Consumer support of Social media value exchange on the rise according to UM's Wave 7 research

The value exchange through social media has grown to see 43 per cent of consumers support the use of online behaviorial data to improve their online experience, according to the latest social media report by IPG MediaBrands agency UM.

The seventh annual Wave report, which surveyed 48,945 active Internet users across 65 countries, has revealed consumer behaviour and brand insights into smartphone users, with almost 70 per cent expressing concern over the use of their personal data online, with consumers in the UK proving to be least comfortable with being tracked.

However, membership of branded communities was also found to have grown by 10 per cent in the last year, demonstrating a developed understanding by consumers over improved engagement levels led by a branded strategic approach.

Despite this, the most reluctant audience to join brand communities was found to be in the UK, with larger incentives for loyalty demanded, or the opportunity to make a difference. UK audiences also expected a fast response to online complaints, which led to the conclusion that by offering control and reward, brands can overcome an audience's online apathy towards them.

The UK also had the largest usage of tablets, smartphones and laptops during TV viewing, in comparison with the global average.

Wave 7 also discovered that UK consumers kept their personal and professional lives separate when it came to their online footprint, using Facebook to message friends and LinkedIn purely for work related activities.

Of Wave 7, Glen Parker, research director for UM G14, said that it was clear that tracking the latest trends was no longer enough, with understanding the motivations behind emerging trends becoming the main focus due to the superficial nature of online interaction.

"Wave 7 has identified that consumers will connect with brands that meet five basic needs. By answering these needs, and by combining technology, social platforms and media in a more cohesive way, brands can put themselves in an extremely powerful position. We believe Wave 7 can guide them through this journey," he added.

Over half (56 per cent) of those surveyed agreed that social media use had become an integral aspect of their own social lives, with the Chinese market proving most active, with 71 per cent of Internet users active on a microblogging such as Sina Weibo or Twitter.

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