Thursday, March 3, 2011

Social networking drives web traffic for Gen Y

In the ongoing effort to understand the mysteries of what drives consumer behavior, more research has been conducted on how we use the internet and what drives web traffic. According to research released by Forrester, there is an increasing divide between younger generations and older generations in this aspect, which will make social networking more useful than ever. Furthermore, Gen Y is more than twice as likely to use social media as a referral source than older generations. The chart below illustrates the different drivers of web traffic destinations.

As you can see, Gen Y visits sites from their social network nearly twice as often as reported by any other group. Obviously, these sites are used more readily by this group of 18-30 year olds leading to a greater opportunity for content sharing. If your target market includes this group and you are not using social media, you may be missing out on a great communications opportunity.

These research results have further implications for understanding Gen Y. One important consideration is that these types of grassroots messages are great influencers of the 18-30 group. Word-of-mouth continues to thrive as a focus of marketing professionals who understand audience behavior. Here, trust and relation are major factors of the virtual psychology of the modern consumer.

As the advertising industry in the digital age continues to morph, social media continues to play a larger role in driving traffic organically and through word-of-mouth. With Gen Y and even younger generations increasingly becoming the focus of companies, integrating the message into the big social media outlets should be an increasing part of the marketing mix.

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