Consumer research on the social media is rising steadily, according to some recent research.
Nearly 40 percent of all internet users turn to the social channels now to research products before making a purchase, according to GlobalWebIndex, a well-regarded, world-wide research firm.
“It’s now 37% of internet users who turn to social networks to carry out research on brands or products – a marked increase on the 28% seen back in mid-2015,” suggests GWI. “No less revealing is that, among 16-24s, social networks are now just 6 percentage-points behind search engines as the number one port-of-call for product research. So, look no further than the youngest consumers if you want to predict where these new features will have the biggest (effect).”
This latest research is just more evidence the social media, as a form of daily information and communication, have moved from the new and sexy “bright, shiny object” of yesterday to mainstream and productive communication channels.
“Search engines remain the default go-to point when 16-24s are looking for more information about a brand or product, but it’s now 36% who are turning to social networks,” says GWI. “This gives search engines a narrow 6-point lead (compared to a much-wider 42-point gap for 55-64s).
“Taking a look at where these youngest consumers over-index the most is also pretty revealing. Not only are they significantly ahead of average for social networks generally, they over-index by 30% for researching brands on micro-blogs and by 20% for online pinboards (on Pinterest, as an example.)”
The social media are, without question, now mainstream media and have been for a while, even though they are only beginning a second decade in existence. In a traditional sense and as a communications medium lifespan, the social networks are still babies.
Nonetheless, the social networks are as mainstream after only a decade as any mainstream medium. Television, newspapers, radio – all the “traditional” media – are now just another tool in the marketeers tool box compared to the enormous reward potential of the social networks.
And we are witnessing a very interesting evolution in social media as a whole. As they have been, really for quite a while, the social media are primarily marketing tools and secondarily networks of SoMe – “oh, it’s so me!”
We will never grow past the age of selfies and posting the outstanding presentation of our evening meals – nor, really, would we want to. One of the beauties of social networks is they give us all the opportunity to be our own publisher – of anything!
But some very curious and noteworthy changes may be afoot in they way we use social media and are worth noting.
IFTTT cooks up applets from recipes
That wonderfully handy and nearly indispensable tool of the social media, IFTTT (formally and without the acronym, “IF This Than That”) has finally matured its long-standing recipes into fully baked applets.
By combining its “DO” and “IF” apps into a single product and redesigned app and website, the advances give IFTTT the potential to be even more useful than before (and that’s saying something!).
If for some reason you’re not using IFTTT, trust us, you are missing a very valuable service and tool. But, okay, let’s admit it: the term, “recipes,” while cute was always a little goofy.
“Recipes are now called Applets,” explains the company. “Applets can do everything Recipes could do — and much more. Applets bring your services together to create new, multi-dimensional, experiences.
“We’re streamlining things and your DO apps are available in the redesigned IFTTT app. All of your active DO Recipes are now called DO widgets and accessible from the My Applets settings tab in the mobile app. Add widgets to your Notification Center or as standalone apps on your homescreen for extremely quick access.”
And, yes, all your IFTTT channels remain the same.
“But now we’re calling them services — it’s the term that best fits the wide range of apps, devices, and tools that we partner with,” says IFTTT. “You can explore services by visiting the search tab in the IFTTT app or on IFTTT.com. You can browse by category, or search by service name.”
Of course, there is commerce at the bottom (or top) of the changes.
“We’re empowering our partners with the tools to build new Applets that go beyond “if this, then that,” with multiple actions and filtering capabilities,” explains IFTTT. “These Applets will unlock new features for their users, in a fraction of the development time, without additional code.
“Over the past year, we’ve worked with partners to understand exactly what they need from IFTTT, and our developer team has created a platform based on that feedback. The launch of Applets is the perfect time to open it up more broadly: we’re excited to announce that now, anyone with an API can build with us.”
And, promises the company, it’s only the beginning of expansive advancements.