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Social media stats that every marketer should know

social media basicsWhatever form of marketing you use, you should always know who your audience is and where they hang out, online or offline.

It’s a theme that’s repeated throughout many of the articles you’ll read on this site, and if we ever met in person it will come up in conversations. Half your marketing problems can be solved by knowing the answer to the above two questions. Yet I still hear social media marketers telling small businesses “you MUST be on Facebook” or “You have to be on G+” and the truth is that’s a crock of crap being spouted by wannabee social media experts.

You have to be where your audience is, it’s as simple as that.

I’m not going to remind you to buy my book again, Zero to Targeted Marketing, you already have a copy and it’s gathering dust on your Kindle app as we speak. So I’m going to share a whole heap of stats with you, and maybe that will convince you :)

If  your ideal customer is female, based in the US with a college education you’ll find her around 9pm on Pinterest most evenings. Anywhere else is a waste of your time and money.

See, stats are useful when it comes to not only finding our audience but also in educating us about their habits and their actions. And when we have all of this, we can become much better marketers. In fact it won’t feel like marketing at all, it’ll feel good :)

  • Facebook is the top social network in the United States, with over 150 million users visiting via computer, over 78 million through mobile apps and over 74 million via mobile web. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/
  • 47% of social media users utilize Facebook, Twitter or another platform to access customer service. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/
  • One third of social media users prefer accessing customer service via social media to contacting a company by phone http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/
  • 10% of users have made purchases online for products they saw advertised through social media; 8% made purchases at a store, and 18% purchased or obtained a coupon. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/
  • 86% of companies are active on Facebook and Twitter; 59% on YouTube; 54% on LinkedIn; 37% on Pinterest; and 35% on Google+ http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009340
  • 83% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content; 80% use Facebook and Twitter http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2012/9184/2013-b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends
  • The average social media user spends nearly 7 hours a month on Facebook. Tumblr and Pinterest are tied for a distant second at 1 ½ hours per month, followed by Twitter at 21 minutes, LinkedIn at 17 minutes and Google+ at 3 minutes. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400895,00.asp
  • 43% of respondents report that they hear about tweets in the media almost every day, and an additional 16% hear about them regularly but not daily. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • 24% of small businesses and 33% of medium-sized businesses currently have a strategic and structured social media marketing program; 20% of small businesses and 19% of medium-sized businesses use social media more informally; and 56% of small businesses and 48% of medium-sized businesses do not currently use social media http://www.smb-gr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/pdfs/2012_Impact_of_Social_Business_Study_Marketing_Overview.pdf
  • Pinterest is the fastest-growing source of website traffic in the social media world. However, it is most effective for businesses that offer products with visual appeal. 57% of users report that they look at food items on Pinterest, 40% look at home goods, 34% view arts and crafts, and 30% look for style and fashion ideas. http://blog.compete.com/2012/06/28/pinning-down-the-impact-of-pinterest/
  • 75% of all users (83% of females and 63% of males) reported that they had purchased a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest. http://blog.compete.com/2012/06/28/pinning-down-the-impact-of-pinterest/
  • According to ComScore’s whitepaper entitled “The Power of Like”, 100% of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have built a Facebook presence for their brands. http://hosting.ber-art.nl/growing-impact-social-media/
  • 23% of Facebook users check their account five times or more per day, and 54% access Facebook by phone at least part of the time. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • If your target market consists mostly of moms, you can best reach them through Facebook and Pinterest. Three out of four American moms use Facebook, and moms are 61% more likely to visit Pinterest than the average American. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/digital-lives-of-american-moms/
  • According to Buddy Media, the best times for businesses to post on Facebook are evenings and weekends. Interactions are 14% higher for posts published between 8:00pm and 7:00am than those published between 8:00am and 7:00pm, and 14.5% higher for posts published on Saturday and Sunday than those posted on weekdays. http://www.thebackuplist.com/days-post-facebook-industry/
  • LinkedIn users are the most likely social media users to have a college education. 71% of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 50% of Twitter users, 41% of Facebook users and 37% of the general population. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • Almost half of all social media users (47%) have shared a YouTube video within the last month. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • Social media users are more likely than the average person to use daily deal services such as Groupon. 23% of them do so, as opposed to 14% of the general population. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • Social media users were more than twice as likely to follow brands or companies on their favorite sites in 2012 as they were just two years earlier. 16% did so in 2010, and 33% did so in 2012. http://socialhabit.com/secure/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Social-Habit-2012-by-Edison-Research.pdf
  • While 33% of users claim that they find ads on social networking sites annoying, 26% say that they are more likely to pay attention to an ad that was shared by a friend or acquaintance. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/

In a world where social media is quickly becoming ubiquitous, it’s crucial for marketers to stay ahead of the curve. Remember more people have mobile access than people have PCs and laptops, so if you are not mobile responsive then you are blowing money down the tube.

By understanding who uses social media and how they use it, you can tailor your marketing efforts to better reach your audience.



Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007. She's been internationally recognised as a top content marketer, Forbes and MSN list her websites as top ones, and she's the author of many quick start marketing guides. You can find her books on Amazon.

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