In 2014, social media marketing became less of a question of “should we?” and more of a question of “where and how?” Social media posts can help your website’s SEO, further your relationship with your customers, and drastically impact the visibility of your corporate blog, but it’s clearly not worth your investment of time or money to maintain a presence across every network.
Where is your target audience? What best fits your business’s voice and style? What best fits your level of commitment? What outlet will return real, measurable results? These are some of the many questions that companies ask every day, and as the year comes to a close, we wanted to provide a “State of the Union Social Media” examination.
In 2014, 74% of online adults in the U.S. used social networking sites. That’s a pretty darn big piece of the population. But you already knew that.
- Facebook has 864 million daily active users on average (Facebook “Company Info,” September 2014).
- In 2014, 84% of American 18-29 year olds are on Facebook. This compares to 79% of 30-49 year olds, 60% of 50-64 year olds, and 45% of Americans aged 65+ (Business Insider, November 2014).
- 30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page (Jeff Bullas, July 29, 2014).
- One million web pages are accessed using the “Login with Facebook” feature (Jeff Bullas, January 17, 2014).
- Posts posted between 1 and 4pm have the highest average click-through rate (Fast Company, 2014).
- Posts with an image generate 53% more likes and 104% more comments (Fast Company, 2014).
- The biggest marketing talk of the year was how Facebook was losing young users who wanted to be in a different social media space than their parents and grandparents. It’s true, but it’s not quite time to give up on the giant.
- That being said, Facebook is evolving how it treats business page posts, with new rules releasing in January 2015 that are shifting focus toward paid boosts and ads. Keep an eye on these changes as they develop.
- Twitter has 284 million monthly active users, with 500 million Tweets sent every day (Twitter “About,” November 2014).
The 18-29 year old demographic is the largest on Twitter, making up 35% of users, with users 30-49 next in line, making up 20% (Pew Research Group, 2014).
- 81% of Millennial Twitter users check in at least once a day, with 15% of this population checking in more than ten times a day (Twitter blog, July 2014)
- 97% of the U.S.’s top brands have a presence on Twitter (Digital Information World, 2014).
- 67% of Twitter followers have claimed that they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Twitter (Digital Information World, 2014).
- The peak hours for Twitter user activity are between 9am and 3pm, Mondays through Thursdays. Between 1 and 3pm is noted as the “best time to post” (Fast Company, 2014).
- Tweets with images result in a 36% increase in clicks and a 41% increase in retweets (Fast Company, 2014).
- 80% of active users on Twitter are on mobile (Twitter “About,” November 2014).
- Some of the biggest Twitter news of the year is about Vine’s challenge by Instagram video. Will one finally crush the other? Stay tuned to find out in 2015.
- One-fifth of U.S. adults use Pinterest (Buffer Social, 2014).
- Pinterest users are 80% female (RJMetrics, 2014).
- 27% of Generation Z, 27% of Millennials, 19% of Generation X, and 14% of Baby Boomers visit Pinterest at least monthly (Marketing Pilgrim, 2014).
- The most popular pin subjects are “Food and Drink” (20% of pins), “DIY & Crafts” (12% of pins), and “Home Décor” (12% of pins) (RJMetrics, 2014).
- Data suggests the best time to post to Pinterest is on Saturday mornings (Fast Company, 2014).
- 55% of users have engaged with content pinned by brands and retailers (Fast Company, 2014).
- Customers spend more money from a Pinterest referral than from any other social network (Yoast, 2014).
- In 2014, Pinterest continues to revolutionize the social relationship between retailer and customer. There’s tremendous power in Rich Pins. If you’re in ecommerce, this network can’t be ignored.
- There are more than 332 million LinkedIn members worldwide, 107 million of which are in the U.S. (LinkedIn Press Page, 2014).
- 56% of LinkedIn users are male (LinkedIn Blog, April 2014).
- 90% of LinkedIn users make household decisions (Social Times, 2014).
- Users are twice as likely to trust product/service information coming from LinkedIn compared to other social networks (Social Times, 2014).
- The best time to post to LinkedIn is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays—ideally around lunchtime (noon) or directly following work (5 – 6pm) (Fast Company, 2014).
- 41% of visits are from a mobile device (TechCrunch, 2014).
- Businesses sometimes ignore LinkedIn, thinking this network exists for more personal networking than B2B or B2C relationships. Don’t underestimate the possibilities here.
- There are now over 1 billion users with Google+ enabled accounts (Jeff Bullas, January 2014).
- 22% of online adults in the U.S. visit Google+ at least monthly—specifically, 29% of Generation Z, 28% of Millennials, 23% of Generation X, and 16-19% of Baby Boomers (Marketing Pilgrim, 2014).
- Two-thirds of Google+ users are male (Digital Buzz Blog, 2014).
- The peak time for Google+ traffic is between 9 – 10am (Fast Company, 2014).
- In 2014, Google+’s fastest growing demographic is 45-54 year olds (Fast Company, 2014).
- Many businesses overlook the power of posting to Google+ communities. Rather than making a public post on your page, which may or may not have a large audience, posting on a targeted community page connects you with a pre-defined audience interested in your specific subject-matter.
- It could be argued that Google+’s numbers are driven by its natural integration with services like gmail or google local search. Some argue its popularity is skewed since not all visitors go to Google+ intentionally.
- With a massive personnel shift in 2014, the future shape of Google+ is still largely unknown.
Maybe your business has been thinking about initiating or increasing your social media presence in 2015. Maybe you’ve already gone all-in. No matter where you are in your social networking journey, an updated review of industry statistics can give you a fresh view of your plan and where the digital world seems to be going.
Whether you’re doing it in-house or contracting out your social media efforts, make sure you have the right plan for 2015. You don’t have to tackle it all, but finding the right approach can make all the difference.
Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net