Tweeting in the Dark… Utilization is (Still) the Key

by Doug Adams
We’ve been talking for months in Bandwidth about Awareness not equaling Adoption… and along with it adoption not begetting Utilization. No matter who might ask you to take a leap of faith, they are not the same, and it is our job to push the boulder up the hill and go from awareness to adoption to usage.

Put another way, just because you have broadband does not mean people will use it… and just because people are using broadband does not mean they are fully realizing the socio-economic benefits:

Typically, and for good reason, we are talking about driving business enablers and e-solutions as the utilization the key to delivering benefits and impacts. And while that remains what we focus on at SNG, let’s take a look at the “lighter side” of the Internet to illustrate just how meaningful utilization can be. And we’re not sure you can get much lighter than social networking.

Recent findings show that in the United States, Twitter’s awareness (we’ll use this as a parallel to coverage), adoption, and utilization are very different.

  • Awareness:  92%  (this even sounds low)
  • Adoption:   13% have signed up for account
  • Utilization: Only 8% have EVER used it – even a ‘hello’ tweet counts

Looking at what might be considered its big brother, or a brother on steroids, we see that 42% of online Americans last year and a projected 57% this year are actively using Facebook.

I can’t use the classic ‘first to market’ explanation to describe why utilization is higher for one than the other. Otherwise, we’d all be on Friendster or My Space.

For Facebook, adoption is awfully close to usage, with a whopping 70% of users logging on daily.  They are closing the gap between adoption and utilization – remember it is our position that adoption is pointless without utilization – by being, in social media circles, compelling.

But what makes something ‘compelling’ or what drives utilization? In Facebook’s case I know that I, for one, feel like if I don’t login that I will miss something.  I don’t feel that way with Twitter, and apparently I am not alone.

So back to the world of economic needs and improving quality of life – we’re investing in broadband and e-solutions to drive economic efficiencies and create growth opportunities. These include reaching new markets, developing new business models, creating new relationships with partners and clients.

It is our job to make that feeling of ‘missing out’ a tangible, understandable reason to utilize e-solutions to drive prosperity and growth. Our goal is to ‘personalize’ the return on investment to individual businesses, organizations and households.

SNG’s research, including the DEi scorecard does just that, showing your local businesses what they need to do and the applications they should adapt in order to realize cost efficiencies and  increase revenues. This helps make sure that your region does not miss out… on its potential, and on opportunities.





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