effectively
                          created more than 24 hours in an online day.




     This much is true: consumers are engaging across a variety of interactive
     channels at a break-neck pace, having learned how to multi-task and divide
     their attention among simultaneous online activities.
10   © 2010 ExactTarget
And while it’s great that consumers can absorb more messages than ever
before due to multi-tasking and simultaneous engagement, their attention
is also fragmented, posing a new challenge for marketers. Consumers are
being bombarded with marketing messages, and it’s more difficult than ever
to emerge from the clutter and stand out to your target audience. The key
to overcoming this challenge lies in your ability to deliver consistent,
carefully-aligned marketing messages across all interactive channels,
being sure to deliver channel-appropriate content in each and every
place your consumers might be engaging.

For example, if you only deliver your best content via email, you’ll be missing an
opportunity to reach your heavy Facebook and Twitter users—and vice versa.
Siloing your marketing activities forces consumers to choose between channels
in order to receive the deals, offers, or insights they’re looking for. It can also
decrease the chance they’ll see the messages that are truly important to them.

By delivering excellent, targeted content across a wide variety of interactive
channels, you put yourself back in the driver’s seat, ensuring that you reach your
diverse customer base regardless of where they’re spending their time. Failure
to deliver high-quality messages across all interactive channels will confuse
and frustrate your customers while increasing your chances that your
messages will be overlooked or simply ignored.

Armed with truth about your customers’ social media interactions, you
can finally build an integrated marketing strategy that will work across all
interactive channels.




Failure to deliver high-quality messages across all interactive channels will confuse
and frustrate your customers while increasing your chances that your messages will
be overlooked or simply ignored.
                                                                                      © 2010 ExactTarget   11
Your customers are talking about your brand
on Twitter and Facebook. Are you listening?
Armed with the truth about your customers’ social media interactions, you’re ready to build an integrated marketing
strategy across all interactive channels. But before joining the conversations that are already taking place about
your brand, you first need to listen.
With CoTweet™ Enterprise’s new integration with Facebook, it’s easier than ever to listen for conversations about
your brand, so you can empower your teams to effectively engage in those real-time dialogues. From measuring the
impact of reach, engagement, and influence to optimizing workflow for efficient collaboration, you’ll immediately
deepen customer relationships—one conversation at a time.


Visit www.exacttarget.com/cotweetenterprise to learn more.




www. ExactTarget. com                                www. CoTweet. com
This document may not be copied without the prior written consent of ExactTarget. © 2010 ExactTarget.

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SOCIAL MEDIA Myth Busting

  • 2. COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA MYTHS: MYTH#1 EMAIL USE IS DECREASING PLAUSIBLE OR BUSTED? You’ve seen the headlines: “9 Reasons Why Email is Dead,” Why Email No Longer Rules…. And What That Means for the Way We Communicate,” or “Nielsen: Email Use Drops 28 ExactTarget’s SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS Percent in One Year.” With the seemingly endless reports about the death of email, it’s no research series is the first of its kind to capture a snapshot wonder that the commonly-held myth of decreased email usage exists. of the modern interactive marketing landscape—as it The last headline referenced above is the latest article predicting email’s demise and stands right now in 2010. In our six reports to date, we’ve is based on a recent blog post from Nielsen NetView. In their article “What Americans examined how consumers interact with brands across Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity*,” Nielsen presented data that popular communication channels like email, Facebook, highlighted the top 10 internet locations where U.S. online users spend their time, and Twitter, providing marketers with key insights on how including a statistic that shows percentage change in share of time. They report that they must combine—not isolate—the strengths of these consumers spent 28% less time using email between June 2009 and June 2010. mediums to build integrated marketing strategies. Despite the fact that Nieslen provided very limited commentary about this statistic, the As the industry continues to evolve at a break-neck pace, media quickly began referencing it as further evidence you need to be armed with the truth about the interactive that email usage is on the decline, creating more industry—and what your customers are actually doing— headlines and blog posts that cited this data as in order to successfully communicate with them. And their primary argument. headlines and industry buzz can often be misleading. That’s why we’re re-visiting the data presented in the first six There are several problems with this assumption: SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research reports in The media generally overlooked other Social Mythbusting. 1 statistics included in the same blog post This newest report will answer your most burning about a separate set of data focused on mobile interactive marketing questions: use. This second data set shows that mobile email use (accessing email through mobile • Is email on the decline? devices) is actually on the rise. As Nielsen • Is a Facebook FAN really worth $136.38? explained in their blog post, “There is a double- digit (28 percent) rise in the prevalence of social • Does Twitter’s success hinge on celebrities like networking behavior, but the dominance of John Mayer? email activity on mobile devices continue with an increase from 37.4 percent to 41.6 percent • Is social media making people less social? of U.S. mobile Internet time.” Headlines and sound bites aside, the answers to these questions are important to your success as an interactive marketer. Our research will deny, debunk, *nielsenwire, “What Americans Do and deliver the answers you need to build an Online: Social Media and Games Dominate Activity,” http://blog. integrated marketing strategy based on the truth— nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_ not commonly-held assumptions. mobile/what-americans-do- online-social-media-and-games- dominate-activity/ 2 © 2010 ExactTarget
  • 3. THE VERDICT: Nielsen’s methodology was developed years ago, when the majority of personal email access did in fact occur through web portals or enterprise email servers. Today, this methodology is -17% 15-17 19% restrictive because it forces Nielsen to make an assumption that all personal -7% 18-24 35% email is accessed through webmail and not traditional desktop clients or -7% 25-34 23% mobile devices. -4% 35-44 28% More importantly, this methodology doesn’t account for the fact that more -5% 45-54 22% and more consumers are using desktop and mobile email clients to access -4% 55-64 22% their accounts through providers that -4% 65+ 23% still maintain webmail portals. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and similar services can all easily be accessed through non- CONSUMERS’ CHANGE IN web-based clients by simply entering an Use Email More Often email address and password. Nielsen THE FREQUENCY OF EMAIL USE FROM OCTOBER 2009 Use Email Less Often operates under the assumption that webmail access is a good proxy for TO APRIL 2010 (BY AGE) measuring personal email usage, and this is simply no longer sufficient. How consumers access email is in fact Email usage’s percentage change highlighted by Nielsen is in direct contrast with our SUBSCRIBERS, 2 changing, but the use of email continues FANS, & FOLLOWERS research, where we asked if consumers used email more or less often between to increase. The result? The myth that October 2009 and April 2010, and 25% of consumers said they were using email more often. Only 6% said they email use is declining is busted. were using it less often. Combined, these statistics suggest a net of 19% of consumers who are using email more often. This begs the question: is this myth about email’s decline plausible or busted? TED To answer this question, we needed to determine which data is more reliable. ExactTarget’s SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research is based on self-reported consumer data. While imperfect, the national sample BUS should at least be directionally accurate. In contrast, Nielsen measures all the internet categories (or channels) they list in their top 10 through the analyses of “website content categories.” In other words, Nielsen’s measurement of email usage is based on how often consumers access email through sites like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail (i.e. web portals), not the time each consumer spends with email as an actual activity. Desktop clients like Outlook, MacMail, Thunderbird, and mobile devices are not included in the numbers reported by Nielsen. © 2010 ExactTarget 3
  • 4. MYTH#2 A FACEBOOK FAN IS WORTH $136.38 In the modern era of Twitter and Facebook, the common question on most marketing minds is often “How can I quantify social media marketing?” A recent study conducted by Syncapse in association with hotspex titled, “The Value of a Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review*,” attempted to do just that—quantify the ROI of Facebook marketing efforts. Through this study, they determined that the average value of a Facebook FAN is $136.38, and that on average, FANS spend an additional $71.84 on products for which they are FANS of compared to those who are not FANS. In our own SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research, we asked consumers if they were more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a FAN on Facebook, and only 17% of U.S. consumers reported that they’re more likely to buy as a result of LIKING a brand. So do these findings support or debunk the myth that a FAN is worth $136.38? *Syncapse in association with hotspex, “The Value of a Facebook Fan: An Empirical Review,” http://www.syncapse.com/media/syncapse-value-of-a-facebook-fan.pdf 4 © 2010 ExactTarget
  • 5. Facebook isn’t being used to its 32% 32% DISAGREE 49% DISAGREE fullest potential if you’re focused DISAGREE on increasing FANS and up- 41% 31% selling or cross-selling to them. NEUTRAL MORE LIKELY TO PURCHASE FROM NEUTRAL 34% Instead, you need to figure out A BRAND AFTER NEUTRAL how to mobilize the FAN base BECOMING A 37% SUBSCRIBER, FAN, 27% AGREE 17% AGREE you already have so they can OR FOLLOWER AGREE share your powerful message EMAIL SUBSCRIBER FACEBOOK FAN TWITTER FOLLOWER across the entire internet. THE VERDICT: We believe that the Syncapse findings about the value of a Facebook FAN are in fact plausible and that this research probes important questions that are on the minds of many marketers. However, the issue of causality is at stake when further examining the purchase potential of consumers after they’ve become a FAN of a particular brand. The important question for marketers is not whether FANS are worth more than non-FANS. We agree that FANS are very valuable to your brand’s bottom line. But simply increasing your brand’s FAN base will not necessarily help you earn more money for your organization. Consider this example: John Doe loves Coca-Cola, and purchases the beverage whenever possible. When he stumbles upon their company page on Facebook, he immediately chooses to LIKE their brand. But after becoming Coke’s FAN, he doesn’t suddenly purchase Coke more often than before. He’s already reached his purchase maximum. John was already contributing to Coca-Cola’s bottom line before becoming a Facebook FAN, and the exercise of LIKING them was a result of his already- established loyalty to the brand. So while Syncapse’s study does establish the average annual spend of a Facebook FAN, it doesn’t suggest the increase in value that can be attributed to Facebook, since many of these consumers have already reached their limit to purchase additional products, goods, or services from brands. Marketers must resist the temptation to view Facebook as merely an acquisition or loyalty channel, where SIBLE number of FANS is directly linked to ROI. FANS are a valuable part of your marketing strategy, but must PLAU be empowered to act as advocates for your brand with their own friends and contacts, igniting the potential for a viral frenzy. Facebook isn’t being used to its fullest potential if you’re focused on increasing FANS and up-selling or cross-selling to them. Instead, you need to figure out how to mobilize the FAN base you already have so they can share your powerful message across the entire internet. © 2010 ExactTarget 5
  • 6. MYTH#3 TWITTER'S SUCCESS HINGES ON CONTINUED CELEBRITY USAGE The headlines began hitting on Monday, September 13, 2010 with “John And as a result, it makes sense that individuals might begin to question Mayer Quits Twitter, Leaves 3.7 Million Followers Behind.” Many articles the channel’s chances of future success when stars like Mayer or Cyrus followed, as Mayer joined the ranks of other famous celebrities like Miley choose to leave. Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and LeAnn Rimes, who have all left or taken a break At first glance, our SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research might from Twitter in recent months. lead one to believe that Twitter use is in fact on the decline (see chart on As the coverage suggests, marketers and popular media outlets get nervous page 7), causing some to link this decline to celebrities like Mayer. And while when well-known Twitter users suddenly abandon the site, sensationalizing many passive Twitter users are in fact decreasing their use of this channel, the events in a variety of news stories. But why? Twitter’s initial success highly-influential online consumers continue to increase their use. These and rapid growth was no doubt due in large part to big-name celebrity consumers blog, comment, write online articles, and post to wikis more participation from users like Ashton Kutcher, Anderson Cooper, and Oprah. often than any other online consumer. 6 © 2010 ExactTarget
  • 7. THE VERDICT: 18% 71% 10% Megaphone Twitter’s initial success may have hinged on big-name celebrity 14% 65% 21% Social Butterfly participation from individuals like 13% 63% 24% Open Book John Mayer. But with more than 160 million registered users, 90 10% 62% 28% Info Seeker million Tweets a day, and more than 370,000 new user sign- ups each day*, this myth is now OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS, ARE YOU busted. Twitter’s success no USING TWITTER MORE OFTEN, ABOUT THE longer hinges on the rich and SAME, OR LESS OFTEN? famous. To put it simply, MORE SAME LESS Twitter isn’t for everyone, and well-known users are no exception to this 20% 51% 29% Gamer rule. Like any new product, many will try it, some will love it, and 14% 57% 29% Business First others will leave it behind. 13% 54% 33% Enthusiast Instead of relying solely on big names like Shaq or Lady Gaga for success, Twitter has made 8% 59% 33% Shopper room for a new type of celebrity—an individual who has become famous as a result of simply 11% 54% 35% News Junkie using Twitter. As mentioned earlier, individuals who do use Twitter are the most influential 10% 55% 36% Deal seeker consumers online and can propel their own 9% 54% 37% Inner Circle stardom through their Tweets alone. And because the conversations that happen on Twitter spill over 10% 45% 45% Cautious into many other areas of the internet (and beyond), these heavy Twitter users can become household names based on the conversations they’re starting and sustaining online. To them, John Mayer is just Instead of relying solely on big names like another user who couldn’t keep up with this fast- paced, sometimes chaotic channel. Shaq or Lady Gaga for success, Twitter has *Twitter, October 2010 made room for a new type of celebrity—an TED individual who has become famous as a BUS result of simply using Twitter. © 2010 ExactTarget 7
  • 8. MYTH#4 SOCIAL MEDIA IS MAKING PEOPLE LESS SOCIAL Just as headlines suggest that email usage is on the decline, the myth that social media is making people less social is also fueled by blog posts, articles, and headlines of its own. Malcolm Gladwell was the first author to make this case in his article “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted*.” In this controversial piece, Gladwell argues that the social media revolution will not result in massive social change like we witnessed during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Despite the unpopularity of Gladwell’s argument in online publications like Mashable, Mark W. Schaefer agreed, writing his own post titled, “Is Social Media Creating a Generation of Cowards**?” In the article, Schaefer outlines his concerns about social media inhibiting human interaction, elaborating on the end of social skills, stunted childhood brain development, and “Generation Farmville.” Although Schaefer isn’t alone in his assumptions that social media is driving people indoors and away from intimate exchanges, our SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS data doesn’t support these claims. In fact, cross-tabulations of our data on increased social media usage with data on phone and in-person interactions with friends and family usage tell a different story entirely. According to the data displayed in the two charts on the following page, increases in Facebook and Twitter usage actually correlate to increases in social, in-person interactions. For example, among U.S. consumers who report using Facebook more often, 27% report that they meet with friends in person more often, as opposed to 13% who report meeting in person less often. Additionally, U.S. consumers who report increases in Twitter use also report increases in in-person meetings with friends more often than less often (46% vs. 7%). *Malcolm Gladwell, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell **Mark W. Schaefer, “Is Social Media Creating a Generation of Cowards?” http://www.businessesgrow.com/2010/10/10/is-social-media-creating-a-generation-of-cowards/ 8 © 2010 ExactTarget
  • 9. THE VERDICT: In short, individuals who are becoming more active on Facebook and Twitter are also interacting with friends in “real” (not virtual) settings more often, thereby busting the commonly-held myth that social media is making people less social. And while we agree that the seriousness of social media addiction—and how it can impact human interaction skills—is in fact a real concern, our data merely suggests that social media doesn’t typically produce a decrease in in- person, human interactions. 19% 27% MORE 33% TED MORE 46% MORE MEETING WITH FRIENDS IN PERSON MEETING WITH FRIENDS IN PERSON BUS MORE CALLING FRIENDS ON THE PHONE CALLING FRIENDS ON THE PHONE 63% 60% SAME SAME 55% SAME 46% In short, individuals SAME who are becoming more active on 19% 13% LESS 7% 13% Facebook and Twitter LESS LESS LESS are also interacting with friends in “real” AMONG CONSUMERS AMONG CONSUMERS INCREASING FACEBOOK USE INCREASING TWITTER USE (not virtual) settings more often. © 2010 ExactTarget 9
  • 10. CONCLUSION: SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTIONS AREN'T A ZERO-SUM GAME The myths outlined in this research report—both plausible and busted—are based on a false assumption that social media interactions are a zero-sum game, where an increase or decrease of activity in one channel only happens when there’s a corresponding increase or decrease of activity in another channel. But marketers must change the lens through which they view new data, findings, and reports in the interactive industry if they hope to get an accurate view of what, when, and how their customers are using online channels like email, Twitter, and Facebook. This much is true: consumers are engaging across a variety of interactive channels at a break-neck pace, having learned how to multi-task and divide their attention among simultaneous online activities. And when marketers rush to interpret new data and reports from companies like Nielsen or Pew that cite an increase in one channel or a decrease in another, they often make the mistake of beginning mathematic problems in their head: “If Pew reports that consumers are using FourSquare more often, that must mean that they’re spending less time in other places like email or Twitter, right?” Wrong! Increases in one channel’s use DON’T necessarily equal decreases in another. Consumers are constantly engaging across channels simultaneously. They link these technologies together so that an update in one channel is replicated in another. In the end, technology and multi-tasking have effectively created more than 24 hours in an online day. This much is true: consumers are engaging across a variety of interactive channels at a break-neck pace, having learned how to multi-task and divide their attention among simultaneous online activities. 10 © 2010 ExactTarget
  • 11. And while it’s great that consumers can absorb more messages than ever before due to multi-tasking and simultaneous engagement, their attention is also fragmented, posing a new challenge for marketers. Consumers are being bombarded with marketing messages, and it’s more difficult than ever to emerge from the clutter and stand out to your target audience. The key to overcoming this challenge lies in your ability to deliver consistent, carefully-aligned marketing messages across all interactive channels, being sure to deliver channel-appropriate content in each and every place your consumers might be engaging. For example, if you only deliver your best content via email, you’ll be missing an opportunity to reach your heavy Facebook and Twitter users—and vice versa. Siloing your marketing activities forces consumers to choose between channels in order to receive the deals, offers, or insights they’re looking for. It can also decrease the chance they’ll see the messages that are truly important to them. By delivering excellent, targeted content across a wide variety of interactive channels, you put yourself back in the driver’s seat, ensuring that you reach your diverse customer base regardless of where they’re spending their time. Failure to deliver high-quality messages across all interactive channels will confuse and frustrate your customers while increasing your chances that your messages will be overlooked or simply ignored. Armed with truth about your customers’ social media interactions, you can finally build an integrated marketing strategy that will work across all interactive channels. Failure to deliver high-quality messages across all interactive channels will confuse and frustrate your customers while increasing your chances that your messages will be overlooked or simply ignored. © 2010 ExactTarget 11
  • 12. Your customers are talking about your brand on Twitter and Facebook. Are you listening? Armed with the truth about your customers’ social media interactions, you’re ready to build an integrated marketing strategy across all interactive channels. But before joining the conversations that are already taking place about your brand, you first need to listen. With CoTweet™ Enterprise’s new integration with Facebook, it’s easier than ever to listen for conversations about your brand, so you can empower your teams to effectively engage in those real-time dialogues. From measuring the impact of reach, engagement, and influence to optimizing workflow for efficient collaboration, you’ll immediately deepen customer relationships—one conversation at a time. Visit www.exacttarget.com/cotweetenterprise to learn more. www. ExactTarget. com www. CoTweet. com This document may not be copied without the prior written consent of ExactTarget. © 2010 ExactTarget.