I came across an interesting stat from a recent Pew study during research for a client. Only 14% of teens maintain a blog today, down from 28% in 2006. That’s a 50% drop in 5 years. Why? They’ve replaced the cumbersome process of crafting, editing, publishing and promoting a blog with off-the-cuff status updates on Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to see why. Facebook is becoming more of an extension of our lives, seamlessly integrated into our browsers and smartphones. Teens know their expressions are pumped out in real-time to a currated list of friends.
This is actually great news for marketers looking to tap the power of social media sentiment analysis for two reasons (i.e. “what is the world saying about me and why?”:
- A few massive platforms are easier to scrape and monitor than the highly fragmented netherworld of individual blogs and message boards.
- Twitter and Facebook provide an instant forum for real-time customer feedback. Hate the movie you just saw? Send a tweet. Love your new Nikes? Post an update. Micro-blogging doesn’t require the same effort as the original web logs so are a better representation of pure consumer insight.
This is nothing really new, companies have been investing heavily in social media analytics for a couple years now. I don’t mean branding and building Myspace pages, but mining that data for key insights on how they can better understand their consumers. However, the ready and open embrace by teens, particularly on a few core platforms, should have every marketer, strategist, and content producer thinking about how they’re utilizing that opportunity for insight.