ExactTarget released a study that looked at the digital channels Americans check first. According to the survey, the first thing 58% of the online “consumers” do when “connecting” is checking their email or as ExactTarget puts it: “interacting with companies on email”.
I’m not an American but if I was, I would be in that 58%.
Search engines and portals rank second. 20% of Americans start their online day visiting a portal or using a search engine.
The portal seems obvious since many set a portal as the default page in their browser and quite a few people I know don’t bother changing the default settings of their browser when buying a new computer.
But I guess that’s just one possible explanation. Visiting a portal must be like reading the newspaper for many and I guess search engines play a similar role.
Back to the data. According to the ExactTarget survey, 11% of Americans start their online journey with Facebook.
5% really want an online newspaper and visits a news site first (there is of course a very thin line these days between a news site, a portal and a search engine).
Another 5% goes to some other destination and finally, the hard workers and true professionals among us, visit the corporate site or intranet first.
Demographic and behavioural findings
That’s for the general average data but, obviously, there are differences according to the age groups.
And there are no real surprises there: the younger, the more social. But this doesn’t always mean less email. One of the findings of the survey is that consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most active demographic on Facebook and Twitter but they are also among the most active on email.
Remember the multitasking generations and also how Generation Y says yes to the convergence of email and social.
ExactTarget also found a “psychological and behavioural difference” regarding, among others, brand interaction, in the segments that start their day using medium A or B.
I quote ExactTarget’s Morgan Stewart: “Consumers who check email first tend to be more task-oriented, subscribe to more emails and interact with brands across email and social media to obtain deals, promotions or new product information”.
Those that start their day on Facebook “tend to draw firmer, more segregated boundaries and become fans of brands for entertainment purposes or to show support for a company or product”.
The usage of email and social media: brand followers and fans
Some more findings and a graph (copyright ExactTarget) for the data lovers:
- 43% of all online consumers either follow a brand on Twitter or are a fan of one on Facebook
- 54% of those between 18 and 24 are fans of a brand on Facebook
- 42% use Facebook at least once per day. Of these, 69% are a fan of brand(s)
- 68% of daily Twitter users follow at least one brand but only 7% of US consumers use Twitter daily
- 93% of American “consumers” subscribe to email marketing messages
Since its acquisition of CoTweet in March, ExactTarget obviously focuses more on the integration of social media and email.
The survey clearly emphasizes this.
On top of that, it’s a good way to possibly generate some leads since the survey, called “Digital Morning” is just part one of a series of research papers, graphs, webinars and more that the company will publish for four months in a row “Subscribers, fans and followers”.
So, stay tuned and if you want all the data and facts click here and fill in some data.
You know how it is: you have to give some to get some!