Addicted to Facebook in America

Discussion
Mar 18, 2010

By George Anderson

We don’t know if it has been classified as
an addiction by psychiatric professionals, but even if it hasn’t, it’s clear
that many Americans at various stages of life and professional accomplishment
have a very difficult time staying away from their favorite social media sites
such as Twitter and Facebook.

According to a new Gadgetology study by Retrevo,
61 percent of social media users under 25 connect to Facebook at least once
a day, every day. Eighteen percent of these are unable to go more than a couple
of hours at a time without checking Facebook. Finally, 48 percent will get
up from sleeping and update their Facebook and/or Twitter pages.

Social media users
over 25 are not much better. Fifty-five percent of these individuals check
Facebook daily and 11 percent are unable to go more than a couple of hours
to see what’s going on. Sixteen percent look at Twitter and/or Facebook to
get their morning news.

Discussion
Questions: What are the ramifications of the numbers from the Retrevo study
for the social media efforts of retailers and brand marketers? Do the
numbers of people who are seemingly obsessed with social media have any
implications for the types of communications or their timing from businesses
on these sites?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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11 Comments on "Addicted to Facebook in America"


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Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 2 months ago

This is great for all the people saying that social media is a great way to market your business (me included). But is this one of those things that will fall hard and fast? Are we creating our own social media marketing bubble? “Sorry honey, no time to check Facebook, the Sunday flyers just came in!”

Mark Johnson
Guest
Mark Johnson
11 years 2 months ago

This is contrary to EVERYTHING I have been reading. Twitter has fallen off the face of the earth with regars to usage and engagement and Facebook has peaked and is starting to decline. I know so many people who have families who started off as heavy users and now barely use them.

Bob Phibbs
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

While I speak and write about social media a lot these days, it is not the be all and end all that all the pixels tout. Why does it get all the buzz? Because it’s new and easy but it does not drive sales, which is needed at the store level.

An analogy I use in my upcoming book from Wiley is If you have weak vital signs, poor blood flow, fragile body structure and impaired lungs – then whether or not you need glasses is completely immaterial.

Retailers need to fix the basics before jumping on the bandwagon to try to “sell” on social media. It may not be as sexy but it can be done.

David Biernbaum
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Social networking is great for real people that like to get in touch and stay in contact with other people regardless of location and geography. I’m a huge fan of social networking for enjoyment, business, networking, and for treating it as a medium to keep up with people, developments, news, updates, and for connecting and making new contacts. I find that most critics of the social networking media are usually folks that don’t use it or understand it. In business, I am a regular user of social networking and have found that my knowledge, personal relationships, and my usefulness in my industry have all strengthened, thanks to the social networking media.

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbiernbaum
RetailWire Blog: https://www.retailwire.com/braintrust/blog.cfm/cpg4life
Twitter: http://twitter.com/davidbiernbaum
Facebook: http://facebook.com/davidbiernbaum

Art Williams
Guest
Art Williams
11 years 2 months ago

It is very easy to see how these sites can become so addictive, especially to teens. I don’t see heavy usage falling off until the next, new, exciting development comes along to take its place. What that will be and when is anybody’s guess, but it is inevitable, in my view.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Social Media is here to stay and while some might like to write it off, it isn’t going away. It offers communication, connection and entertainment. In the future the form may change, but the medium will become more powerful. It will be people’s primary link to the world.

Take a look at “Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold” in the New York Times today. They are not talking about broadcast TV. They are talking about TV as a platform for Social Media. Social Media is so much more than Facebook and Twitter. Social Media will even become everything we watch on TV, everything we do and a lot of things we think.

Twitter may not be the ideal, but Facebook has become a platform for connection. LinkedIn has become a serious business tool. Do not waste any time wishing for reversion. Start thinking how they will evolve.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Facebook is here to stay, unless it decides to start requiring paid membership. Where else can I bump into people from elementary school, work and everywhere in between?

I’ve heard some phenomenal stories of retailers monetizing it, and discovered that if I become a Facebook fan of my local small Mexican place, they will offer me 1/2 price specials once a week. Whether that will pay for itself or not, I can’t say….but the phenomenon is important.

I never have, and still don’t quite get Twitter…but others swear by it.

Still Social Networks fill the void left by late 20th century isolationism. I’ve used it often as a counterpoint to the loss of social capital pointed out in the great book Bowling Alone. They are not going away.

Veronica Kraushaar
Guest
Veronica Kraushaar
11 years 2 months ago

As a small-business owner consulting for B2B clients, social media always comes up. They want to do it, but will it work for them? I believe we are still a ways away from B2B Twitter or Facebook…but we can already see that blogs are making rapid inroads. We actually have been asked to “ghost write” several for clients unable to or who don’t want the daily or weekly slog. We see blogs almost usurping the previous domination of “static” web sites for the simple reason that they can be easily updated, seem more current (real time), and allow for immediate interaction via comments. Yes, we get up in the middle of the night to write or edit….

James Tenser
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

I spotted a report last night on the news that indicated Facebook for the first time had recorded more Web “hits” than Google for the latest period. An incredible factoid, IMHO.

No it’s not on the decline, if sheer scale is the only criterion. But Facebook remains questionable as a media vehicle until and unless we learn something useful about the quality of attention and response it can deliver for commercial users.

Social media isn’t one thing any more than cable TV is one channel; a retail chain is one store; or a supercenter is one category. It splits audiences and individuals into a multiplicity of interactive moments that have the potential to be re-aggregated for value.

Figure out how and make a $billion. Simple, right?

Bill Hanifin
Guest
11 years 1 month ago
Technology usually is introduced to the market before we understand how to put it to best use. This is the case with social media and from that disconnect comes the divergence of opinions. Even when we are fully familiar with applications such as MS Office, new releases are on the market before “most of us” are fully utilizing the capabilities of the previous version. Social media represents a new set of communication channels and marketers will find more comfort in incorporating social media when they stop positioning it as the “next great thing” and just add it to the spectrum of ways we can connect with customers. The criticism of Twitter in particular is interesting. Yes, there are many time wasters out there, but from what I see on television these days, staring at your Twitter or Facebook page is less a waste of time than watching popular reality shows. Addictive? For some, it is. But we have to realize that as human beings we have to be in control of the devices, the applications,… Read more »
Phil Rubin
Guest
11 years 1 month ago
The “addiction” to Facebook, like other social media, is indicative of engagement and reflects people using technology to streamline activities that their time-famished lives increasingly don’t allow for. Smart brands and retailers are embracing social media, Facebook included, and tapping into the engagement of zealous fans and their influence. Social media is, by design, viral media, as it facilitates rapid dissemination of content from peer-to-peer. They key for brands and retailers is to have something to say that is relevant and compelling enough for those active in venues like Facebook to spread on their behalf both via social media and by “old-fashioned” word-of-mouth. One last point is that we are seeing many companies embracing social media as though it’s the only marketing they need to do. Social media is a channel for marketing dialogue like many other channels but it is no substitute for customer relationships and they ability to broadly connect with customers. It’s great for listening but not a substitute for a robust customer database that’s owned–and controlled–by the retailer or brand, as… Read more »
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