Here are the key points worth noticing and our interpretation –
In every aspect social media has revolutionised the way brands communicate/ engage with their customers whose attention spans are getting shorter (and shorter) yet their appetites for information are growing. Our brains are now wired to receive news in less than 140 characters (credits to Twitter) and watch videos less than 10 minutes, combined with the craze of checking our social platforms several times a day through mobile phones.
FACEBOOK’s recent development (timeline and acquisition of Instagram) points to two trends that are continue to grow strong (and that all marketers should be aware of) – mobile and visual engagement. We would like to add that the success of Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube gives the same idea.
TWITTER is still catching up in popularity in Asia except Japan, yet in Hong Kong and China, weibo (named Twitter of the East) took off like rocket and has become the key social media platform. It is also said to be gaining traction in the West, even Hollywood celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Paris Hilton are now on weibo. In China alone, there are over 550 million registered users and counting (compared to 465 million for Twitter worldwide). Despite the ‘censorship firewall’ by the conservative government, it is still the mainstay for breaking news (and rumours) – remember the train crash in Zhenjiang province in August 2011, and the story of Kim Jong-An’s assassination early this year.
Undeniably PINTEREST opens more doors for brands that are more ‘visual’, in terms of referral traffic, it surpasses YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, combined. Tapping into the simple concept of ‘ladies love pinning’ (and with 97% female users), it is currently the fastest site in history to have hit 10 million monthly unique visitors.
INSTAGRAM has certainly taken photo sharing to a whole new level, not only does the filter function transform happy snappies into art pieces, it also shapes the way we communicate with friends, with images being the new ‘cyber language’. For marketers, attaching a visual element to a brand message (however short and straightforward it is) has become mandatory.
LINKEDIN still maintains its niche as the place with ‘golden opportunities’ and shorten the distance between corporates and talents. The US is still leading the overall trend, seeing 75 Fortune 100 companies said they recruit through this channel.
YOUTUBE is the second largest search engine and third most visited website, handling 10% of the traffic on the internet. These numbers support a new thinking of PR engagement – combining multimedia assets to press release to allow greater visibility within search engines, increase engagement level among key influencers, journalists and media outlets. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it would be a million for a video. No doubt.