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In the last decade or so, social media has evolved into a data mining, user generated information goldmine, which is drawing ever more attention from those who can interpret the data and put it to good use. This is a process which is always going on in the background, being constantly refined by some of the keenest minds of the digital world.

But what is this data saying about you?

I recently read an interesting report on Consumer Trends in the UK (No, I’m serious, it was interesting) built on insights put together from social conversation data between 2010 and 2015.

Using tools that can trawl through 800 billion social posts like a proverbial hot knife through butter, the report analysed a mind boggling amount of data which was then put into context with useful observations.

I have skimmed a small amount of that rich knowledge into the following key points:

#FitFam is here to stay.

Healthy living and exercise are hot topics that are growing in momentum at a steady rate and show no signs of slowing down. Figures show that the 2012 Olympic Games boosted the UK economy by £9.9bn and yet the Federation of Small Businesses said the impact of the games had been a disappointment. Social data reflects a consistent upswing in positive conversation about diet and exercise, especially among the younger age groups.

 
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Smart Shopping is Smart Social

Another unmistakable trend is the growing ‘savvy shopper’ movement, due in large part to the increase in online consumer spending and the widespread adoption of social reviews as a primary motivator in making a purchase. Data shows that 96% of shopping related conversations on social are about online purchases, with 28% of those referring to value for money and bargain prices.

The volume and impact of social conversations relating to online shopping will almost certainly increase in the future as will the merit of social reviews and brand presence. 

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No doubt this particular trend will continue to grow as social continues to integrate into more and more aspects of modern life. 

Social Consumer Conscience 

Sadly, a decrease in support for, and positive conversation about Fair trade paints a bleak picture of the UK consumer and the significance that ethical business practice has upon our decisions. 

The optimist in me wants to attribute this down turn of interest to austerity and perhaps even a certain level of expectation that brands should behave ethically rather than not, but a 6% drop in mentions of boycotting and a 22% drop in Fairtrade/Ethical product discussion doesn’t support that.

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The devil is in the details, as they say, and data can be interpreted invidious ways, but it’s very apparent that social data is becoming more important and relevant all the time and must be taken into account to paint an accurate picture of the digital landscape. 

Download the report by Crimson Hexagon here

 

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