Customers Are Forever Interacting, Forever Online
According to trendwatching.com, there is an emerging trend of heightened online interaction, dialogue and conversation among customers and brands. Called “foreverism,” the trend is defined as the:
“Many ways that customers and businesses embrace conversations, relationships, and products. Driving its popularity is technology that allows them to find, follow, interact and collaborate forever with anyone and anything.”
Although this concept is not new, the online phenomenon is nevertheless still astounding, and will “forever” impact the way brands communicate with their core audiences from here on out.
Forever Online and Forever Interacting
From Facebook and MySpace to Twitter and LinkedIn, people around the globe are continuously updating their statuses and profiles and expanding their online footprints. As such, this provides a rare yet ample opportunity for brands to interact, in real-time, with their valued customers.
Below are some noteworthy stats from trendwatching.com:
- Facebook reached 200 million active users in April 2009. More than 100 million users log on to Facebook every day, while more than 20 million users update their status at least once each day.
- As of May 2009, MySpace boasted 130 million members; LinkedIn more than 40 million; and Twitter more than 30 million members. And China’s Twitter, TaoTao, now has nearly 50 million users.
- Overall, the share of adult U.S. Internet users who have a profile on a social networking site has more than quadrupled in the past four years and now stands at 35 percent of the population. (Source: Pew Internet, January 2009.)
These online footprints will live on forever because the Internet is a “massive caching machine” and most importantly, because the younger demographics will never stop communicating online.
According to social media guru Jeff Jarvis, as reported by trendwatching.com’s foreverism report,
“Thanks to our connection machine, they [young people] will stay linked, likely for the rest of their lives. With their blogs, MySpace pages, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, Seesmic conversations, Twitter feeds, and all the means for sharing their lives yet to be invented, they will leave lifelong Google tracks that will make it easier to find them. Alloy, a marketing firm, reported in 2007(!) that 96 percent of U.S. teens and tweens used social networks—they are essentially universal—and so even if one tie is severed, young people will still be linked to friends of friends via another, never more than a degree or two apart.”
Further validation of this theory includes the January 2009 Pew Internet study that found that 75 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 and nearly 100 percent of tweens have a profile on at least one social networking site.
With the trillions of people online, it’s no surprise that there are increased interactions between brands and their customers, and that they will be “forever conversing” on the Web. As a result, it’s critical for today’s businesses to adapt to online platforms and direct Internet-based, real-time communications with their target audiences.
For more information and for examples of big name brands communicating online, view the complete trendwatching.com “foreverism” trend brief here.