Social Media Time – The perception of time on the Web - #SMWmilan Social Media Time – The perception of time on the Web - #SMWmilan

Social Media Time – The perception of time on the Web - #SMWmilan

How are social media, the Web and mobile devices changing the perception of time?

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In a digital world that is constantly changing, the perception of time is becoming a crucial factor in the lives of people and for the brands that deal with them.

The constant availability of technological devices and contents, which can always be accessed and updated, and the opportunity to directly communicate with companies, have led to new habits and new challenges to face.

So what are the implications of this new perception of time? What value does it now have for people and how does it affect the marketing strategies of brands?

Let's take time

We are faced with a paradigm shift: “Whereas in the 20th century we lived imagining the future, today we are immersed in the eternal present”, highlights Cinzia Fiaccadori of Eidos – la forza delle idee. “It is a time of impatience, of the Now Generation and immediate gratification”: this logic is further enhanced within social media.

Semiologist Giulia Ceriani of Baba Consulting talks about the paradox nature of time in social networks: “It is a contradiction of terms. The time of social networks is a memory set in the present, in which two opposing aspects coexist”. On the one hand, we have time as memory, which retains traces and recollections whereas, on the other hand, we have time as urgency and immediacy.

The final aspect to reflect on is “taking time”, namely, giving rhythm to time in order to rediscover the importance of pauses. With regard to the time paradox of technologies, which both steal and give us more timeAlessandro Cusmano of Nokia suggests rediscovering the value of pauses, since “time is not just a container to be filled”.

Real time marketing

As users and consumers, we are immersed in a continuous flow of information that is further amplified by the mobile devices that we use daily, which encourage us to immediately respond to stimuli. What logics are companies adopting in order to take advantage of real-time opportunities?

A new marketing approach. Companies can implement a series of real-time marketing activities but, above all, as Vincenzo Cosenza of Blogmeter highlights, they must: “resort to a fast organisational flow that is able to streamline approval processes and use technologies that can intercept conversations in real time and influence them”.

“There is no specific recipe”, points out Cristina Scateni of Eidos – la forza delle Idee. Each social network has its own characteristics and, like all brands, it has conversation time with users. Companies must include two crucial aspects in their marketing strategy: timely responses and the selection of accurate and valid contents.

What is the situation in Italy?

Are Italian companies ready to intercept the conversations of users and interact with them in real time?

According to recent research carried out by Nielsen, in the USA, 29% of conversations on Twitter can influence a TV programme audience. Just think that hashtags are chosen based on the plot of a film or TV programme in order to follow and encourage conversation among the online audience.

"In Italy, we have not yet achieved this, however, there are few good examples of social TV”, says Gianluca Neri of Macchianera. For some TV programmes, especially those targeting a young audience that uses the Web (for example, MasterChef or XFactor), using and investing in social networks is particularly successful.