Changes In How Europeans Contribute Social Content Will Force Marketers To Update Their Social Media Strategies

 If you’ve ever talked to Forrester about social media, chances are you’ve heard of the Social Technographics® Ladder -- our tool for measuring how people use social technologies and for helping marketers (and product strategists and market researchers and others) understand how to engage with those people in the social Web.

Today we’ve released our new 2010 Social Technographics data worldwide (you can see the US data here), and you’ll notice that this year, for the first time since we introduced the ladder, we’ve added a new category of social engagement. The new category -- “Conversationalists” -- is designed to capture the short, rapid conversations that are now taking place on Twitter and through Facebook status updates. How many people are engaged in these behaviors? Almost one-third of European online adults participate in these rapid public conversations every week. In just over two years, this activity has come from nowhere to become one of the most popular social behaviors we track.

And this Conversationalist activity has come along at just the right time, too -- because more “traditional” forms of online contribution have levelled off. The percentage of online Europeans who post their own blogs, videos, photos, or other media -- what we call “Creators” -- hasn’t grown in either of the past two years. And the percentage who participate in message boards and forums or who post comments on blogs or other social sites -- what we call “Critics” -- has grown just one percentage point in Europe each of the past two years.

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The Latest Global Social Media Trends May Surprise You

Two and a half years ago, Forrester introduced Social Technographics®, a way to analyze people’s social technology behavior. Today, we want you to take a moment and think about the uptake of social media in your company. Ask yourself the following question:

From the following list of statements, please select where your company stands with social media. (Please choose all that apply)

  1. My company currently has a social media strategy.
  2. My company is thinking about developing a social media strategy.
  3. My company is trying to defend why we don’t have a social media strategy.
  4. My company is currently trying to understand what social media is.
  5. None of the above.
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Examining Consumers and Technology: The 2010 US Benchmark Data Report

Yes, we did it again: Hot off the presses, I’d like to present our annual State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark Data Overview report . If you need to know anything about consumers and technology, then you need to read this report!

As usual, we’ve analyzed the newest installment of our consumer benchmark survey and updated the numbers on everything from mobile Internet adoption to home network proliferation. In fact, most anything related to consumers and their use of and interest in technology can be found in these pages!

In this year’s report, we segmented consumers by generation, examining Gen Y, Gen X, Younger Boomers, Older Boomers, and Seniors. This view provides some very interesting and actionable consumer insights into how technology behaviors vary across generations. Which devices are Gen Xers more likely to own? Who’s spending the most money online? How are Boomers engaging with mobile? All these questions are addressed throughout the report. The graphic below shows, for example, how the generations compare across mobile adoption.

A few other interesting general insights we uncovered:

  • Gen Yers live and breathe a digital social life. In almost every online or mobile behavior, Gen Yers lead the adoption curve. To these consumers, digital is the norm. About two-thirds update or maintain a profile on a social networking site, which for them is a way to facilitate all social aspects of their lives
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Why Don't Banks Make More Use Of Their ATMs?

One of the things that continues to surprise me about many banks’ multi-channel strategies is how little most banks have integrated their ATMs into those strategies. Cash machines are by far the most commonly used banking channel. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, 74% of adults in Western Europe use a cash machine at least once a month, far more than use either branches or online banking that often.

Despite the introduction of Windows-based operating systems and colour screens, most banks aren’t doing much to engage customers on this most-frequent touchpoint. Most do little more than promote the product of the month to all comers. Only a few leaders, like Singapore’s OCBC Bank and Spain’s La Caixa, have integrated ATMs into their CRM systems, which lets them do clever things like remembering customer’s normal withdrawal amount, wishing customers a happy birthday and making products offer that are relevant to that particular customer.

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