New JPR Study Demystifies Social Networks: What They Are, How They Work, How to Exploit Them

Report shows how fast, efficient and inexpensive Social Networking is changing consumers’ behavior and offers insight into new opportunities to reach them

Robert Dow

TIBURON, CA-December10, 2009-Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry’s research and consulting firm for multimedia, today announced a new study on the Social Networking phenomenon and shows readers how to benefit from participating in it. The Social Web and its Implications: How “going social” changes everything about the Internet illuminates the subject in ways that inform both strategic and tactical users, and provides guideposts for further exploration and exploitation by the reader.

“This is not just another study on how to use Twitter and Facebook for marketing. Instead, we hope to instill a broad understanding of the entire landscape,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research.

Word of mouth has proven to be the best sales tool, and social networks are the fastest and most far-reaching word of mouth mechanism ever seen. The growth of social networking has been astounding, demonstrating a pent- up demand for fast, efficient and inexpensive way of communicating and interacting. It also demonstrates a higher degree of technical savvy by users than was originally thought. Both are important signs for marketing and manufacturing organizations that want to know their customers better and tap into social pools to leverage recommendations, address criticism and head off rumors.

“The Social Web is not a fad; it is a fundamental shift in how humans communicate, interact, collaborate, create, inform themselves, prioritize, organize, buy, sell and play. It is your customers, your friends, your family, your employees, your constituents, your shareholders, and, like it or not, you,” said Brad DeGraf, the report’s author. “The word ‘viral’ hardly existed in our vocabulary before social media. Now it’s in constant use without the slightest reference to illness,”

The Social Web and its Implications: How “going social” changes everything about the Internet provides the following:

  • A high-level survey of the major societal and economic effects, the key concepts and impacts, the major players.
  • A thorough inventory of the full range of major behaviors/uses.
  • A broad collection of useful statistics that help answer some frequently-asked questions.
  • Detailed analysis of one representative application, Twitter.
  • Guidance for further exploration and research, hyperlinked liberally.

JPR uses the term “social media” broadly in order to include all related applications, trends, and practices, e.g. social networking, collaboration, user-generated content, and analytics. The report uses the term “social Web” relatively interchangeably with “social media” to emphasize the human element.

Why care?

Short answer: if you don’t master it, your competition will. Social media infants like Twitter and Facebook are the little furry creatures running around the feet of dinosaurs eating their eggs. Craigslist, for instance, is commonly blamed for the demise of newspapers, replacing their $100 billion in classified ad revenue with its reported $100 million revenue according to the Classified Intelligence Report by media consulting firm Advanced Interactive Media Group.

Social media represents a transformative new channel to listen to and communicate with customers, stakeholders, media, peers, and other influencers. Conversations are taking place about your company, product, and service, right now, with or without you. Social media provides rapidly evolving channels through which new classes of “influencers” communicate.