Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Social media v sociability

Found this posting on and although it relates to American pet owners I wondered what thoughts you had on the report.
Myself I'm torn. Social networking through Winnie's Dog Blog has bought me friends around the world and I do tend to go to them with questions about Monkey's behaviour and to share tales.
Whereas walking Monkey the Greyhound has introduced me to so many neighbours who I would not have seen if we weren't out and about.
Via PRNewswire - While advancements in digital technology and increased popularity of social networking have made their mark on and offline social interaction in recent years, it seems some Americans have more faith in a pet to help their social life.
According to new research from Mintel, almost half (47%) of pet owners believe owning a pet is better for your social life than social networking sites.
But it seems there is still a place for digital marketing and social media when it comes to the nation's pet owners. Some 16% of pet owners claim to be interested in technologies that can enhance relationships with their pet and over one in ten (12%) say that they use social media to learn about pet-related products and services.
Meanwhile, 28% of respondents in Mintel's research claim to receive online or promotional discounts for pet-related products and 17% say that they would like to receive pet-related promotions that they can redeem using their phone.
"Whereas the pet shop owner used to be the prime touch point to find out how best to care for their pet, social media has become the new way for pet owners to explore and share experiences around their pet," noted Gabi Lieberman, social media analyst at Mintel.
"Further, as people take a renewed interest in their own diets, we're seeing them pass along their own concerns about food ingredients, creating a market for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan pet foods."
And it is Millennial consumers who are most engaged with pet-related technology. Today, 17% of Millennial pet owners have a pet-related app on their smartphone or tablet, a figure that falls to 9% for all pet owners.
Additionally, 27% of that generation would like to receive promotions and coupons for pet care products that can be redeemed via their phone and one in four (26%) are interested in technologies and innovations that foster a stronger pet-owner relationship.
"Millennials particularly tend to welcome the idea of integrating technology with their pet relationship experiences, especially as people seek to gain celebrity status not just for themselves, but for their pets as well," Lieberman added.
"While this push toward making pets celebrities has further pushed the power away from the brands and into the hands of consumers, brands are finding creative ways to integrate these Internet celebrities into their own marketing campaigns as a way to extend their reach."
Moreover, Mintel research found that pet owners would rather spend their leisure time taking care of their pets instead of watching TV or surfing online, as just 7% said they would rather zone out in front of the TV or spend time online instead of with their pet, and only 6% would prefer to own the latest electronic device over their pet.
"Brands are becoming very creative with their social media campaigns, using gimmicks like dogs on skateboards, celebrity endorsements and online cat awards to attract the attention of pet owners," said Lieberman.
"It's one of the few categories where brands aren't actually marketing to the end user, and they're tapping into something very personal for people, so they have to be creative, and social media really allows them to do that."


Molly The Wally said...

To be honest we are not a great fan of most social media but we do believe different courses for different horses. I think digitally the world is smaller and also people can be more creative in new ways. That can't be wrong. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
Best wishes Molly

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Since Blogs are considered part of the Social Network... we gotta say it is GRRRRREAT... butt we don't do the other Soc. Networking thingys...

Maybe that old thingy about Everythingy in Moderation is a good thingy to keep in mind.

houndstooth said...

I think having dogs has increased my social abilities both in real life and online. While I tend to be a very shy person, I've met a lot of people who ask questions about my dogs, especially the Greyhounds. I've been very lucky to meet some other fantastic Greyhound people, too.

As an online presence, don't discount the power of social media. Sure, I can to go a website about a company to try to find out information, but everything they have to say will be sugar-coated and slanted in their favor. If a blogger that I follow endorses a product, I feel a lot more convinced. Sure, I will still have to do some research of my own, but I feel like they will give me a fair opinion of what they thought with the pros and cons listed. And often, a company won't tell you about a problem they're having, but you can start hearing about that problem from other pet owners much earlier on. About ten years ago, there was a certain flea preventative out on the market, and I was on a forum called Greytalk at the time. Greyhound owners began reporting that this brand of preventative was eating through their dogs' skin. I saw the photos and it happened to more than one Greyhound. The company totally denied it, and covered it up for a long time. If that had happened today, a lot less dogs would have gone through the same problem, because social media spreads those things like wildfire. Of course, you have to be very careful with misinformation, too, but I think social media is a good thing for the most part. But it still can't take the place of your vet or an expert!

Bouncing Bertie said...

Having been dog blogging for nearly five years now, I feel I can speak with some authority on the issue! I have found our community a great source of information and advice, often acquired indirectly through reading about people's experiences with their pups. If I feel a blog is there simply to sell me something, I don't continue reading.
Surely it's not an 'either-or' case with social media and pets. I think I spend more time with Bertie than I otherwise might, doing things with Bertie and taking him out to places, so that we can have fun blogging about it afterwards.
The downside, especially, perhaps, if you blog in your dogs 'voice', is that you tend to anthropomorphise them and when they finally depart, it's possibly even harder.
I also agree with Frankie Furter about 'everything in moderation'!
Cheers, Gail.

Bouncing Bertie said...

For an interesting debate on different kinds of social media, from the perspective of one of the great dpg bloggers, see:

Bill Pritchard said...

I agree with the talking in your dog's voice and how hard it makes it when they have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. For me although I sometimes comment as Monkey it is always me doing the talking. I will have a look at the link you sent to mango-momma. Thanks

Raelyn said...

I've been a stranger in these parts of Blogville--again!!--it feels so good to be back!! ;-D
Hmmm. I have owned canines ever since I was 16 {I am now 29!!}. I have never ever truly connected with other dog lovers in person, other than a few here and there. But Blogging.... That is an entirely different story!! I have now "met" countless likeminded Friends from all around the world!! I am so very grateful. And they are, I have discovered, my most loyal Friends!! Period!! For instance. I can be absent, my comments lacking. And they still stop by Beautifully Unique!! I love it. I truly do!! ;op
Raelyn {And Rose, my Beautifully Unique Mystery Dog!!}

Vicki Cook said...

I was just poking around on the internet and noticed you shared my blog post on pets and social networking. Personally, I've learned so much about how to be a better pet parent through blogging and social networking. I've made many new friends online, some of whom I've since met IRL. So I do feel social networking is valuable. Thanks for sharing!