47 Social Media Facts (& What They Mean For Your Marketing)

 Social Media Help For Your 2013 Budget

Social media continues to evolve and mature. As it does, so does the ways marketers use social media and how they integrate it into their marketing plans.

To maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts, make sure that your goals are aligned with your business objectives and that you understand your target audience in terms of marketing persona and social media persona.

Here are 47 social media facts and what they mean for your marketing and your 2013 marketing plans. 

Social media in general. Of course, it’s critical to understand why your prospects and customers are on social media platforms and what they’re looking for from your organization.  (Check out these five social media trends with charts.)

  1. 9 out of 10 businesses use social media. (Source: eMarketer) What this means: Most businesses are on social media in some form and will continue to improve their use of this platform. Therefore to be competitive, you need to be there as well. 
  2. Marketers use social media to achieve a variety of marketing goals. (Source: SEOmoz) What this means: Marketers use a mix of social media for several related objectives, specifically, content marketing, search optimization and branding. 
  3. Blogs are the most important social media venue. (Source: Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing) Blogs support social media, content marketing, and search optimization. What this means: Blogs are useful as social media platforms to encourage engagement as well as an on-going source of content to feed social media. Blogs are critical or important to 59% of businesses
  4. Roughly 90% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute their content marketing. (Source: Research by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.) On average these marketers use five social media sites to spread their content marketing more broadly through social sharing. What this means: Format your content marketing appropriately for each social media venue to broaden your reach.  (Here’s the link to the related Actionable Marketing chart.)Content Marketing Institute - MarketingProfs Research - Social media
  5. Social media drives sales. (Source: comScore) By providing platforms where customers discover information they need to make purchase decisions, social media supports the buying cycle. ) What this means: It’s important to be present on social media sites where your target audience congregates and seeks information. This is particularly true for LinkedIn and Pinterest.

  6. Social media ISN’T free. The reality is that establishing a presence on one or more social media platforms requires both human and financial resources! The difference is that social media requires roughly 60% less than outbound forms of marketing according to Hubspot. (Here’s how to make the case for using social media.)  What this means: You must allocate budget to social media in terms of headcount and related marketing expense. 
  7. Senior executives don’t participate on social media platforms. (Source: 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index) This hurts customer trust. What this means: Figure out ways that your c-suite can engage on social media that’s not a time suck but provides real accessibility for your taget audience. (Here’s the full story on why senior executives don’t get social media.

Facebook. Social media’s 800 pound gorilla (but where’s the revenue?)

  1. Facebook has 955M monthly active users, of which 58% are active daily. (Facebook, June 2012.) Over half of Facebook members use the social media platform regularly.
  2. Average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages. (Social Media Examiner)
  3. Less than 60% of Fortune 500 have Facebook page. (Grow)
  4. 95% of Facebook wall posts not answered by brands. (All Facebook)
  5. Facebook has 2.7 billion Like actions per day. (Source: TechCrunch)
  6. Facebook is photography’s 800 pound gorilla with 300 million photos shared per day. (Source: TechCrunch)

YouTube. It’s the second largest social media site and the second largest search engine.  Consider how you’ll add video to your social media content offering.

  1. Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month. (Source: YouTube)
  2. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Further, 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. (Source: YouTube)
  3. 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US. (Source: YouTube)
  4. YouTube is localized in 43 countries and across 60 languages. (Source: YouTube)
  5. More than 20% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices. (Source: YouTube)

Twitter. It’s social media’s 24/7 conversation. (To help you, here are The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Twitterati.)

  1. Twitter skews female: Women account for 53% of Twitter users.  (Source: Beehoove) What this means: Twitter has started to mature.
  2. The average age of Twitter users has decreased. Over 70% of users are between 15 and 25 (Source: Beevolve). The data is based on participant bios and information in tweets. Since less than a half of a percent discloses their age, Beevolve notes that younger users are more likely to disclose their age than older users resulting in a bias towards younger users. This consistent with recent Pew Internet research that showed Twitter indexed high for US users between 18 and 29.
  3. Twitter isn’t a social media community for most users. (Source: Beevolve) About three out four users have 50 or less followers on Twitter. The average user follows 109 people and one in ten people on Twitter doesn’t follow anyone. What this means: As a marketer, you must build your Twitter following to ensure that your message gets through.
  4. Twitter isn’t a conversation. (Source: Dan Zarrella of Hubspot) Twitter  is a media platform that helps amplify your voice. What this means: You need to build your base on Twitter to leverage its power.
    Dan Zarrella Twitter Research
  5. Create novel Twitter bait related to your topic to attract attention. (Source: Findings of Yi-Chia Yang of Carnegie Mellon) You need a laser focus to build your Twitter following.
  6. Maximize retweets by tweeting later in the business day. (Source: Dan Zarrella of Hubspot) 

LinkedIn. Where business socializes. Further, it’s grown beyond being a job seeker’s ghetto.

  1. Approximately 2 new professionals join LinkedIn per second. (Source: LinkedIn 2Q2012) LinkedIn continues to grow. What this means: LinkedIn matters for your business.
  2. 175+ million members in over 200 countries (Source: LinkedIn August 2, 2012) LinkedIn is where the world connects for business. What this means: You and your business need to be present on LinkedIn.
  3. 38% of LinkedIn members are located in U.S. (Source: LinkedIn August 2, 2012) LinkedIn has diversified beyond its American origins. What this means: LinkedIn reflects an international business community.
  4. 2+ million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages. (Source: LinkedIn August 2, 2012) What this means: Your firm, regardless of focus, should have a presence on LinkedIn to be competitive.
  5. 1+ million unique publishers actively use LinkedIn Share button on their sites. (Source: LinkedIn August 2, 2012) Visitors share content across a range of social media sites. What this means: If the information on your website and/or blog are business related, add a LinkedIn share button.
  6. 1+ million LinkedIn Groups where members share insights and knowledge. (Source: LinkedIn August 2, 2012) LinkedIn Groups are a way to find out more about your industry and other business trends. What this means: At a minimum, participate in those groups related to your business and where appropriate start a group.

Google+. As a part of Google, it’s important to stake your turf on this social media platform since it can influence your search rankings.

  1. Two thirds of the Interbrand Top 100 have a Google+ brand page, a number that’s been relatively stable since the option was introduced in November 2011. (Source: Simply Measured) Of these, 43% of brands update their Google+ page at least three times a week. What this means: To be consistent and competitive, update your Google+ pages at least three times a week as part of your social media marketing calendar
  2. The gap on Google+ between brands with the most circlers and other brands has widened while total brand circlers have increased steadily.  (Source: Simply Measured) What this means: It’s getting difficult to catch up with the top brands on Google+. Therefore, you must be on Google+ actively building your base for the future. Steady circler growth
  3. Google+ gets mobile. Its app is preinstalled in the 900,000 Android devices activated every day.  (Source: Tweet by Google’s Andy Rubin on June 10, 2012.) Further Google’s Vic Gundotra confirmed that more users sign into Google+ with the mobile app than visit its desktop site.  What this means: Google+ is device indifferent.

Pinterest. As the image driven darling of 2012, Pinterest is poised to make significant changes to enhance its position and revenue generation

  1. About 70% of US pinners have household income of $25,000-$74,999 (Source: comScore).
  2. About 25% of Pinterest users have college degree or higher degree (Source: comScore).
  3. About 60% of pinners are in their mid-20s to mid-40s. (Source: Experian Hitwise for 12 week rolling average ending December 17, 2011).
  4. Establish your Pinterest presence.  (Source: Pinsights) Established retailers have between 30,000 and 35,000 account followers. What this means: The longer you wait to get established, the more likely your competitors will pull ahead. Average number of followers per retail account
  5. Micro-focus your Pinterest activity by using different boards.  (Source: Pinsights) On average, brands pinned to an average of twenty-five boards in the sixty day period. What this means: Think of your offering in terms of mini-niches and create a special board for each.
  6. Leverage Pinterest’s strength based on topic. (Source: Compete) Think visual approach, specifically food, home, and crafts. What this means: Create visually appealing content around topics viewers actively seek. This reduces the work you have to attract prospects. 
  7. Pinterest encourages viral activity as shown by the number of repins. (Source:  RJ Metrics) Specifically, over 80% of pins are repins. This makes sense since repinning is significantly easier than searching for new content, checking whether it can be pinned and writing a description.  What this means: To encourage pinning activity, minimize effort participants need to take by providing full description. Over 80% of pins are repins
  8. Pinterest’s high growth has eroded new user quality.  (Source:  RJ Metrics) Newer members now pin less in the first month. This makes sense since the base is broader in composition with less avid supporters. Pinterest new user quality based on number of pins
  9. Pinterest is the best new source of traffic. (Source: Shareaholic) This has value for marketers using social media to drive lead generation.  What this means. Put your product into visually alluring images and post them on your Pin boards. 

Blogs. As a form of owned media that is also social media, blogs are an invaluable element of your social media strategy. (Here’s how to set up yours whether you’re a B2C, B2B, NFP or solopreneur.)

  1. Blog two to three times per week for your blog to yield 75% of customer acquisition value. (Source: Hubspot)  
  2. Blogs require fifty or more posts before traffic starts to grow. (Source: Hubspot) 

Miscellaneous options. Here are insights on the smaller social media sites and their target audiences.

  1. Use Tumblr to reach younger demographics since their sweet spot is 18 to 24. (Chart: comScore) Tumblr has an engaged and loyal following. What this means. If you’re marketing to the teen-twenty-something market, add Tumblr to you mix.
  2. Instagram makes everyone a photographer. (Source: Pew Internet Report) 12% of the adult Internet population use Instagram. 27% of this app-driven, social media image site’s users are 18 to 29.  What this means. Consider adding Instagram to your social media if your product is photogenic. (Note: Even GE’s B2B industrial products leverage the power of instagram.) 
  3. Slideshare is B2B gold with 60 million visitors per month and 120 million pageviews per month. Skip this B2B site that’s owned by LinkedIn at your own risk! What this means. Incorporate Slideshare into your 2012 marketing plans to expand your reach and attract leads.

How do you plan to change your social media plans for 2013? What is your rationale for doing so?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles you may find of interest:

Facebook: How to maximize earned media

Photo credit:  http://multimediabomb.com/2012/03/iphone-with-3d-social-media-icons/

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