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Libraries and Social Media

A new study:
Harder-to-reach audiences are ripe for social media interaction
“BOSTON (September 25, 2008) – Almost 60 percent of Americans interact with companies on a social media Web site, and one in four interact more than once per week. These are among the findings of the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study.
According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media. In fact, 56 percent of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment.
“The news here is that Americans are eager to deepen their brand relationships through social media,” explains Mike Hollywood, director of new media for Cone, “it isn’t an intrusion into their lives, but rather a welcome channel for discussion.”
When asked about specific types of interactions, Americans believe:
– Companies should use social networks to solve my problems (43%)
– Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
– Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
– Companies should market to consumers (25%)
– Hard-to-reach consumers
Men, a much sought-after target in the online space, are twice as likely as women to interact frequently (one or more times per week) with companies via social media (33% to 17%, respectively).
“The ease and efficiency of online conversation is likely a draw for men who historically do not seek out the same level of interaction with companies as women,” says Hollywood.
Likewise, of younger, hard-to-reach consumers (ages 18-34), one-third believe companies should actively market to them via social networks, and the same is true of the wealthiest households (household income of $75,000+). Two-thirds of the wealthiest households and the largest households (3 or more members) feel stronger connections to brands they interact with online.
“All of this is great news for marketers,” Hollywood explains. “Men and younger consumers are traditionally the most challenging to reach, while the highest income households are typically very desirable; here they are saying ‘Come market to us and interact with us online.’ This is really a license to put more energy and resources into this medium and do it effectively.”
About the survey:
The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study presents the findings of an online survey conducted September 11-12, 2008 by Opinion Research Corporation among 1,092 adults comprising 525 men and 567 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3%.
About Cone:
Cone LLC ( is a strategy and communications agency engaged in building brand trust. Cone creates stakeholder loyalty and long-term relationships through the development and execution of Cause Branding, Brand Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Crisis Prevention and Management initiatives. Cone is a part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) ( Omnicom is a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, interactive, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.”
ReadWriteWeb has some commentary here too.
I’ve heard a bunch of folks tell me lately that students, users, their communities, etc. don’t want the library in their social space. I think that’s a crock. It’s in how you ask the question. I remember clearly hearing the same stoppage statements in the mid-nineties about how commercial entities shouldn’t be on the Internret or have a website – those were for the pure as snow public sector. That’s soooo last century.
It’s as simple as this – people want help and information where they are, not where they have to trek to.

Posted on: September 26, 2008, 6:03 pm Category: Uncategorized

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