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Social Media Comes of Age

Author: Kathy Tyburowski

The Independent View

Kathy Tyburowski

Social Media Comes of Age  

 January 16, 2013 


Remember the days when social media was in its infancy and it was commonplace for retailers and even marketers to claim that it was nothing more than a passing fad? Well, guess what? Those days are long gone. Since the emergence of the first social media networks some two decades ago, social media has evolved to become an integral part of our daily lives. It's woven into the way we engage with people, events and brands, and it colors the way we live, work and shop.

Nielsen's recently released 2012 State of Social Media Report looks at trends in consumer engagement with social media across all platforms, demonstrating that social media is impacting purchase decisions in virtually every corner of the globe.

Below are some highlights from the paper that can help you better understand how social media is changing the way we connect with customers.

  • Advertising - Consumer attitudes towards advertising on social media are still evolving and there are opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers via social media. More than 25 percent of social media users say they don't mind seeing ads that are tailored based on their individual profile information.

  • Purchase Behavior - Among social media users, 70 percent use social networks to learn about other consumers' experiences; 65 percent use social to find more information about brands, products and services; and 47 percent use social media to find deals and purchase incentives.

  • Consumer Engagement - Total U.S. time spent on social media increased 37 percent year-over-year to 121 billion minutes. Roughly 20 percent of total time online via personal computer, and 30 percent of total time online via mobile is dedicated to social networking.

  • Mobile - More people are using smart phones and tablets to access social media. Consumers' time spent on mobile apps and the mobile web account for 85 percent of the year-over-year growth in time spent using social media.

Click here to read the full study and learn more about how social media is influencing consumer behavior. One thing we know for sure: As more shoppers turn to social media to help make purchase decisions, it will become increasingly more important for IGA retailers to engage in the conversation.


Kathy Tyburowski

IGA Retailers: Looking for insights on diving into social media? Register today for the IGA Global Rally, where popular industry expert Michael Sansolo will explore opportunities for marketing to and connecting with shoppers via social media.