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Social Media Report 2012: Top Trends SMBs Need to Know

Nielsen’s State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012 reflects on various social media trends of 2012, as well as the potential impact they will have on the coming year. There is no denying that social media is more popular than ever with consumers, and that having a social media presence is critical for SMBs’ online marketing strategies in 2013.  Here are a few highlights from the report.

Mobile Usage Is Not Slowing Down

As you might have guessed, the amount of time consumers spent on PCs and Smartphones increased between July 2011 and July 2012.  Time spent on these devices grew by 21%, while time on apps rose 120% in that same period.  While PCs still remain our primary source of Internet access, the usage of mobile Web and apps are increasing at a significant rate. Small businesses can’t afford to ignore mobile any longer, and should invest in mobile-friendly advertising and sites to reach this growing audience.

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Time Spent on Social Networks Grew 37%.

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From July 2011 to July 2012, the time consumers spent on social media sites grew from 88.4B minutes to a whopping 121.1B minutes. Nielsen attributes this substantial growth in part to the rise of mobile apps, which enable us to stay connected to our favorite sites while on the go. In fact, we spent seven times more minutes on apps than on the mobile Web. Time spent on these sites means social media access is not only on the rise, but also that we are more engaged when we do visit them. For small businesses, this means being active on social media is more important than ever in order to reach consumers spending a large portion of their time there.

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Consumers Value Social Customer Service

For more and more consumers, social care, also known as social customer service, is becoming an increasingly important, and valuable social media trend for SMBs to leverage. Nielsen reports that one in three social media users prefer social care to contacting a company by phone. That means that more consumers are using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and the company blog to reach out to businesses and brands in the hope of resolving a customer service issue. SMBs are not immune to this trend, and many will see an influx of customer complaints through these channels, which can impact their online reputation. As a result, it’s vital for businesses to monitor their social media pages regularly and respond to customer questions, complaints, and more as soon as possible.

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As we’ve seen throughout the year, mobile and social media continue to top consumers’ online behavior. And as 2012 winds down, it’s important for small businesses to think about whether they have successfully taken advantage of some of these social media trends, and how they can incorporate them in the future. You can read the entire Nielsen social media report here.

How do mobile and social media fit into your online marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Throughout our research we performed now end of the year, we found out that mobile usage is on rise for 15.5% in comparison on beginning of the year. We do our own analyses on a real world sites, some ow which very popular and some of which freshly developed startups so combining that data really give us better picture when it comes to user behaviors.

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