If you have been a naysayer about the relevance of social media in the water industry, chances are the statistics presented by Tim Miles at the WQA Aquatech USA 2011 Opening General Session made you think twice.
In case you missed it, here is a review:
- Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
- The second largest search engine in the world is YouTube.
- Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres combined have more Twitter followers than the populations of Ireland, Norway or Panama.
- Generations Y and Z consider e-mail passé; some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts. Instead they are distributing e-readers, iPads and tablets.
That’s impressive—and maybe a little bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start. Rich Anderson of ClearView Water, Denver, who has been using social media to improve his business, offers some advice on page 30.
The Research Adds Up
Adding to the research provided by last year’s Battelle Study, the Water Quality Assn. (WQA) and Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) released more valuable research at this year’s Aquatech USA 2011 tradeshow, announcing the results of the National Consumer Water Quality Survey and the Detergent Savings Study (full results are available at www.wqa.org for WQA members).
National Consumer Water Quality Survey:
- Consumers are concerned about contaminants in water and are willing to pay for their elimination.
- Home improvement stores and the Internet are playing a greater role in the sales of water filtration devices.
- Consumers are beginning to see water filtration systems as more of a necessity than a luxury item.
Detergent Savings Study (Laundry):
- Stain removal performance increases dramatically when hardness is removed (even when dose and temperature are lowered).
- Softened water allows use of less detergent and saves energy by allowing the use of lower water temperature while maintaining or improving performance.
Detergent Savings Study (Dishwashers):
- Softening hard water demonstrated statistically significant improvements in spotting and filming performance as well as in better soil removal in automatic dishwashing.
- Detergent savings up to 70% were observed for dishwashing when softened water was used compared to hard water.
- Hardness reduction was about six times more effective at reducing spotting and twice as effective at reducing filming as increasing detergent usage.
Taken together, these studies tell us that consumers are looking for solutions for their water problems and that our technologies are effective and efficient solutions—and with new, effective ways to reach customers of the future, there’s no excuse for not getting to work!