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Digital in 2016

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Hot off the press comes We Are Social “Digital in 2016”.

I always suck up this report on digital, social and mobile usage around the world which is seeing ever faster growth.

 

 

The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are:

  • 3.42 billion internet users, equaling 46% global penetration;
  • 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration;
  • 3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration;
  • 1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration.

This means more than half of the world’s adult population now uses the internet, and (something exciting for me) that well over one-third of the adult population uses social media at least once a month.

It is also interesting to see – just like I was telling the audience at this week’s ISPO Communication Day – social media is moving from broadcasting to being social. It is all about connecting, personalization and providing true value. This will mean a big change for us marketeers! We will need to activate our listening skills, understand what our audience truly wants and well yes…become social.

The full report can be found here:

 

 

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Marketers to increase social media usage

According to emarketer, marketers are using and investing in social media more, and will continue to do so. A new report reveals that whilst Facebook and Twitter are still the preferred social networks used by US companies, Instagram is expected to gain significant traction due to its improved advertising capabilities. And I am sure European companies will soon be following suit. Either way, marketeers continue to be committed to using the social media space.

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Does one really need skills to be a social media manager?

apeWhile I have been working in marketing and communications for a very long time, social media was not always around. Everything I know relating to social media is something that I have taught myself and have learned by working with and for different clients. And it does not stop there. Technology, metrics, SEO, you name it are developing at incredible speeds meaning having to constantly stay on top of the latest developments. It certainly is not something anyone can teach you overnight (even if there are many companies out there, making a quick buck offering certified social media professional courses).

I notice many businesses underestimate what it means to deliver good social media. It takes time and expertise. It demands lots of different skills like networking, planning and strategy, understanding the customer and the business, writing skills, analytics, commitment and focus, just to name a few. And very important is also experience. I certainly would not trust a new college graduate or trainee to handle my business’ social media activities. You need a strong grounding in marketing communications. You need to understand the industry, its products and have customer facing skills to deal with what social media is all about: engagement. Engaging with community for a business needs to be be strategically driven. And this works best if you are a marketing strategist who can oversee the complete picture. If you believe social media success is about having tons of followers then you are walking down the wrong path.

But enough on this topic. Sailing season is starting and I am off to the boat in bella Italia! Ciao.

Twitter is the new newswire, the new trading floor

trading-floor-300x224The biggest news in the past weeks has been coming from social media. I read about the Boston Marathon bomb attack on Twitter. In near real time. With photos and videos. It was at least another 15 minutes until the major news outlets started reporting on TV and online. More and more, Twitter is giving us major news events before the rest. Yes, Twitter has become the new news wire.

And getting news from Twitter is also influencing our markets and the way we invest. Companies like StockTwits built an entire trader network based on twitter feeds. NYSE added social sentiment to its super feed market data service drawn from Twitter in February. Mid-April Bloomberg announced that they were adding Twitter posts about companies to their terminals. And I know of many small trading firms that give their traders their own Twitter screen next to all the others they need for their daily business.

Is there a pattern here? There sure is. Trading floors and their chatter have more or less vanished. Twitter is filling the void by letting like-minded people find each other on a digital level.
As blogger Barry Ritholtz put so well in an article in the Washington Post last week, “With Twitter, you can build your own virtual trading floor and research department”. While Twitter can offer a lot of misinformation, it also allows you to get different view points from sources you would not get in other news outlets. It lets you spot trends and ideas. It just is so much faster than any other traditional news media.

But as we saw last Tuesday, fast can also cause havoc. I was on the subway when I saw @AP report on Twitter that there had been explosions at the White House, Barack Obama was injured. While I did not really believe it (or hoping it was false), I was waiting, updating my screen seeing if other new outlets were about to report the same news. It turns out @AP had been hacked but in those minutes, this tweet alone caused a mini-crash on the Dow. The traditional chain of events “news comes out, markets react” had been subverted. So has the credibility of Twitter as a news source taken a hit since then? Sure. But nonetheless Twitter remains the new number one place for news.