The Skinny on Social
Ahhh – statistics. Love them or hate them but one thing is certain…small business owners need data to make those hard decision on how to best spend their hard-earned marketing dollars. Fortunately, as a social media marketing firm, one thing we have plenty of is information and education so today, we’re going to take a bit of time to spell out the skinny on social media marketing with all the stat’s you need to know and how each is likely to impact your bottom line.
Demographics – Variation among social media users is contingent upon the specific site, location and other parameters. For example, Pinterest is primarily used by women whereas LinkedIn has a larger than average number of business concerns. However, there are some general trends worth mentioning For example, women tend to be slightly more active in social media than men…55% versus 45%. However, this is actually a slighter gap than that experienced among “real world” shoppers where women tend to make up an even greater percentage of key decision-makers. This demonstrates an important concept when it comes to understanding demographics and social media marketing…it’s helpful to know the statistics associated with other options as well. For instance, 57% of Internet users talk to people MORE online than they do in regular “real life”.
Facebook – Without a doubt, Facebook is the cornerstone of every social media marketing campaign and with good reason…it’s huge. There is almost no way to overestimate the importance of Facebook in your overall social media marketing strategy. With over 800 million active users and growing, Facebook is the most visited website – EVER. In fact, 11% of the population of the entire world has a Facebook account with more users than cars! Nearly half of those users log in on a daily basis – many before ever getting out of bed in the morning – and share information with dozens of friends on an almost continuous basis.
Of course, that only tells half the story. What began as a social site has rapidly become a major business strategy. To date, FritoLay holds the current record for number of new likes in a 24 hour period with an astounding 1,575,161 new “likes” officially recorded on April 11, 2011. Impressive by any stretch of the imagination! Despite the obvious implications for business, research shows that up to 95 percent of wall posts are ignored by business owners even though nearly 60% of consumers list this as an important mode of communication including likelihood of referring to friends.
Mobile – It’s hard to talk about mobile marketing without mentioning the importance of Facebook since that one site along now accounts for an estimated 10% of all iPhone data. How big is mobile marketing going to be? No firm answers are available aside from “very big”. Consider this – more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush worldwide and of all the current mobile phones in existence today, just over 1/3 are smart phones. Mobile internet access is expected to surpass that of the desktop by 2014…two short years from today. We know from experience that smart phone users are more active than traditional mobile users but what many may not realize is exactly how active. Over 200 million people access Facebook via mobile device and over 90% of all mobile Internet usage is directly related to social media. In fact, users are so “connected” that 60% admitted to taking a mobile device to the restroom!
QR Codes – Because they are often accessed via mobile devices, QR codes have increased in popularity growing 4,589% between 2010 and 2011. Just over half of all QR codes are currently associated with product packaging but are rapidly making inroads among small business seminars, trade shows and other uses. Most users hope to gain discounts from their QR codes and the big boys of business have taken note; nearly 1/4 of Fortune 50 corporations intend to incorporate QR codes into their marketing strategy during the next year.
Twitter – Considered the second largest social media site in existence today, Twitter has over 225,000,000 users with 100 million active users logging in at least once per month and 50 million accessing the site daily. On any given day, nearly 200,000,000 tweets are sent with the record of 25,088 tweets per second associated with the Castle in the Sky broadcast in Japan. The average Twitter user has over 115 followers but it should be noted, nearly 40% don’t tweet at all…they just use it to keep up with information. Over half (55%) access Twitter via mobile. Business use of Twitter has found that 34% generated leads using Twitter, 20% have closed a deal via Twitter and Tweets that use verbs are shared more than those without.
If all this sounds great but you aren’t really sure how to get started then it’s time to contact a professional social media marketing agency. Be specific about your needs and goals, ask about different methods designed to suit the needs of your small business; from automation to outsourcing the entire strategy, chances are there is a perfect package designed with your sized business in mind. In prior articles we’ve covered the complete checklist to help select the right social media marketing firm but there are a few pointers to keep in mind including:
1. Personality – Do business with people you can trust. Check their prior track record of success and other business affiliations. Every small business owner understands that success breeds success…it’s true of social media marketing too!
2. Approachability – A legitimate social media marketing company should practice what they preach and provide multiple, easy points of access.
3. Scalability – The ability for a social media marketing company to grow with your business is vital to long term success. While it may be possible to find a highly talented social media consultant, be sure they have access to a team capable of helping your company take it to the next level.