04 August 2013

Mintel's Social Media Trends

In the first of a quarterly set of social media trend updates, Mintel's social media analyst team announced the top five trends in online consumer marketplace behaviour identified from high-level research to the strategies employed by Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. 

In the first report series of its kind, social media analysts Gabrielle Leiberman and Elizabeth Martinez, cut through the noise to identify relevant consumer insight to help brands fine-tune their online strategies and drive campaigns that appeal to popular cultural trends. 

  1. The power of peers in high-spend sectors: The Internet has democratized information and the consumer is now the PR piece. In the high value and infrequent purchase sectors, consumers are keener to garner pre-purchase opinion from family, friends and their online communities. Within lower-value everyday items, online conversation typically focuses on post-purchase opinions and experiences. 
  2. The influence of online chatter in the mobile phone market: According to consumer research run for Mintel's Social Media series, an average of 16% of people look up reviews of mobile phone brands. Despite long-term mobile phone contracts, an average of just one in 10 mobile phone users researched reviews of mobile service providers online. 
  3. Fictional characters help the unease of financial markets: Visiting a brand's website or social media page is the leading interaction among property and casualty insurance brands. The use of friendly - albeit fictional - characters by financial brands such as GEICO's Gecko serve as key conversation vehicles to drive discussion online, helping to reduce the trepidation consumers may feel toward the topic of finance. 
  4. Online behaviours more impactful on consumer behaviour: With rising broadband penetration and smartphone ownership, would-be consumers are increasingly turing to information online to guide purchase decisions and opinions. 
  5. Innovative campaigns to influence the future: As brands increasingly get involved in through-the-line promotion, campaigns need to get more creative in order to stand out from the competition. 

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