Ed #14 Getting Personal

Change is here. It’s big, it’s fast,  and it’s accelerating.

You might say it started with the popularization of the World Wide Web. A huge and growing storehouse of information with a huge and growing population of users. Or maybe it really started with evolution of cell phones into smartphones and the networks that connect them. Or maybe it has barely started at all, based on where it will eventually go.

The fact is, change is here, and it’s moving fast. Very, very fast.

There is a YouTube video clip1 that asks and answers the question, “Is social media a fad?” with a flurry of facts: More than 50 percent of the world’s population are under 30. Social media has become the number-one activity on the Web—currently 96 percent of the millennials (also called Generation Y—children of the Baby Boomers born in the 1980s and 90s) have used social networking technology2.

Facebook now tops Google for weekly traffic in the United States. More than 60 million status updates happen on Facebook daily. If it were a country, Facebook would be the world’s third largest. Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the populations of Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Panama, combined.

Social media is rapidly becoming an important element of a balanced marketing mix.

YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world. Wikipedia has more than 15 million articles, and studies have shown that it is as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica. 78 percent of Wiki articles are non-English.

There are more than 200 million blogs. Currently 34 percent of bloggers post opinions about products and services, and 25 percent of search results are user-generated content.

People care more about how their social peers rank products and services than how Google ranks them. 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14 percent trust advertisements (print, television and other media).

The answer is quite clear: Social media is no fad.

1. http://bit.ly/dwp682
2. http://bit.ly/9HFb68

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