Social Networking Services Overwhelm Consumers; Sponsored Content Causing a ‘Storm of Disruption’

Living in the Age of Information (Overload): recently concluded its second annual survey that looked into social media behavior.

“Connecting and Communicating Online: State of Social Media,” which took the pulse of 2,084 adults, found that social media users are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by both the volume of information within each network as well as the growing number of networks themselves.

The increasing amount of networks is causing anxiety among 56% of the respondents; that is, people who have a “fear of missing out” online.

The study also revealed the following:

• The average adult manages 3.1 email addresses, which is up by.5, compared with 2012.

• More than half of adults 18-34 years old (61%) manage more than one social network, versus 42% of the entire respondent population.

• More than one-quarter (27%) of respondents check their social networks immediately after waking up.

• More than half (52%) of the respondents said they have taken “social media vacations.”

• Men are more likely to use Twitter, with 28% of respondents stating they are on the network, versus only 21% of women.

• The opposite is true of Pinterest, with 13% of women signed on versus 3% of men.


Sponsored Content Gets Back to Basics: Edelman recently released a white paper titled, “Sponsored Content: A Broader Relationship with the U.S. News Media.” The study examined why news media are embracing sponsored content, what the emerging formats are and the ethics that PR professionals must balance as they embrace content marketing.

Some key takeaways from the study included:

There are three disruptive factors that have led to the growing popularity of sponsored content.

1. Classic revenue streams are eroding. Supply is outpacing demand in digital media; banners are no longer relevant or effective methods of reaching audiences and publishers and advertisers are embracing programmatic buying.

2. The rise of the live feed has changed the way content is pushed to consumers.

3. Brands are “doubling down” on content, meaning they are telling their own stories in addition to seeking help from agencies.

• Three forms of sponsored content seem to have emerged as an industry standard; paid syndication, which is promoted content that appears in newsfeeds; paid integration, similar to product placement and integration and paid co-creation, in which a brand pays for a product that doesn’t exist in order to align itself as a sponsor (similar to naming rights of a stadium).

Source: Edelman


Consumers Buying? According to a new study by Havas Worldwide, 60% of male e-shoppers are primarily buying tech gadgets while 56% of women are primarily buying clothes, shoes and accessories. Havas surveyed 10,219 adults in 31 countries, representing a combined population of more than 5 billion. While there are some gender gaps in other buying segments, most other products see only about a 4% to 6% male versus female differential.

This article appeared in the July 29 issue of PR News. Subscribe to PR News today to receive weekly comprehensive coverage of the most fundamental PR topics from visual storytelling to crisis management to media training.