So is all this blogging and social media stuff really just a fad?  Is it going away?  Or will most companies need to invest in the coming years in using these tools to better connect with their customers?  Thanks to many recent surveys and studies, the future of social media for businesses is becoming much clearer...

At SBMU last week during my Blogging for Business session, I referenced a recent survey by eMarketer that stated that blog readership AND blog creation by the US internet population would increase by 33% by 2012.

Read that again: Blogging and blog readership are predicted to grow by 33% by 2012.  According to eMarketer, over HALF of the US internet population are already reading blogs on a regular basis. 

More?  eMarketer also discovered that 55% of Millenials (aged 13-24) and 42% of Gen X-ers (aged 25-41) are reading blogs on a WEEKLY basis.

Ben points to a recent study by Cone Business that found that 93% of respondents believe a company should have a presence in social media, and 85% believe that companies should be using social media to interact with customers. Also, 56% of respondents say they feel better about brands that they interact with online via social media tools.

Finally, this new study from eMarketer finds that customers view company blogs as a better channel for customer service than they do a company website.

What does all this mean to your business?  If your customers are online, especially if they are in the 13-41 age group, they are going to be increasingly using social media tools in the future.  And here's the key takeaway: they are going to expect that you do so as well.  And not only that, they are going to expect you to use blogs and other social media tools to connect with them.

 

October 2, 2008





Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.






Comments(6)

Do you have more info about this survey from Cone? What does the term "social media" mean as used? I really dont beleive the 93% figure unless of coruse they are talking about a survey conducted amongst people like you and I? Most people i know who use the internet who are not part of the twitter, active blogging crowd, social media aware crows, rarely even understand these terms.

I always take some of these things with a pinch of salt.

Mike

Mike check out the link to Church of the Customer above, I believe Ben puts a link in your post where you can download the study. And I believe the study did talk to people that are active in social media.

Mack-
Looking at the eMarketer study, I see that discussion forums outrank blogs when it comes to online resources for customer care. What are your thoughts on company forums? We use both blogs and forums to communicate with our customers about service.

Kara Krautter
Dell Small Business Community Manager
@kara_atDELL

Hey Kara! I absolutely think that companies should be aware of what's being said about them on forums and message boards, and advise my clients to monitor them right along with blogs. Now as for a company starting their own forums, that's fine, but I think companies should also be willing to invest some time interacting with customers that are talking about them on non-company forums. I also think that review sites and places such as Amazon and Epinions should be routinely monitored for customer feedback.

It's all about spending time interacting with your customers in the places where they spend their time. But this is preaching to the choir with Dell, as you guys do an excellent job of interacting with us on blogs, Twitter, etc.

Mack I think monitoring who is talking about your business can be accompliched using Google alerts

I am surprised that the increase is only 33%. Thought it wold be like 200%
I mean the amount of blogs, especially affiliate marketing blogs popping up here and there, and the quality content that can be found on these blogs, I thought blog creation was set to increase exponentially

I don't think it's possible to ignore blogs and social media networking. For a start it’s a way of free marketing PR, now you can promote your product or services using social media tools, like Facebook, MySpace. While you can get more advertisers to your company if you create a blog that has great content. You can’t even afford no to use these social networking sites as a hobby or to create money, there’s a site that I’ve found called www.ourswaps.com where you can swap, barter, exchange, trade or even sell products and services. OurSwaps allows you to combine cash offers with products or services so you can swap items that don't have an identical value. You have the possibility to buy, trade, promote and make money online, using social networking or trading sites is a must!

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Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Can You Still Afford to Ignore Blogs and Social Media?