According to MarketingCharts.com, Americans are about 20% less likely than the average respondent across 24 markets to consider social media important to them. And, social media scores higher among women (37%) and those under-35 (45%) in the US, but those figures also lag the corresponding global averages (46% and 50%).
However, according to Pew Research, 74% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind. Levels of participation in social media in the US have grown steadily over the years and have no signs of slowing down in the near future.
So what does all this mean to American business?
Good news: There is still time to lay the groundwork to address the needs of your audience of tomorrow.
Bad news: Corporate social business maturity can take up to three years. You need to start now to develop the judgment of your employees to speak for your organization and brand in the social ecosystem.
Take away: Your social strategy must be adaptable to the changing needs, technologies and behavior of your customers – you must have an agile social business approach.
Proclamations aside, it is important to take a breath and realize that we are still boarding the on ramp to the social business revolution. Mainstream adoption is increasing, corporate social media strategies are evolving and the maturity of tactics will improve, quickly.
Much like the mobile moment, companies must embrace the social moment – the time when an organization realizes that social is mainstream and integral to business success. Recognition that social media is no longer a nice to have or a discreet project with a beginning and end, but rather a continuous part of what a company must do to effectively communicate and interact with its employees, customers and market.