It looks like out of the gate 2012 may very well be the year of global social media awareness. Yesterday we looked at a Forrester study that told of how the use of social media varies from country to country. Today the conversation is about the impact on ecommerce that social media has in various parts of the world.
Our conversation around social media are often focused on developed nations. First, let’s define developed here. For the purposes of discussing social media, developed means where social media growth has plateaued not necessarily the economic situation of the region. Emerging markets are those that are experiencing considerable growth in social media usage overall which may or may not correlate with economic variables (although it often does).
What this chart may very well be measuring is the level of cynicism that each region has around the reliability of social media ecommerce signals. Let’s face it, the longer you are around the social media world it becomes painfully apparent that some “friends” don’t share the same tastes that you do so you have to develop healthy filters to make sure that you are not making some decision just because someone is a “friend” or you follow each other in some social media environment.
There is a fair amount of gullability in the online world that gets washed out over time as more and more people experience the good the bad and the ugly of the social media recommendation engine. In more areas where the development of the social media market is more mature there will be less willingness to simply accept any recommendation because, let’s be honest, that’s not a very bright way to do things. Of course, this trusting nature combined with a fair level of ignorance is what spammers and phishing practitioners thrive on and there will always be that side of the ledger.
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So what does this mean to marketers? Well, depending on where you do business? It means plenty. In areas that are rapidly expanding their social media usage you can likely get more bang for your buck without trying quite as hard. That may sound opportunistic or even a bit devious but this is business. If there is low hanging fruit businesses will do as little as they can to get it so as to maximize profit.
In areas where the social media users are more “advanced” you are going to have to work harder and that is the point you want all markets to eventually get to because an educated, or even jaded consumer, forces the better businesses to step up their efforts to meet the consumers’ demands. While the profit margin may suffer the business can prosper for those who get it and up their game to meet the expectations of the marketplace.
So how do you view your social media market? Are they a gullible bunch who blindly pass things along or are they a discerning bunch that keeps you on your toes? Let us know.