Globally, social networking accounts for 1 in every 5 online minutes
Jan 2, 2012
by Liz Moench
Time to reevaluate how you are recruiting and retaining patients?
By Liz Moench, President and CEO, MediciGlobal and Nick Halkitis, Global VP, Marketing and Digital Strategies
According to comScore’s newly released report, “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed,” social networking is globally the leading online activity.
• Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide: Social networking accounted for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online globally in October 2011, ranking as the most engaging online activity worldwide. Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s Internet population age 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe.
• Dispel the myth; it’s not just young people using social networking – it’s all age groups: While younger users (15-24 years old) still represent the most highly-engaged segment of social networkers, with an average of 8 hours per visitor, people aged 55 and older represent the fastest-growing segment of social networkers globally. In fact this population increased nearly 10 percentage points from July 2010 to more than 80 percent in October 2011.
• The importance of Facebook cannot be overstated: In October, Facebook reached more than half (55 percent) of the world’s global audience and accounted for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online around the world and 3 in every 4 social networking minutes.
• Microblogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking: In recent years, microblogging has taken hold as a popular social networking activity on a global scale. In October, Twitter reached 1 in 10 Internet users worldwide, growing 59 percent in the past year. Other popular microblogging destinations seeking rapid adoption include Chinese site Sina Weibo, with its audience growing 181 percent in the past year, to rank as the tenth largest social network in October 2011. Tumblr, which ranked twelfth worldwide in audience size, grew 172 percent in the past year.
• Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction: In the U.S., 64 percent of Smartphone users accessed social networking sites at least once in October 2011, with 2 in 5 Smartphone owners connecting via social networking nearly every day. In the five leading EU countries, 45 percent of Smartphone owners accessed social networks on their mobile device during the month, and another 1 in 4 doing so on an almost daily basis.
• Clinical trial teams are now utilizing closed social networks to engage patients in remaining in clinical trials long term. Over time these closed networks may gain in use at the expense of email communication and offline social networking.
• Time spent on social networking sites has gained significant ground in the last year, taking share predominantly from web-based email and instant messengers, reflecting its emergence as another primary communication channel for user for the foreseeable future. Unmistakably, it has evolved over the years to become an integral part of the global online experience, in many ways both mirroring and augmenting the offline social experience.
• Networking to build and nurture patient relationships requires understanding your target patient audience. Increasingly, that means connecting via social network sites in addition to connecting offline with study staff.
• Clinical teams and study sites who have not taken the time to understand social networking and how to leverage its effectiveness in patient recruitment and retention may want to reevaluate their approach to finding and connecting with patients in clinical trials.