Six thousand. This is the number of tweets sent every second in the world. It represents around 200 billion tweets in one year. Twitter was a complete game changer in the way people could communicate. It supports the “right-here-right-now” expectations from people. We went from a paper letter, to a fax, to an email, to a SMS and to a tweet. According to the British Oxford dictionnary, there are 171’476 words currently in use. A tweet is 140 characters. So no time and “space” to develop. We go directly to the point. No time for chapters, give us directly the conclusions.
Ultra-access means ultra-needs
With the increase of internet and technologies, everything becomes easy to find and easy to use. This ultra-access to information transforms the way we address our requests and the speed we expect satisfaction. Why should I wait for an answer if I can get it right now.
Remember booking holidays 10 years ago? It would have taken 2 month to book your summer holidays in the pre-internet era. First you would need to go to several travel agencies (when they would be open), check several paper catalogs, potentially write a letter to hotels in order to make a reservation, or making a phone call in local language in order to have things booked. Today, it can take you 15mn from your mobile phone to have the same thing done. And because you can do it, you would never give your money to a travel agency that would work differently.
Why should you send a tweet rather than an email? Well, because you expect the person to answer you immediately. According to NM Incite, 71% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand if this brand is doing a great work in terms of customer support on social media. Some brands are embracing this very well. It is the case of Zappos shoes and Nike. Zappos has implemented a 24/7 customer support on Twitter. They will immediately give you an answer to your question, no matter what time of the day or night it is. Nike will do pretty much the same and they will add the Nike attitude on top.
The service industry is today at stress. Speed became a key part of the customer equation and you better be ready otherwise you will be completely lost.
Sharing information: speed upon quality.
When brands talk to bloggers, potentially what they will communicate to these clever people can be online in seconds, minutes, hours… From a picture in instagram shared over millions of followers or a blog post generating thousands of hundreds of visits within the following hour, speed is changing the way people access to information. What happens when the traditional press will talk about that new product or service presented to them one to 2 month ago? Well it is not fresh news anymore.
And how individuals interact with each other is also something interesting. Mobile phones are less and less used for phone calls. They are too smart for that now. People use their smartphones for text messaging like with the WhatsApp mobile app. Free texting everywhere. There are overall 34 billion whatsApp messages sent everyday. In 2014, the busiest day for WhatsApp registered over 64 billion messages. The speed to access the information is more important than the quality or even the follow up. Speed against quality. No wonder why we all get HD tv sets but still prefer to watch illegally a movie in bad streaming rather than wait for the blueray dvd. Speed against quality.
Human relationships, the “quick and dirty” rules.
Currently, everybody is talking about Tinder, the ultimate dating-meeting killer app. Remember the speed-dating evenings in bars? Forget about it. Everything is happening online. From Chat-roulette, to snapchat, Tinder and many others, human relationships became as disposable as a kleenex. Connexions are made as fast as they disappear. Every day there are 140 new social networks created in the world and as many which vanish in the sand of times. Everything goes fast. With Snapchat, you can send a message to someone that will last for 2 seconds. You better read fast. We create so much content every second that an average human being would not have the time to see it in his entire life time. The world became a short term thinker rather than a long-term visionary.
We seek a Like button in real life
From a sociological point of view, our online new behaviors are inducing a change in real life. Did you ever realize how hard is today to stay 100% focus while watching a 90mn movie? Hard. This is one of the consequences of being online addicted. A study ran in South Korea, where internet penetration is one of the highest in the world, showed that one third of the people participating in the study have shown signs of Internet addiction. It is a real modern problem as the consequences can be devastating.
- Loss of consciousness of time
- Lack of focus after 20mn
- Stress and frustration levels quite high, insomnia
Since the democratization of internet, online gaming and social media, we say that 10% of overall internet population is addicted to the web. This addiction makes these ultra-connected people to adopt in real life some of the behaviors they have online. It is like seeking a like button in real life. They will look for people’s approval of their actions and would spend their time saying to themselves “what a great instagram picture this moment could be”. Did you ever tried to spend one evening out without looking at least once to your smartphone? If you cannot do that, it means you show signs of addiction.
Luxury brands, how to react? Well you have less than 3 seconds.
Internet became a powerful tool to communicate brand universes to customers. It is a convenient and easy way to invite them to a deep dive in the brand experience. Again, there are rules to respect. 75% of internet users would drop a website if this one takes more than 3 seconds to download. 85% of online payments abort if any buffering would happen during the process. In China, brands are using Weibo to answer to any question that a customer would have. Why translating the website in Chinese then?
In South Korea, the main search engine is Naver. With Naver you can reach millions of people in 10mn. This is more than TV or print together. The power of delivering a message online brings the limits of formats, text-copy and creative weight.
When Felix Baumgartner jumped from a ballon at 127’851ft during the RedBull Stratos mission, the news took less than 23mn to spread worldwide within the civilized world. The same type of news would take approximately 5 years to spread in the 19th century and potentially people would believe it is a rumor. Companies need to adapt to this ultra-demanding online audience that will need flexibility, personalization and dedication. The brands that will adapt and align their customer service teams to this new way of relationship will win the battle of customer’s heart.
Info sourced at internetstats, Forbes, Mashable, BusinessInsider and techcrunch. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.