Where to begin with all the social media marketing goodness that is ComScore’s new “U.S. Digital Future In Focus 2012” report?
After all, ComScore isn’t some up-and-coming metrics company trying to get noticed with a controversy-seeking headline and a small sampling of responders. It’s been doing the measurement thing for a while now, adding to its stable of products with acquisitions and counting some A-list brands and media companies among its clients. Its Media Metrix product alone is used in 43 countries. This report measured web activity from Dec. 2010-Dec. 2011. So when ComScore speaks, those working in digital media and marketing should listen.
Among the findings:
As One Portal Closes, A Social Media Door Opens
There’s a reason why nobody talks about web portals anymore: more and more people are starting their Internet days via social media, especially Facebook. 9 out of every 10 web users visit a social networking site every month; 16.6 percent of every hour is spent on social media, with Facebook leading the way in engagement at seven hours per visitor in December. That’s 32 percent growth year-over-year. Twitter and LinkedIn spent most of last year battling for the No. 2 position.
Social Media Marketing Takeaway: Customers are getting accustomed to consuming a lot of their content on social networks; give them more compelling business content to consume.
2011: Online Video’s Debutante Ball
ComScore’s report says it best: “In 2011, Americans viewed more online video content than ever before.” The online viewing audience grew by 43 percent to hit more than 100 million, and online ads jumped 20 percent to 7.1 billion video ads streamed on the web. YouTube owns about half of this market, with the niche content channel partners it debuted last year generating an encouraging fan base.
Social Media Marketing Takeaway: Stop thinking about simple business videos on YouTube and your website, and start thinking about creating the Your-Business-Here Channel. Think like a programmer, use the better YouTube metrics available for measuring who’s watching, and load up on professional-looking content.
More Social In Search, More Need For SEO Savvy
Did anyone expect Google to shed any aspects of its search dominance? No, but Bing surprised everyone by taking over the No. 2 spot from Yahoo! More than 80 percent of all searches conducted on the Internet are now done by those two algorithm-crunching companies. And this statement in the report shows what’s waiting around the bend: “In particular, the increasing integration of social search technology, such as including results from Facebook, Twitter and Google+, are proving there are new and interesting ways to improve search relevance that promise to bolster the utility of search in 2012.”
Social Media Marketing Takeaway: Optimize, optimize, optimize – blogs, social media content, YouTube videos. Dig up search terms that will have your business in the nosebleed section of Google and Bing’s results pages.
Be Sure To Invite Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr To This Party
Google’s social platform, launched last summer, is already at 20 million-plus members. Pinterest went from zero to 60 (or rather, an asterisk in last year’s ComScore report to 8 million members strong this year) in record time, and Tumblr is now at 18.8 million users. ComScore went out of its way to highlight user engagement on Tumblr and Pinterest; people want to stick around, share media, post bite-sized thoughts on whatever is capturing their fancy at that moment.
Social Media Marketing Takeaway: Go where the action is. Find out if the new social platforms and their demographics offer anything for your business.