Thursday, December 8, 2011

Social Media 2011 and Future Growth – Summary of Gartner Research

Worldwide social media revenue is on track to reach $10.3 billion in 2011, a 41.4 percent increase from 2010 revenue of $7.3 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. and social media revenue is forecast for consistent growth with 2012 revenue totaling $14.9 billion, and the market is projected to reach $29.1 billion in 2015. Social media advertising revenue is forecast to total $5.5 billion in 2011, and grow to $8.2 billion in 2012. Advertising revenue includes display advertising and digital video commercials on any device including PCs, mobile and media tablets. Social gaming revenue is on pace to reach $3.2 billion in 2011 and grow to $4.5 billion in 2012. Social gaming includes revenue that social networking sites earn directly from users who play games that are developed in-house, and the revenue earned by allowing game developers/publishers to use their sites as a platform to let users play with friends on the network. It includes revenue earned from "virtual wallets" within games (such as when users spend virtual money on in-game items like swords or tanks, or to create virtual armies).

Social media subscription revenue is forecast to reach $236 million in 2011 and total $313 million in 2012. Few social sites charge subscription revenue, mostly for premium services. Some professional sites such as LinkedIn, Xing in Germany and Vladeo in France, charge a subscription fee from their users for enhanced services, such as an expanded profile view. The worldwide social customer relationship management (CRM) market is forecast to reach over $1 billion in revenue by year-end 2012, up from approximately $625 million in 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide social CRM is projected to total $820 million in 2011.

By 2015, companies will generate 50 percent of Web sales via their social presence and mobile applications, according to Gartner, Inc. Vendors in the e-commerce market will begin to offer new context-aware, mobile-based application capabilities that can be accessed via a browser or installed as an application on a phone. Gartner predicts that by 2013, 80 percent of North American and European online sellers will expand into Brazil, Russia, India, Africa, Japan or China. Organizations based in North America and Western Europe is already launching website-based sales operations in new countries, in the hope of expanding to new markets.

There are signs of maturity in the social media market, as some users in certain segments are showing “social media fatigue”, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. Gartner surveyed 6,295 respondents, between the ages of 13 and 74, in 11 developed and developing markets in December 2010 and January 2011. Of the respondents, 24 percent said they use their favorite social media site less than when they first signed up. These respondents tended to be in segments that have a more practical view of technology. But 37 percent of respondents, particularly those in younger age groups and more tech-savvy segments, said they were using their favorite site more. 33 percent said they were concerned about online privacy. Attitudes to privacy were also age-related; with teenagers citing privacy concerns significantly less often than older respondents (22 percent of teenagers agreed or strongly agreed that privacy concerns were decreasing their enthusiasm, against an average of 33 percent).

From a geographical point of view, some of the more mature social media markets — Japan, the UK and the US — corresponded to the global average trend — with roughly 40 percent of respondents using the site more than when they first started, 40 percent using it the same amount, and 20 percent using it less. Markets where enthusiasm was higher included South Korea and Italy, where nearly 50 percent of respondents said they used their social media sites more. At the other end of the spectrum, countries with the most respondents saying they used the site less included Brazil and Russia — both with between 30 and 40 percent of respondents exhibiting less enthusiasm.

During the next two years, 30 percent of leading companies will extend the goals of their online community activities to the design of enhanced service processes, such as social CRM, according to Gartner, Inc. Social CRM for customer service has only recently entered into the realm of contact center infrastructure and customer service software components, where it has been met with significant hype despite a limited number of field deployments," said Drew Kraus, research vice president at Gartner. "In 2010, only 5 percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes; however, customer demand and heightened business awareness is making this a top issue among customer service managers," Mr. Kraus said. "At current trajectories, within five years we expect that community peer-to-peer support projects will supplement or replace Tier 1 contact center support in more than 40 percent of top 1,000 companies with a contact center."

Many social media efforts are failing, because some enterprises just don't understand how to employ social media to facilitate collective behaviors, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner conducted a 10 month effort collecting data and analyzing 200 successful social media implementations to identify how enabling collective human behaviors can lead to enterprise value. Enterprises that understand the importance of harnessing the power of collective behaviors to drive positive business change will be the ultimate winners with social media," concluded Anthony Bradley, group vice president at Gartner. Gartner believes that examining key selected behaviors provides critical insight into how social media can deliver significant enterprise value. The six collective behaviors include: Enable Collective Intelligence for Operational Effectiveness, Employ Expertise Location for Sales Effectiveness, Unearth Emergent Structures for Operational Effectiveness, Increase Sales through Interest Cultivation, and Engage in Mass Coordination for Rapid Response, Build Relationship Leverage for Brand Awareness.

Source: Gartner 2011 Press releases 

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