UM, a division of IPG Mediabrands, today launched Wave 7, the world’s largest and longest running survey representing more than 1 billion active internet users.
Wave, the first social media study on a global scale, has tracked the dynamic shifts that have taken place within the social media landscape for the last seven years. As part of this year’s survey, the importance of the human need to connect combined with the proliferation of smartphones reveals compelling insights into consumer behavior. These insights offer brand marketers an opportunity to create customized media strategies that speak to consumers locally and at the global level.
“It’s no longer enough to simply track the latest trends, because much of what you see is just background noise or, even worse, a complete distraction. What we really need is to understand the motivations behind these trends – because even the most superficial social interaction online is driven by a consumer need," said Pat Lim, Managing Director, IPG Mediabrands, Singapore.
"Wave 7 has identified that consumers will connect with brands that meet five basic needs. By answering these needs, and by combining technology, social platforms and media in a more cohesive way, brands can put themselves in an extremely powerful position. We believe Wave 7 can guide them through this journey," she added.
According to Wave 7, Relationship, Diversion, Learning, Progression, and Recognition are the five key needs underpinning all consumer interaction. These five motivations continue to fuel the world’s prolific use of social media. Wave 7 shows no sign of internet user fatigue. The rapid growth of mobile is resulting in an “always on” mentality with consumers around the world being more connected, more often.
“In Singapore, SEA and wider APAC region, increase in mobility and device ownership particularly smartphones, laptops, tablets, mini tablets and even internet-connected TVs is leading to growth, intensity and diversification of social media activities that satisfies the need for connection and self-expression,” stated Lim.
She added: “Social media is no longer an activity solely for the young or early adopter. Its high penetration gives us an unprecedented opportunity to understand consumers by analysing their social behaviour and unlocking the true value proposition to foster a mutually beneficial relationship and build long-term relationships online.”
KEY WAVE 7 FINDINGS
LEADERS AND LAGGARDS
In Singapore, virtual sharing via social networking (76%) is on its way to overtake F2F sharing (81%) while messenger apps, the third highest mode of communication, trails closely at 66%.
Laptop ownership is the highest among Singaporeans (90%) ahead of regional and global users. Dominant activities among Singaporeans include researching something thoroughly (70%), closely followed by watching content and making a purchase (67%) – an activity which has seen minimal usage by other devices.
Singaporeans love their smartphones (88%). Ownership is significantly higher than SEA (73%) and global user base (73%) though it was China and Hong Kong that topped the charts (90%). Singaporeans use Smartphones to socialise (73%); find their way (70%) and; access information quickly (69%).
For tablet ownership, once again, Singaporeans (44%) were ahead of the global (33%) and regional average (33%). Singaporeans use tablets primarily to ward off boredom (48%), have fun and be entertained (47%), and relax (46%). The activities are similar to trends seen globally.
In Singapore, 69% of Singaporeans are hesitant to share of personal data online compared with 66% of uses in the region and 67% globally. At the same time, 75% of internet users have joined brand communities, consistent with the regional numbers (76%).
In Southeast Asia, Filipinos, despite being the most avid social networkers, were the most concerned about privacy. According to Wave7 data, 76% of users expressed they were concerned about the amount of personal data online, followed by the Chinese (71%). Least worried were the Indonesians (57%).
Emerging markets in the Southeast Asia region such as Indonesia and the Philippines are increasingly seeing social media as essential to improving social status, with 30% and 36% respectively, agreeing it helps build career and financial opportunities.
South Koreans at 25% were the least keen in the APAC region to leverage it for career advancement opportunities.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MARKETERS:
Singaporeans visit brand websites for three primary reasons: to learn more about the brand (80%); to get advance news about products (80%) and; to receive discount coupon or product trial (77%). These core reasons are the very same for users across APAC region or even across the globe, offering marketers an invaluable insight into why people are joining brand communities.
Brands who can offer opportunities for personal growth to users can leverage the popularity of professional social networking sites to reach and influence them.
This once again goes to prove that there is tremendous opportunity for content creators and storytellers to leverage the opportunity in the island nation.
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