Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Social Browsing Replacing Web Browsing?

I wanted to follow up on today's post. I just read an interesting article from our friends at PSFK and Fast Company about how several studies are indicating that young female Facebook users spend as much as five hours a day on the site. The trend is not limited to Female Facebook users alone; "increasingly, people are spending more time on social browsing (particularly, reading status updates, watching videos and seeing friends' photos on Facebook) than on web browsing." Their search for information has changed too. People are frequently searching for items on Facebook rather than on a search engine. When there is a piece of breaking news or viral media, Facebook gets the search hits more than search engines. And even if they do search Google, Yahoo etc. they are encouraged to Like or Share on their findings on their Facebook pages.

As a secondary point to my post today, brands and online marketers need to learn how to correctly harness this new pattern to help leverage themselves and their products. Fast Company reports:
What does this kind of behavior mean for online marketers? Well, for starters, brands primarily interested in targeting a younger, female demographic should focus on building brand Facebook pages at least as comprehensive as their brand websites. This point is worth emphasizing, because for all of the thinking and head scratching that has gone on in recent years as to how to best utilize Facebook for marketing, a surprising number of companies have only the most rudimentary of brand pages on the site. 

When your customers are coming to your Facebook page as a first-choice source of information, you need to be prepared to meet them there. And once they're there, you want to make it very easy for them to share their experience with their fellow social browsers - their peer group.

Check out more of the article here: Fast Company: “Why Facebook Browsing Annihilates Web Browsing"