Another week goes by, and yet another study wings its way across the pond from the good old US of A.
This time though, things are different. This study actually contains a lot of useful information: so much so, that it means splitting this article into two parts. The survey was reported in the San Francisco Herald, and was carried out by Performics, a Chicago-based marketing agency, owned by the Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communications group and top search spender.
According to the survey, S-Net (The Impact of Social Media), 59% of 2,997 respondents polled stated it was more important to have a LinkedIn account than any other social network. The study also highlighted that of those respondents with an active LinkedIn account, 50% visited the social networking site at least once a week, and 20% check in daily to keep up to speed with all that’s new. The figures do demonstrate that for all its appeal, the frequency of LinkedIn visits has decreased since the last survey was carried out in 2010, when America was at the height of recession. 67% visited the social network weekly at that time, and 22% checked in daily. The most interesting statistic, however, is that these respondents are now convinced that LinkedIn is by far the most influential social network out there: the figures have jumped dramatically in the last year, rising from 41% to 59%.
The question obviously begged by these statistics is why?
What lies behind this increase? The answer, according to Performics CEO, Daina Middleton, is quite simple:
“We may not necessarily be in a double-dip recession but, individuals have embraced social networking as a means to actively manage their personal visibility in the global economy. Factors including LinkedIn’s recent IPO announcement, the May uptick in national unemployment and signs of a slowed-market certainly contribute to LinkedIn’s attractiveness among social networkers.”
The S-Net study also highlighted how new, progressive technologies, combined with the ubiquity of social networks, has fundamentally altered the way people behave on the internet, and how companies and brands have learned to capitalise on the new social networking opportunities. This was particularly evident when it came to making decisions about online purchases.
- People recommend companies and buy products they follow. Among active Twitter users who follow at least one company, 59% are more likely to recommend a company they follow, and 58% are more likely to buy a product they follow.
- Comparison shopping is prevalent: 59% use social networks to compare prices; 56% do so to talk about sales or specials.
- People are split equally about getting/giving advice: Half of respondents use social networks to give advice about products/services, companies or brands on social networking sites. The other half use social networks to seek out advice.
- Personal referrals are powerful: 60% are more likely to take action when a friend posts something favourable about a product/service, company or brand.