|Nielsen's 2010 Social Media Report has revealed that a significant percentage of online New Zealanders are interacting with social media. The report, which tracked internet users social media usage, found that 42 per cent are interacting with companies or brands via social networking sites.
Social media also played a role in product and service purchasing decisions, as 44 per cent have published opinions about brands, and 73 per cent have read other consumers' product opinions online.
The biggest increases in social media usage from Nielsen's Social Media Report in 2007 were reading wikis (up 26 points), updating and creating social networking profiles (up 17 and 16 points respectively) and looking at others' social networking sites (up 16 points). "The opportunities for brands and companies to tap into the social media phenomenon are really just beginning to emerge and to date we've only seen the tip of the iceberg," Nielsen research director for online business Tony Boyte told AdNews.
"Incredibly, nearly two million online New Zealanders [1.92 million] have looked to their fellow Internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands, and New Zealanders' engagement with online word of mouth communication is going to increase in coming years as social media plays an increasingly important role in consumer decision making."
Facebook has also gained a stronger foothold since the 2007 report, with 79 per cent of social networkers naming Facebook as their main networking platform, up from 19 per cent in 2007. A rise in Smaretphone ownership combined with the lowering of mobile data charges has seen mobile social networking emerge as a popular field. The report found that 24% per cent of social networkers participated in social networking in the past year, with consumers under the age of 35 being the most likely to be mobile social networkers.
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