2015 Worldwide Trends and Data for Digital, Social and Mobile [Global + 30 Country Reports]

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The wonderful folks at GlobalWebIndex have been great partners to WeAreSocial over the years, most recently helping them to put together a superlative report on digital stats from around the world.

Look through We Are Social’s comprehensive new Digital, Social and Mobile Worldwide in 2015 report, and it’s clear why fast-growth markets are now so important to digital and social trends: regions such as APAC and LatAm contain online populations which are not only vast in size but which are growing at phenomenal year-on-year rates.

What’s more, GlobalWebIndex’s data shows that digital consumers in these fast-growth/emerging markets are some of the most engaged when it comes to online behaviour. They’ve been tracking the daily time that people spend on various forms of media since 2012; by asking 170,000 annual respondents how long they typically devote to the internet as well as online and offline forms of TV, press and radio, they’ve been able to build a detailed profile of daily media behaviors. The results show that the internet is capturing more and more of our time each day – with total hours spent online via PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets growing from 5.55 in 2012 to 6.15 in 2014.

One of the drivers of this is still-increasing levels of engagement with social networks, which have climbed from a daily average of 1.61 to 1.72 hours over the period in question. This offers important food-for-thought given that some commentators still like to proclaim the “end of social networking”. In actual fact, we’re spending more time on networks now than in the earlier part of the decade – with the rise of the mobile internet, and the ability it affords us to connect to a still-widening range of networks at any time and from any location, being a major driver of this.

Time-Spent-Social-Networking-by-Country

Click image to enlarge: Average number of hours per day spent using social networks, by country. NB: GlobalWebIndex have calculated these average times using data for all internet users (including those who do not use social media at all), whereas the figures in We Are Social’s Digital, Social, & Mobile 2015 report are averages based on the same source data, but which do not include the data for non-social media users.

That said, engagement with social networking can vary significantly from country-to-country. Typically, it is highest in fast-growth/emerging nations where online populations are skewed towards young, urban and affluent demographics (all of these being characteristics which increase an individual’s likelihood of being a social networker).

The Philippines posts the highest figure of all (with a sizeable 3.42 hours), but LatAm countries follow very closely behind. It’s hardly a surprise that there’s a very strong correlation with usage of the mobile internet here; where the mobile web scores well, we typically see social networking accounting for large amounts of daily media time too.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find the lowest amounts of time being devoted to networks in a number of mature markets; here, internet penetration rates are normally very high, meaning the corresponding online populations have a much broader / higher age profile, and are more representative of the country’s total population.

In short, older segments are better represented in mature nations but are some of the least enthusiastic about social networking – something which has an obvious impact on national averages. Japan appears at the very bottom of the table, with just 0.30 hours spent on networking per day; the lack of enthusiasm for networks generally – and for Facebook in particular – are key local factors in this market. Behind this are other mature APAC markets such as Australia as well as most of the European countries tracked by GWI.

Given these geographic and demographic patterns, it’s hardly a surprise that internet users in fast-growth nations are also the biggest “multi-networkers” (those who maintain accounts on the highest number of social platforms). Indonesia tops the table here, with internet users typically being members of 7.39 networks, but it’s in China where people are most likely to actively use the greatest number of social networks (4.27 per internet user). That there are so many local platforms in China is a major contributor to this, as is the fact that leading global names such as Facebook are not as off-limits as is often assumed.

In some studies – especially those based on data from passively collected analytics – it’s still common to see Chinese usage of Facebook, Twitter and similar sites recorded as zero. This is a major mistake; there are in fact a number of ways that Chinese internet users are bypassing official restrictions on social networks, including accessing via apps (16% in China say that they have used the Facebook app in the last 30 days, and a look at the top apps being downloaded in China on a daily basis shows that Western social networks feature very prominently within the list).

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Click image to enlarge: Average number of active social media accounts maintained by internet users, broken down by age and by country.

Significantly, VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps are also being widely downloaded in China – with these tools representing the other major access route for those Chinese users looking to bypass official restrictions. Close to a fifth of online adults in China in fact say they’ve used a VPN in order to access restricted websites or social platforms.

Not only does this trend underline the potential limitations of using passively collected, geo-located data in isolation – which can over-estimate the size of social audiences in markets such as the USA, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden, where VPN and Proxy servers tend to be located – it also emphasizes the growing futility of attempting to prevent national audiences from accessing certain sites. Most clearly of all, though, it demonstrates why networking behaviors in China – as well as in many other fast-growth markets – are much more diversified and sophisticated than is often assumed.

[Source: We Are Social]

Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media

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The seven deadly sins: just the mention of the term stirs up feelings of guilt and an urge to right your wrongs. This goes for social media too! When it comes to social media, there are countless examples of individuals and companies making all sorts of mistakes and not using social networks to their full potential. So let’s strike a little fear into your hearts here and show you how the seven deadly sins can have a damning effect on your social media efforts.

1. Gluttony

You are a social media glutton if you try to be everywhere at once. You feel the need to create an account on every social network in existence, regardless of whether or not the network is appropriate for your specific goals.

If you do not know what your social media goals are, start by asking the following questions. Does your target audience use the social network? Do you produce content that the social network can showcase appropriately? What results are you looking to see from being on the social network (i.e. leads, website traffic, exposure, etc.)? Answer these questions for each social network before actually creating your account.

2. Sloth

If you created a social media account and then left it dormant, shame on you! Or perhaps you post some great content to your social media account on a regular basis: great! But what about engaging your audience? Facilitating conversations with your followers?

If you leave your social media accounts inactive or fail to respond to social media interactions, then you are guilty of social media sloth. Sloth is a sure way to have your followers lose interest in you or to give them the impression that you do not care about them as customers or as an audience.

3. Greed

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to gain more followers? Will you pay, lie, cheat, maybe even rent out your firstborn to get your follower counts into the 10K range? If so, then you are guilty of social media greed.

The number of followers on your social media accounts is an important metric in terms of the growth and success of your efforts. Your main focus, however, should remain on producing quality content, nurturing relationships and building a community online.

4. Wrath

Have people criticized or complained about your services via social media? If so, don’t respond in haste. You most definitely should respond, but you have to make sure your response is tactful and not attacking in any way. If your response is mean-spirited or fails to address the complaint, then you are guilty of social media wrath.

Don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time to calm down and contemplate any criticism on social media. It lets personal offense simmer down so you can see things from the complainer’s perspective. Even if you think responding is futile, according to Kissmetrics 22% of social media complainers welcomed the interaction that resulted from their complaining and later posted a positive response.

5. Lust

If your business is struggling to market itself effectively, you may think that social media will help you out. In fact, you may believe that social media will be the golden ticket to instant success, fame and profits. If your mouth waters at the perceived magic of social media to solve all your marketing problems, then you are guilty of the social media sin of lust.

The truth is social media is a tool that takes time and effort. It’s part of a larger, long-term marketing strategy. Social media is definitely not a quick fix or a panacea for broken or inadequate marketing strategies.

6. Envy

Do you look at others’ social media accounts, large followings and constantly shared content and get an overwhelming desire to be just like them? Then you are guilty of social media envy. No two companies, individuals or organizations are exactly the same, so don’t feel envious just because your competitor is performing a particular way on social media. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors on social media to look for opportunities to grow and gain inspiration, it’s not a good idea to copy your competitors under the illusion that you’ll achieve the same results.

7. Pride

Yes, you (hopefully) control your social media accounts. Yes, social media is a tool that can help promote your brand. But no, your social media content cannot be all about you. If so, then you are guilty of the social media sin of pride. If you talk about you, your business or your product all the time or even most of the time, it bores your audience and puts yet another nail in your social media coffin. Instead, mix it up. Remember the 4-1-1 rule: for every self-serving message you post (i.e. promoting an article you wrote or an event you’re hosting), you should share one message from another user and four pieces of others’ original content.

[Source: DashBurst]

Icons of the Web: the top million web sites for 2013

Icons of the Web from the open source Nmap Security Scanner Project (http://nmap.org)is an update to the hugely popular project from 2010. This update brings all new data, a n updated interactive viewer and printed posters available for sale through Kickstarter for a limited time (until January 17th!)

Icons of the Web

[Source: Icons of the Web]

State of Social Media 2013

What a wild year it’s been. You could say that 2013 was the year of social media and you’d be correct. What was once a novelty for people bored and surfing on the ‘net has risen to be an industry in and of itself that companies large and small have embraced around the world as a powerful cornerstone of their marketing initiatives.In case you got lost in the details of 2013, we’ve laid out all the notable moments of the year, month by month, in this handy infographic.What was the most notable social media moment in your life in 2013? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: infographicpromotion]

Majority of Consumers Happy to Share Mobile Location Data with Trusted Brands

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mBlox, the leader in mobile business to person engagement, today announced new findings from a survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital in eight countries that show consumers welcome location-based engagement with companies via mobile devices. Plus, the findings reveal 59% of global respondents prefer SMS and push campaigns over other forms of mobile marketing, including video advertising, banner or standard display ads, and email.

The survey revealed 80% of respondents would share location data with brands in order to receive SMS or push messages. However, while consumers indicated they are open to receiving these messages, most prefer opportunities with known or favorite brands and want to ensure the messages contain relevant marketing opportunities, alerts and notices that they have opted-in to receive.

When asked why they would share location data with a company:

47 percent would do so in order to receive relevant offers or discount coupons

45 percent would do so in order to receive information they have requested

36 percent would do so in order to help them solve customer service issues

24 percent would do so in order to check-in or post on social networking sites

Also according to the survey, 58 percent of global respondents say they would send a text message to a company to request more information, and 54 percent of global respondents say they would send a text message to a company to enter a competition. Given that only 1 in 5 marketers sent an SMS message last year according to Chief Marketer, the survey results indicate that SMS messages are an effective mobile engagement tactic preferred by people but underutilized by marketers.

“These findings show that mobile marketers have a tremendous opportunity to utilize mobile messaging as a preferred channel for highly personalized, micro-targeted marketing campaigns,” said Michael Becker, mobile evangelist and Marketing Development for North America, Somo, a full-service mobile solutions company. “They also show that marketers should use the channel with care, that trust and message value are critical to consumers, and that marketers must strategically utilize consumer preference, behavior and location data in their design to ensure effectiveness.”

The findings have important implications for marketers. According to The Guardian, over four billion people send text messages, which means SMS has more users than Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn combined. Additionally, recent data from the IDG Global Solutions 2013 Mobile Survey reveals that 83 percent of global survey respondents own or use a mobile device, and 56 percent of smartphone and 73 percent of tablet owners or users have made a purchase using their mobile device. Mobile gives marketers access a large global reach and has a high-propensity to encourage purchases, and SMS and push marketing better engages people in a way that is consistent with their preferences.

“As the Millward Brown Digital survey shows, the majority of people today find value in targeted, relevant SMS and push messages sent by a company,” said mBlox CEO Tom Cotney. “When consumers are telling you they want to, if not expect to, be contacted just by downloading an app, it would be foolish not to take advantage of that. If you’re a marketer, why wouldn’t you engage people via the channel and methods they prefer?”

Additional findings from the survey include:

68 percent of global respondents and 66 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS or push messages sent to them from a company to be valuable

57 percent of global respondents and 60 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS and push messages more likely to persuade them to make a purchase than other forms of marketing on a mobile device, including advertising commercials or video advertising, banner or standard display advertising, and email marketing messages

75 percent of global respondents and 75 percent of U.S. respondents are likely to read or engage with SMS and push marketing messages, such as location-triggered coupons, updates or deals relevant to the mobile apps downloaded

Methodology:

Millward Brown Digital surveyed a collective 1,572 mobile users over the age of 18 who had downloaded an app in the past 12 months in the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. The research was fielded between July 16, 2013 and July 24, 2013.

[Source: mBlox]

The Conversation Prism v4.0

What’s different from 3.0?

Well, version 4.0 brings about some of the most significant changes since the beginning. In this round, we moved away from the flower-like motif to simplify and focus the landscape. With all of the changes in social media, it would have been easier to expand the lens. Instead, we narrowed the view to focus on those that are on a path to mainstream understanding or acceptance.

The result was the removal of 122 services while only adding 111.

This introduces an opportunity for a series of industry or vertical-specific Prisms to be introduced so stay tuned.

ConversationPrism_2880x1800

[Source: The Conversation Prism]

Is Social Media Bad For Your Mobile Phone?

If you have a smartphone, then the chances are you’ve used social media on your mobile at one point or another. It’s great to be connected all the time, but what are the negative effects of social media on your mobile? We’ve developed an infographic to find out the answer…

Key Facts

  • 47% of people use social media from their mobiles
  • 340 million Facebook app users on iPhone and Android
  • After Nov 2012 release of the Facebook app, mobile signal used by the app rocketed by 600% despite their membership only increasing by 4%
  • The Facebook app requests 24% of its data volume from YouTube, 16.5% from Twitter, and 15.8% from Tumblr
  • Mobile data usage is expected to increase 2000% by 2017
  • The cost per megabyte of mobile data has decreased from $0.46 to $0.03 in the last five years
  • Uploading 1 photo a day to Twitter costs $0.195
  • Viewing 10 photos a day on Twitter costs $0.15
  • Annual cost of using Twitter on your mobile: $125.93
  • Annual cost of using YouTube on your mobile: $438
  • Annual cost of using Facebook on your mobile: $470
  • Annual cost of using Pandora on your mobile: $657
  • Driving whilst social networking on your mobile makes you four times more likely to crash
  • Smartphones slow your driving reaction times to 38% (compared to 21% for Cannabis and 12.5% for Alcohol)
  • For every 1 million new mobile subscribers there is a 19% rise in distracted driving fatalities
  • 45% of people feel agitated when they can’t access their social networks
  • 60% of people feel the need to switch off their phones to have a break
  • 66% of people have trouble sleeping after using social media
  • 25% of people have relationship problems because of online fights
  • Regular mobile users experience withdrawal symptoms similar to that of drug addicts
  • 64% of people have accepted a friend request from a stranger
  • 73% use a geo-tracking application on their mobile
  • 41% are extremely concerned about letting potential burglars know when they’re away
  • The Android app uses 75% of its energy to serve ads and uploading user data

[Source: liGo]