Social Media Users Thrive on Networking and Depend on it as Their Most Trusted Information Source
Using social media sites for both online and offline networking is one of the most important activities among people who use Web 2.0 type sites. The results of Beresford Research’s “Use of Online Social Networks” white paper show a surprisingly high percentage of Web 2.0 site users list offline face-to-face interaction as an important outcome of their online social network participation. This is especially significant when dealership's consider their participation in online social media marketing.
When looking at the Beresford research report's list of online activities, the only activity more popular than social networking was using email. Even the use of online Chat clients and the most basic of all online activities, Web browsing actually ranked lower in significance compared to social networking by the Internet users surveyed.
Online versus Offline
Internet users participating in the study were asked to compare using web based social networks with several popular offline activities. Social network users responded that going out with friends on a face-to-face basis was the online offline activity more important than online social networking. Real would face-to-face activities such as playing games, reading, watching TV and playing sports... All ranked below online social networking in importance to these consumers.
Web 2.0 User Activities
As for which activities within Web 2.0 sites had the greatest significance, the Beresford study reports that posting photos was the most important of all social networking activities. 81% of the study's respondents use their Web 2.0 sites for storing and displaying photos.
Submitting their response, or commenting on the forum and blog posts of other Wb 2.0 site members and posting their own opinions, comments and information was reported as the second most important WQeb 2.0 site activity.
Most interesting to those of us who are working on developing ways to use Social Media as a marketing and advertising tool for selling cars, was that 25% of Web 2.0 site users visited the sites of a company, product or service listed on their social networks. Remarkable to those accustomed to looking at reports with Click Through Rates (CTR) of less than 1% was that 38% of the study's participants regularly click on display advertisements appearing within their Web 2.0 sites.
People who use Web 2.0 sites place a high degree of trust in their social networks. 50% of Beresford's respondents said they considered information shared on their networks to be highly credible and was considered important to them when making a buying decision... With a yet higher level (65%) of Web 2.0 site users aged 18 to 24 relying on information they receive from social network members when making purchase decisions. The potential for leveraging social networks in an effective manner to generate "buzz" about cars or the deals being made at a dealership would appear to be significant, and worthy of marketing focus by dealers.
“This is a particularly important finding,” according to the Beresford report, "in that it suggests that these younger users have integrated social networks into their lives to such an extent that it has become a trusted resource for their decision making.”
The Beresford study's results focused on decision-making among Web 2.0 site users in general, not just purchase decisions. However, what is new information is that they suggest a much greater reliance on social networks for information used in purchase decision making than earlier surveys have shown. For example, in March 2009 a study published by Knowledge Networks found that between 10% and 24% of Web 2.0 site users obtained information from social networks when making purchase decisions... Less than 5% said they “always” did research within their social networks in the older study. The new findings reported in the Beresford study shows much higher number of people relying on consumer generated reviews and reports available online. This more recent information makes the development of a Reputation Management strategy all the more important for dealers and car companies.
The Automotive Digital Marketing (ADM) Professional Community website is built on a perpetually growing"Viral Expansion Loop" Networking Platform and serves Car Dealers, Dealership General Managers and their management teams, including Internet Sales Managers, BDC Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, Service Managers, Service Advisers, Parts Managers, Fixed Operations Directors and their teams. Launched at the beginning of January 2008, ADM has emerged as a valuable and proven resource for the entire spectrum of automotive marketing and Internet sales related professionals. Interactive Media and eCommerce Professionals at car companies (OEM) and tier 1 and 2 advertising agencies who want to see, hear and read what the best Digital and Interactive Marketing professionals in the automotive industry have to say about relevant and timely topics visit ADM on a regular basis or subscribe to the many RSS feeds and content syndication services available within the ADM community.
Did you know there are now over 2,100 members on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you reached out to connect with important ADM member contacts by asking them to be your Friend?
AUTOMOTIVE IMAGE AND PHOTO RESOURCES
Did you know that there are over 4,000 photos listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? And, do you know that many of these images are actually charts and graphs of the latest marketing trends and research? Did you know that many of these photos are actual ads used by dealers that worked exceptionally well? There have been over 4,000 photos uploaded and made available for use by all ADM members.
AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO FILE HOSTING
Did you know that there are more than 750 videos on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you seen how many of those videos are actual examples of marketing campaigns and business processes used successfully by some of the leading and most successful dealers in America?
GET ACCESS TO AUTOMOTIVE ARTICLES AND PUBLISH YOURS
Did you know that there are over 500 blog posts on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? When was the last time you posted a blog entry and let important ADM industry professionals know what you are up to? Have you checked ADM for the latest articles published by writers who walk the talk? Members have created more than 500 blog posts within their ADM provided websites that feature online file storage and personalized blog hosting at no cost to ADM members.
SOMETIMES CONTROVERSIAL, BUT ALWAYS FASCINATING AUTOMOTIVE DISCUSSION FORUM
Did you know that there are over 500 forum topics on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked the forum lately to see what your associates, clients and colleagues are saying?
Have you posted a forum discussion to see what other professionals have to say about the topic?
There have been over 500 discussions started and still active with ongoing comments and information being published daily within the ADM Forum.
SPECIALIZED AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS
Did you know that there are more than 25 professional groups on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you joined any groups so that you can send messages to all other group members?
EVENT CALENDAR FOR AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONALS
Did you know that there are Important Upcoming Automotive Digital Marketing Events listed on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you posted what you or your organization considers to be important upcoming events on the ADM calendar so that other professionals will know about them, consider attending and register their intent? ADM members can create calendar events using the ADM site application that allows image and logos, links to registration pages, location maps that integrate with Google Maps, Outlook Calendar integration, invitation mailings using uploaded email lists, RSVP tracking and event management features and a whole lot more.
RADIO SPOTS AND AUTOMOTIVE PODCASTS
Did you know that there are more than 500 MP3 audio files on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community? Have you checked out what other automotive professionals are listening to? Did you know that many of these MP3 files are automotive marketing and Internet sales best practice Podcasts, and examples of highly effective radio spots, along with powerful and engaging dealer website soundtracks?
ADM was created to serve as a resource for Automotive Internet Sales and Marketing Professionals working in the digital and interactive media space for dealers with automotive franchises, car companies and the associated suppliers and technology providers serving the auto industry. Both OEM and Dealer associates are among ADM's most prolific members.
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