I’ve talked before about social customers, sales cycles, and megaphones. This matters. But it’s also the (relatively) easy part for social brands to tackle—and for social businesses. What’s harder is understanding how to respond to the fact that, as customers, we are increasingly embedding social into our lives.
Social bookends our day.
Tom Webster of Edison Research terms it “the social habit.” Edison has been doing ongoing research into Americans who have a social profile somewhere. The data reveal that social has become a mainstream activity. It’s also becoming something we do all the time. Facebook, said Webster, “bookends our day.”
Here are just a few key findings* about when we use social media:
Right after we wake up: 6 in 10 Facebook users access Facebook “right after” they wake up. In addition, 29 percent of respondents say they watch YouTube videos, 26 percent read online message boards, 22 percent read blogs, and 22 percent use Twitter.
At work: 5 in 10 Facebook users access Facebook at work. In addition, 31 percent of respondents say they watch YouTube videos, 29 percent read online message boards, 28 percent read blogs, and 24 percent use Twitter.
Weeknight evenings: More than 8 in 10 (84 percent) Facebook users “typically” use Facebook at night. In addition, 68 percent say they watch YouTube videos, 49 percent read online message boards, 44 percent read blogs, and 34 percent use Twitter.
Before bed: More than 6 in 10 (63 percent) Facebook users “typically” use Facebook right before they go to sleep. In addition, 37 percent say they watch YouTube videos, 26 percent read online message boards, 23 percent read blogs, and 23 percent use Twitter.
Social is increasingly becoming what Webster calls “a companion media.” The research also looks at usage data for other social platforms (Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Path), but these were the big ones.
This has implications for how people focus—not just where prospects and customers (or clients) are hanging out online—but also when and how they interact with your brand. It’s not just for customer service. Maybe they’re using a smartphone to compare prices while at the grocery store. Or tweeting about fashion during an awards show. Or posting conference pictures and commentary to Facebook. Or sharing a video with their friends.
This has implications for brands. Companies have been struggling for a while to define where they should be online. But it’s not enough to identify where to focus—it’s also about when and how, and what kind of relationships you want with customers, and what action you want your customers and prospects to take.
This isn’t easy stuff. In my next post, I’ll look at a brand that doesn’t get it and the lessons learned for other companies.
Social is in our DNA, so it’s going to be important that we embed it into the DNA of our businesses too.
*This data is now about 12 months old, which means that it very well might underestimate people’s use of social media today.
Photo by Alan / Falcon.