Everyone has heard the phrase “Social Media”. Recent statistics shows that 58% of the world’s population utilizes some form of social media. The average American spends at least 7.6 hours on social media a month. We all know the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. But knowing what each of these does, takes a little research. Each social media site has its own strengths and weaknesses.
People who frequent Twitter do so at different hours and for different reasons than those who utilize Pinterest or Google+ on a regular basis. While each of them can be categorized under the broad umbrella of “Social Media”, they must be studied separately when being utilized to promote yourself or your business. Each website functions uniquely and, as such, will have a different audience. Therefore, you have to know your social media sites in order to best decide where your time will be most efficiently spent. Here is a look at some statistics for the top six social media websites.
A recent statistic showed that 1.4 billion people worldwide are on Facebook. Out of the 58% of the world’s population that uses social media of some kind, that’s 56%! As would be expected, Facebook is the most popular social media mobile app. That means it’s what people are doing when they’re supposed to be doing something else.
Facebook is the background to many people’s days. More than 22% of American Facebook users get on the app or site more than once a day. Facebook is also one of the most gender-neutral of social media websites. This makes it a great platform for marketing a product that will appeal to both men and women. In the last few years, Facebook’s influence on people’s purchasing choices has had a huge upswing.
With the way that websites are interconnected with social media, you can purchase something on Amazon and instantly share that purchase and your feedback on it directly to your Facebook wall. Recent studies show that seeing an item referred through social media makes a person 71% more likely to purchase that item.
It’s no wonder then that every major company has made social media a big focus. Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Dr. Pepper, Coca Cola, and many more all have upwards of a million fans that are liking and sharing their posts on a daily basis. Given these staggering numbers and Facebook’s interactive layout, it’s no wonder that it remains the most influential form of social media to date.
With over 190 million tweets being posted every day, it’s safe to say that Twitter has become a popular platform for social media interaction. Actors and musical artists post about their day, companies run competitions through it, and yet your average person can still post about what they’re up to or share their most recent YouTube find. In the past few years alone, the percentage of interactive Twitter users has greatly increased.
For a while, a large percentage was made up of observers: individuals who had Twitter accounts simply to keep updated on their favorite bands or celebrities. However, based on a 2012 poll, the number of interactive, regularly posting members has jumped to over 76%. Twitter has also gained the reputation for being the number 1 social media site for referrals on electronics. Given Twitter’s short message format of communication (140 characters or less), it is a great platform for conveying information in a concise manner.
It appeals to people who want updates from several different sources without having to scroll through a feed of photos and shared articles to get it. Twitter has the appeal of a blog, without all the wordiness and time consuming length. Twitter also doesn’t have the filtering system that Facebook utilizes. That means that every follower of your account will see every post you make. It’s much less hit or miss, making it ideal for reliable advertising.
While not as well known as Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn still has more than 225 million members. LinkedIn is a social media platform for those wishing to make professional connections. It offers a directory of companies and the professional individuals associated with them. Businesses can use LinkedIn to search for qualified employees and, likewise, individuals can use LinkedIn to research companies and search for available jobs within their chosen field.
Every Fortune 500 Company has executives on the website. LinkedIn is also a great way to control what potential employers can see about you. It gives you an opportunity to shape a profile that highlights your professional strengths without the mess and distraction of personal information that can often be the case on Facebook. LinkedIn helps keep your professional and personal lives separate. Businesses seeking to find qualified help would benefit from a LinkedIn profile.
In a world of short attention spans, visually based marketing can be very beneficial. Pinterest provides a visually driven, online network of pin boards where individuals and businesses can share images through categorized “boards”. It’s a wonderful way to keep track of things. It can function as a kind of memory for the user.
If you see a recipe you like or an article you want to read, simply pin it to the appropriate board and it will be there waiting when you actually have the time to look it over. With over 70 million users and over 500,000 businesses with accounts, Pinterest is quickly becoming a marketing platform with lots of potential.
Over 80% of its users are female, making it a great place to promote creative businesses that appeal to women. Fashion, food, gifts, “life-hacks” blogs, art, and photography are all enormously popular on the website. Given that Pinterest is designed to save images and links for later, the website lends itself well to busy people who want to remember something but don’t have the time to write it down or file it somewhere. Pinterest keeps their links in one place, making it easy to access later on when the time permits.
In case you’re not familiar with Google+, it is Google’s social media platform. The most basic way that Google+ is different than Facebook, is that it lends itself to keeping your friends, acquaintances, work associates, teachers, etc. in their correct “circles”. This allows you to easily share things with only a select group of people rather than everyone you’ve ever met. The other real benefit of Google+ is that it integrates with you gmail account and Google searches.
With over 2 billion searches being done through Google each day, it’s no wonder that incorporating a social media platform was Google’s next step. When you share things through Google+, your friends have the ability to give those shares a “+1”, which is the Google+ equivalent of a Facebook “like”. The benefit however is that the more “+1” ratings you get, the more positively it effects how the information you’re sharing is favored in Google search.
So, let’s say you’re sharing your business’s website with people in your “circle” and they all give it a “+1”. Well, your SEO favorability in Google search just improved. “The larger your Google+ network, the more directly or indirectly you influence the search results of the people who have you in their circles.” So you can begin to see how a Google+ account, while at first seeming redundant, can actually provide a unique set of benefits if used for marketing and business promotion.
While it’s only a little over 3 years old, Instagram already has 150 million unique users, producing over 1 billion “likes” each day. 13% of all internet users use Instagram. It’s a visual platform that is quickly growing in significance when it comes to marketing your business. Instagram has features that allows for a large number of followers.
With Instagram’s hashtag-focused interface, it’s easy for users to search for certain topics and find other Instagram users or businesses with similar interests. With the ability to hashtag, Instagram makes promotional giveaways and contests easy to organize. It’s also a great way to advertise sales and promotional codes to keep traffic coming to your website. Instagram is a sharing community, with people helping promote each other and their favorite businesses regularly, making it a wonderful platform for marketing and self-promotion.