Here are all of the posts tagged ‘social networking’.

Social Brands: Communities vs Platforms

by Simon Kemp in News

Social Brands Part 2
In last week’s first post in our series on Social Brands & The Future Of Marketing, we noted that, “the most successful brands don’t just predict the future; they define the future on their own terms.

We’re continuing that theme in today’s second post in the Social Brands series, exploring the importance of building social marketing activities around the people you care about, and not around specific technological features or platforms.

The Motivations Driving Social Networking
Most people visit social networking sites in order to connect with other people: to stay in touch with friends and family; to share things with colleagues and professional peers; and even to meet strangers with similar interests and needs.

Because of this, most people see social media as a means to an end, with that ‘end’ being social interaction.

Of course, there are many times when technology plays an important part in facilitating these connections; things like the filters on Instagram, or the sharing features common to most social networks, are all important aspects of our social networking experience.

However, people connect around the personal, social benefits these elements provide, and not around the functionality itself.

Critically, if those social benefits don’t exist – if the people we want to connect with are not present, or if our networks move on – then the platform quickly loses its value.

We’ve seen this happen many times before; the declines of Second Life, MySpace, and Friendster were all driven by the migration of their audiences, not by technical failures.

Single-Serve Audiences
Sadly, when audiences move on from an incumbent Big Platform – and they invariably do – marketers quickly lose out.

The investments they’ve made in building large audiences specific to that platform stop delivering meaningful returns, because those audiences are invariably ‘non-transferrable’ (how many brands succeeded in migrating their Second Life audiences wholesale into Facebook without paying for the privilege?).

As a result, marketers need to stop relying on buying attention within specific platforms, and find a more resilient way of managing their social media activities.

From Platforms To Communities
The trick is to stop seeing social media as media, and to focus on the motivations and behaviours that drive people’s social activities instead.

Instead of buying attention in the hottest platforms of the day, tomorrow’s top brands will spend time understanding how to deliver value to the same people across different settings and contexts.

They will focus on nurturing active communities that choose to engage with and around the brand and its activities wherever and whenever they can.

Critically, they will use new platforms to offer incremental value – not simply as another means to interrupt people.

From Eyeballs To Heartstrings
The secret to building these ‘migratory’ communities is to understand people’s wants, needs, and desires, and to build engaging connections around them at every opportunity.

We need to understand what brings communities together, and build our strategies around their shared interests and passions, and not around technical functionality or platforms.

Above all, we need to add value to their lives at every opportunity – a topic we’ll explore in more detail in the next post in this Social Brands series.

Want to join the conversation? We’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions, so why not share them in the comments.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Pakistan

by Simon Kemp in News

Just like our last SDMW feature country, Bangladesh, Pakistan is a member of the 100 million club.

The online environment in Pakistan is changing rapidly, as a quick comparison between today’s report and our first edition from December 2011 will testify.

The key headlines from this second edition are as follows:

  • Pakistan has almost 30 million internet users, although penetration remains low at just 15%;
  • Social Media use has grown by almost 50% since our last report, passing 8 million monthly users in the past couple of weeks;
  • Mobile continues to grow quickly, with the country’s telcos adding more than 1 million new subscriptions each month in 2012.

As ever with our SDMW reports though, it’s the more focused details that tell the best stories.

With more than two thirds of Pakistan’s 190 million inhabitants below the age of 30, it’s clear that the nation benefits from a young and dynamic population.

Furthermore, despite financial challenges – the average income in Pakistan is less than $3,000 per year – Pakistanis are embracing connected devices and the content that they offer.

Interestingly, 80% of Pakistan’s netizens spend more than one hour each day on the internet, although the average ‘internet session’ lasts just 5 minutes, suggesting that Pakistanis go online multiple times each day for short ‘browsing snacks’.

The majority of netizens use laptops to access the internet, although 30% of internet users go online via a mobile phone – perhaps unsurprising given that more than 100 million mobile subscriptions have been activated in Pakistan to date.

Mobile penetration still remains relatively low however, at just over 60% – well below Asia’s regional average of 82%.

Social media penetration also remains acutely low, with barely 4% of the country’s population using Facebook, even though the site appears to maintain its position as the most popular social network in the country.

Social media remains a largely male preserve too, with men accounting for almost 70% of the country’s social media users.

However, Facebook is adding new users in Pakistan at a rate of one every 12 seconds, and 28% of social media users make use of 2 or more platforms, suggesting plenty of potential for growth in social media use in the country during 2013.

Crucially for marketers, two thirds of the country’s Facebook users are below the age of 25, and more than half of them come from the country’s richest 10% of households, resulting in a highly concentrated social media audience of young, affluent consumers.

Nearly three quarters of these users log in to Facebook daily too, and spend an average of 40 minutes on the site each day, mostly between 6pm and midnight.

Twitter users hover around the 2 million mark, although some estimates put Pakistan’s Twitter population closer to 3 million. Google+ also appears to have a certain popularity in Pakistan, although exact user numbers are harder to come by.

As with many countries around Asia though, the real excitement lies in mobile. Someone takes out a new mobile subscription every 2 seconds in Pakistan, resulting in growth of 46,500 new subscriptions every day.

Despite this impressive growth, however, mobile internet usage remains sparse, and just 15 million people in the country access internet services via mobile, even though the government reports that 64% of the population has the potential to access mobile internet services.

Of those who already access the internet via mobile, 75% do so via Symbian-powered devices, and most people in Pakistan continue to rely on feature phones.

Lack of 3G coverage may play a role in the slow uptake of mobile internet, and extending the coverage of these faster networks beyond today’s paltry 0.4% of the population would likely boost the country’s online connectivity.

These numbers all point to significant opportunities for growth though, so Pakistan is certainly another one to watch for 2013.

The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in India

by Simon Kemp in News

Today’s #SDMW report focuses on one of Asia’s most exciting markets: India.

With the world’s second largest population, India holds huge potential for marketers from all over the world.

The country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants have embraced social, digital and mobile technology too, and India’s online ecosystem offers some truly startling numbers.

To start with, here are the top headlines:

  • India has 137 million internet users – more people than the total population of Japan.
  • More than 60 million people in India use social networks – equivalent to the total population of Italy
  • India is home to a staggering 934 million mobile subscriptions – equivalent to more than 13% of the world’s entire population

Despite these impressive numbers, however, internet penetration in India remains quite low, with just 11% of the population having used the internet.

The country’s 137 million users still put India in 3rd place on the global rankings by number of internet users though, and this number is continuing to rise by at least 1.5 million users per month.

Moreover, with 56% of India’s population aged below 30 – and a new child born in the country every 2 seconds – it’s clear that India’s digital journey still has plenty of potential for growth.

Indeed, India is the fastest growing online market in the world, and internet usage grew by more than 40% in the year to July.

Indian netizens also appear to spend a considerable amount of time online each day – up to 8 hours each – which adds extra weight to the basic user numbers.

These users spend plenty of money too; The Times of India reports that Indian youth will spend more than US$9 billion on mobile internet activities in 2012 alone. That’s more than the GDP of the Bahamas.

Social Networking continues to be the main driver behind much of India’s increased online activity, although social media penetration in India remains remarkably low at just 5%.

Facebook continues to dominate India’s social media landscape with more than 60 million active users, and the world’s most popular platform show no signs of slowing either, adding a new Indian user every single second.

With social networking use expected to grow by more than 50% in 2012, it’s likely that these numbers are also on the conservative side; estimates from eMarketer and Global Web Index both put Indian social networking users above 75 million.

Interestingly, 60% of India’s Facebook users are under 25, with barely 12% over the age of 35. They’re still predominantly male too, with barely 3 female users in every 10 on Facebook.

More than half of India’s social media users purport to use more than one social platform too, with Google+ claiming the second largest user base at around 50 million.

Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular amongst Indian netizens, with each claiming more than 15 million users.

YouTube has particular appeal for Indian audiences too, with 20 visitors every single second. Each month, almost 56 million visitors from India consume more than 4 billion videos – 25% of them via mobile devices.

And it’s mobile usage like this that’s leading the charge towards the future.

With almost 1 billion mobile subscriptions, India’s mobile market is second only to China’s.

Critically, more than one third of these subscriptions are from the rural areas that are home to 69% of India’s population.

Many of these rural areas still lack fixed communication infrastructure (mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed line telephones 30 to 1), so mobile holds the key to India’s evolving digital world.

Tellingly, there are already more than 50 million mobile internet users across the country, but this 36% of users accounts for more than 50% of national internet use.

Smartphone use is also picking up quickly in India, and the nation’s 27 million smartphone users each spend an average of more than 40 days every year using their phones – roughly 16% of their waking lives.

With numbers like that, it’s clear to see why we’re excited about India’s digital future too. We’ll see you there.

The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can also download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Laos

by Simon Kemp in News

Today’s #SDMW report investigates the social, digital and mobile ecosystem in Laos.

Laos is one of Asia’s poorer countries, with average income hovering just above US$3 per day.

Two thirds of the population lives in one of the Laos’s 9,119 rural villages, and more than one third of the population is below the age of 15.

Official figures indicate that internet penetration in Laos remains relatively low, at just 8% – almost 3½ times lower than the Asian average.

However, these figures are from late 2011, and we estimate that the real number of internet users in the country is now much higher than the 527,400 reported by the country’s Ministry of Post & Telecommunications last December.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from Facebook indicate that at least a quarter of a million people in Laos use social networks, accounting for around 4% of the total population.

Critically, the number of Facebook users in Laos has jumped 64% in the past 6 months, with approximately 581 Laotians signing up to the network every day – that’s a new user every 2½ minutes.

The number of mobile subscribers in the country has also shown impressive growth since our last report at the end of 2011, with well over 1.5 million new mobile subscriptions delivering a jump of 43%.

Mobile penetration now stands at 83% of the population, up from 60% in our last report, with nearly 5½ million subscribers nationwide.

However, use of 3G services in Laos remains low, with estimates indicating that penetration is still less than 0.5%.

3G use has grown by almost 100% in the past 12 months though, and the ITU expects penetration to reach almost 20% within the next 3 years.

This has particular significance for Laotians, as it will bring internet services within reach for a far greater proportion of the population.

Access to infrastructure has been one of the biggest barriers to increased use of digital media in the country: according to data from Laos’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, fixed line telephony services still reach less than 4% of the population, and fewer than 25,000 people had signed up for an internet service provider by March 2012.

Indeed, more than one third of internet activity in Laos originates from mobile devices, and with desktops and laptops still beyond the means of most of Laos’s citizens, mobile internet access holds the key to online growth.

The good news is that 3G services already reach 80% of Laos’s population, and the government has a plan in place to extend this still further over the coming months.

Moreover, 4G services are already available in Laos’s capital, Vientiane, making Laos only the second country in ASEAN to offer such services after Singapore.

We fully expect that access to these advanced mobile networks will deliver impressive growth in all areas of Laos’s online ecosystem during 2013.

All data sources are at the bottom of each slide. You can download a high-res PDF of the report here.

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