Americans Are “Always On” and Use Mobile Phones / Tablets to Stay Connected
Last month, some very interesting results were released from a survey conducted regarding the use of smart phones and other mobile devices while watching television in America.
Eighty percent of respondents multitask on their iPhones, Android phones, iPads and other mobile tablet devices while watching favorite TV shows. Eighty percent multitask occasionally. Seventy percent multitask at least once a week. Almost half multitask every day; and 15 percent stay on the mobile web via their mobile phones for the full duration of their favorite television shows.
This multitasking isn’t while the TV is on in the background in an ambient sense – while cooking dinner or helping kids with homework – this is while Americans are settled in front of their TVs watching their favorite shows.
What are we doing on our mobile phones while watching TV?
We’re mostly on our social networks, browsing the web, and sending text messages!
Nation of Digital Junkies
This was not a survey of teenagers. This sort of multitasking is part of our culture now. In fact, the fastest growing demographic for new Facebook users is women over the age of 55. And one of every four adults over the age of 65 is now using a social networking.
If we can’t devote our full attention during their favorite TV shows, how much attention can we possibly pay to all the messages we’re inundated with each and every day?
Bombarded by Brand Impressions
I’ve seen various studies that estimate Americans are inundated with anywhere from 2,000 – 5,000 separate brand impressions each day. Let’s stick with the lower number and say we receive 2,000 brand impressions daily.
Please allow me to put this into context. Depending on your age, 2,000 brand impressions is quite likely more than most of our great grandparents were exposed to during their entire lives.
Irrelevant Info – Zone Out
What do we do with all this information coming at us non-stop?
You know what you do with it. You tune it out!
If information is irrelevant to consumers, we simply tune it out because there are too many other highly relevant matters we are interested in that demand our attention. If it isn’t germane to what’s going on in our lives, then it’s just clanging to us – irrelevant noise we ignore.
Irrelevant noise we ignore…
That’s what most advertising and brand impressions have become to us.
Consumers Relying on the Kindness of Strangers
Over ½ billion product reviews were posted online by American consumers this year. These reviews are now the top influencer for buying decisions for American consumers. And these online reviews posted by other consumers exert nearly twice the level of influence as traditional advertising.
Consumers Listen Intently – When It’s About Them
Consumers aren’t listening to companies’ messaging like they used to – consumers are listening to each other. But consumers don’t listen to each other indiscriminately; they tune in to online product and service reviews that pertain to what is interesting to them. And when information is germane and relevant, consumers can’t get enough of it. They are rapidly becoming digital junkies who are constantly in search of their next “information fix” and they’re increasingly making use of their mobile smartphones as the tool of choice to find the info that’s so readily available.
But consumers don’t tune out companies’ messages just because the information is coming from a company. It’s simply the sheer mass of promotional messages consumers are subjected to everyday makes a fraction of a percent of those messages resonate with us. Consumers definitely have favorite brands, loyal to those brands, and truly want all the info they can get from them. In fact, research shows how actively consumers reach out to their favorite companies to learn about new and upcoming products, to provide the company with feedback and ideas, to share positive experiences, and to connect with other fans of the same brand.
Social Media Presence Needed, Stat!
This is why organizations of all types need a social media presence. Global brands, regional chain stores, local charities, and every type of entity in between have advocates who want to be engaged by whoever represents the company, brand, product, service, supplier, vendor, municipality, school, sports team, charitable organization, place of worship, that’s of interest to them.
It astonishes me how many companies refuse to establish a social media presence for their organizations and use debatable rationale like those who didn’t have websites in the late 90s. In 1999 they were still taking a “wait and see” approach to see if this whole Internet thing was going to stick around. The thinking in the late 90s was, “If you don’t exist on the Internet, you don’t exist.”
A similar mindset subsists today with regards to having social presence. Consumers want the information they’re interested in right now, on the platform they prefer.
Companies need to be accessible to consumers and provide relevant content across multiple channels so the consumers who are interested can engage the company from wherever they live, work and play.
However, an alarming percentage of companies are doing nothing of the sort.
Executives Put the Brakes on Social Media Initiatives
The number one reason for not investing in social media initiatives is their company does not have the resources or the time required for social media endeavors. OK, that’s not hard to understand all. Companies have expertise in a myriad of different areas, and the skill sets required for social aren’t available in-house. But rather than do nothing at all, why not outsource it to a professional social media strategist who well knows exactly what to do? I’m happy to help!
The second reason stated is the inability to quantify or measure return or impact on the company’s brand. OK, this is very understandable as well – most companies don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of social. However, that doesn’t mean the benefits aren’t measurable. Once again, outsource to a pro.
The next reason for not investing in a social media initiative is the company doesn’t have the competency or expertise required to execute. This is easy to understand too. For example, many small and medium-sized companies don’t have the in-house expertise required to figure their corporate taxes – that’s why they outsource and hire a competent CPA firm to handle this important matter.
Amazingly, one of the top four reasons companies won’t allow a social media presence is fear – they can’t manage or control what is said about their brand, and are afraid people will say negative things about their company or their brand.
There’s an important fact that needs to be made clear here.
Just because a company doesn’t have their own social presence doesn’t mean people won’t say negative things about their brand – or positive things for that matter.
Companies with this mindset need to quickly get their heads around the fact that consumers have talked with their friends, family and peer groups about good and bad experiences since before the dawn of social networks, before the web, before the Internet, and before computers even existed.
More than 20 years before becoming the President, when Harry Truman returned to his hometown after serving overseas during World War I, he opened a fine men’s clothing store in downtown Kansas City in 1920. Doesn’t it stand to reason the men who were customers of Truman’s haberdashery had good things and bad things to say to their brothers, fathers, friends and peers, about the selection of clothing, the price points, the quality of the clothing, the quality of service, how the tailor did altering their suit jacket and hemming their trousers? Of course they did…
Truman was known to cuss a lot, and his vocabulary may have been off putting to customers who considered themselves as gentlemen, and didn’t want to be patrons of a man who was swearing while fitting them for a new hat. This kind of information gets passed around in social settings and whenever people get together and visit. There were no tweets posted in 1920 stating: Gentlemen, Harry Truman cusses like a longshoreman, buy your suits elsewhere! #Fbomb #KC
Let’s Get It Started!
Word a mouth has been around forever, and people talk to each other about the experiences they’ve had with companies. Social has enabled the sharing of information effortless and instantaneous. The time to get started developing your company’s social media presence and expanding your digital footprint is right now!
Copyright © Stephen Monaco 2011. All rights reserved.