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What BlogHer's social media study means for associations

The other day, BlogHer, one of the largest networks of blogs around, released its annual social media study. Each year, BlogHer conducts a great study that is practically the definitive guide to how women use social media. The study explores passion and relevance, media usage patterns and purchasing influence among social media users.
Bh social media 2011 19, jkc
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Here are some highlights:

  • 88% of the active blog readers in the total U.S. general population trust the information they get from familiar blogs

  • Over 50% of the active blog readers in the general U.S. online population have made a purchase based on a blog recommendation

  • For the second year in a row, Twitter did not score particularly high in the general population for any usage behavior.  Its acceptance as a valued tool for product information is much lower than blogs or social media, although it is still seems to be appreciated as an entertainment device for following celebrity tweets.

  • New media such as smart phone apps, shows moderate (but growing) usage levels, but the passion for these devices is extremely high.

  • We asked what (about technology) made users feel most hopeful about the future, and the #1 response by a wide margin (64%) was “Social media makes it easier to stay in touch with friends and family”.

What does this mean for small staff associations?

Essentially, it continues to prove that social media should not be ignored. It demonstrates how important it is to know if your members blog, since bloggers' opinions are valued so highly. It means that associations should continue to seek out new technologies but not force members to be early adopters. It shows that social media is a set of tools designed to keep people in touch with one another — and your association can be part of that community.



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