By Lindsey Weintraub Social Media Strategist | September 10,2013
Social Media is still relatively new, but each year the analytics give us increased insight into the powerful results gained by those who use it well. The most important part of this is those who use Social Media well. Many people are quick to say Social Media is dead, or that it’s a fad, it doesn’t work for their particular business, or that it’s something that’s only popular among young people. The numbers, however, tell a different story. Why is that?
Social Media was initially viewed as a zero cost investment, as a free ride to company success, and as a cure-all formula. It was just so exciting! If you’re a smart buyer, you’re skeptical of anything free, and anything that solves all your problems magically. This is a good thing. The biggest problem with Social Media today is the legions of companies and individuals who view it as some kind of short cut to success. There are no shortcuts to a successful business. Social Media requires the same attention, planning, thought, and dedication as any other marketing channel. While it does provide the opportunity to yield significantly more return than other channels, there’s nothing about it that’s free. It’s just more efficient. But efficiency still requires strategy, planning, and discipline.
That doesn’t mean it’s not powerful and shouldn’t be used. Social Media is part of inbound marketing. It’s the future of successful business. Gone are the days of paid attention and shout it out loud (and louder) “disruptive” marketing. Businesses will need to evolve to today’s consumers and the new buying process. Social Media is just one tool within the new buying process. Businesses who don’t evolve to an Inbound strategy will eventually be beat out by other businesses who are willing to cater to today’s consumer. This is just a matter of capitalism and competitive advantage. No company can hold an advantage so great that it will surmount other company’s offerings forever – especially the companies that have shifted their focus to inbound marketing.
If you’re still not onboard, these Social Media stats will prove that it can yield great results when executed properly. So next time you try to justify that Social Media isn’t worth your time or isn’t the right tool for accomplishing business objectives, revisit this list. The opportunities for marketers who execute sound strategies provide a much better ROI than traditional media. Why should you jump on Social Media now, and not “later,” “when the time is right,” or “when everyone does it”?
Social Media adoption is already widespread amongst almost every company who’s in it to win it. There’s no first mover advantage or even second mover advantage. There’s also no lagger advantage anymore. If you’re joining now, you’re after the laggers.
You need a Social Media strategy before find yourself at a distinct disadvantage. It won’t be long until capitalism exercises its grip on companies who refuse to evolve. Be warned: capitalism is not sympathetic to whatever woes you currently use to justify your absence on Social Media. It acts swiftly and logically. If you refuse to adapt to today’s business environment, capitalism will find you and force you to decide: do you want to stay in business, or are you stubborn enough to dissolve?
On a lighter note, you can avoid the wicked witch of the marketplace by moving past your stubbornness and becoming more open to change. The choice is, after all, up to you. It always has been. You just have less and less time to decide
These 100 Social Media Stats that Will Prove You Should Have a Social Strategy:
LEAD GENERATION AND CONVERSION
What marketer can genuinely tell me they’re not concerned about lead generation and conversion? If this is you, please take the time to kindly email me and let me know where your money tree is. Otherwise, if you are like the rest of us, you can’t say no to leads and sales. If you try to argue that your process of generating leads or converting sales is more efficient or more effective, than you are disillusioned. Can you really beat these numbers?
1. Social Media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Source: HubSpot)
2. Social Media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. (Source: HubSpot)
3. 74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies. (Source: HubSpot)
4. 49% of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants. (Source: Mashable)
5. Social Media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (Source: HubSpot)
6. On average, prospects receive 10 marketing touches through the course of a successful buyer’s journey (one that ends in “closed-won”). (Source: Aberdeen Group)
7. Companies see 55% increase in leads from increasing pages from 10 to 15. (Source: Optimind)
8. Using videos on landing pages increases conversions by 86%. (Source: Optimind)
9. 81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
10. Content marketing distribution leads to a 2,000% increase in blog traffic and a 40% increase in revenue. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
SOCIAL INFLUENCE ON PURCHASING DECISIONS
If you’re planning on attempting to intersect the buying process at some point in the consumer’s decision-making cycle, you should really know how influential social is. You just can’t compete with the the authenticity of social recommendations. I’m pretty much obliged to tell you that you’re basically going in as a lightweight against a sumo wrestler if you’re not leveraging social.
11. 81% of US respondents indicated that friends’ Social Media posts directly influenced their purchase decision. (Source: Forbes)
12. 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends and family, but only 32% trust information on brand websites (and even fewer trust ads). (Source: Forrester Research)
13. 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews and 9% trust text messages from brands. (Source: Forrester Research)
14. 15,100,000 consumers go to Social Media channels before making purchase decisions. (Source: Knowledge Networks)
15. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on Social Media referrals. (Source: HubSpot)
16. Social networks influence nearly 50% of all IT decision makers. (Source: LinkedIn)
17. Moms are 45% more likely than other women to say they made a purchase from a recommendation on social. (Source: MarketingProfs)
18. Twitter is the #1 online channel for influencing purchasing decisions surrounding electronics. (Source: Mashable)
19. Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines. (Source: Optimind)
20. Facebook is the #1 online channel for influencing the purchase of baby products. (Source: Mashable)
For everyone who thinks Social Media doesn’t have any impact on spending, be ready to be proven wrong.
21. Out of 53% of consumers who said they use Twitter to recommend companies or products in their Tweets, 48% bought that product or service. (Source: SproutSocial)
22. Shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also spend 10% more on average. (Source: Wayfair)
23. Pinterest referrals spend 70% more than visitors referred from non-social channels, including search, according to industry reports. (Source: Wayfair)
24. Social commerce sales are expected to bring in $30 billion each year by 2015, with half of web sales to occur through Social Media. (Source: Mashable)
25. Sephora’s Pinterest followers spend 15 times more than its Facebook fans. (Source: Venture Beat)
It’s one thing to put up a billboard talking about how great your hamburger tastes or how companies should use your insurance services and then hope that it returns results. Yes, you, haters of Social Media who hide behind the guise that Social Media can’t be measured. It can be measured. It’s just a matter of having clear-cut objectives in the beginning and then measuring the right numbers. There’s nothing more proven then hard numbers showing sales and increased customers.
26. Blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. (Source: HubSpot)
27. 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. (Source: HubSpot)
28. 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired a customer through Facebook. (Source: HubSpot)
29. 50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter. (Source: HubSpot)
If you have a website (which you darn well should if you have any intention of staying in business), you should want to attract people to it. While advertising a coupon for free beer to woo visitors to your site may be very effective initially, it’s not a very solid long-term strategy, and you may need to address a significant number of angry customers. Since you’re probably not going to be offering free beer, you should start figuring out your Social Media Strategy now.
30. Companies that generate more than 1,000 Facebook Likes also receive nearly 1,400 website visits a day. (Source: HubSpot)
31. Companies that blog 15% or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog. (Source: Optimind)
You might be saying to yourself, “I have video and I don’t need Social Media!” This might be true. However, it is downright silly (yes, SILLY) to be using video without maximizing its impact and reach using social channels. Yes, video works. Why confine it to a small audience when social gives you a much broader audience? Also, video is not useful unless it’s leveraged on a platform like YouTube, in which case you’re using Social Media.
32. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18 to 34 than any cable network. (Source: jeffbullas.com)
33. 700 YouTube video links are shared on Twitter every minute. (Source: Relevancy Group)
34. The equivalent of 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube each minute. (Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)
35. Video keeps prospect customers on site up to 2 minutes longer. (Source: Optimind)
36. Videos get 267% more links than normal posts. (Source: Optimind)
37. Viewers retain 58% of what they see but only 10% of what they read. (Source: Optimind)
38. Websites with videos are 50 times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page. (Source: Optimind)
39. A consumer who views a product video is up to 144% more likely to add that product to his cart than a consumer who watches no video. (Source: Optimind)
Is using Social Media advertising the opposite of inbound? No, not really. The key is to use very targeted ads and to provide something of value instead of just proclaim that your company is good. Let’s be honest, we’re all perfectly aware of how easy it is to tell people your company is amazing online. That’s why we’re over it. You’re going to have to do more. The advantage of Social Media advertising is that at least it’s targeted and you can be very specific with tailored messages.
40. Facebook will account for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013. (Source: L2)
41. Social Media advertising spending will increase to $8.3 billion by 2015. (Source: Direct Marketing News)
42. Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (Source: Web Analytics World)
43. Facebook is expected to see its share of global mobile internet ad revenues reach 15.8% this year, up from just 5.35% in 2012, which was the first year that Facebook had any mobile ad offerings. (Source: eMarketer)
Sharing means that you’re getting more brand awareness. This is a good thing.
44. Facebook users share 2.5 billion pieces of content on the site each day. (Source: Nielsen)
45. Google’s +1 button is used 5 million times a day. (Source: Huffington Post)
46. There are 2.7 billion “likes” per day. (Source: Digital Trends)
47. 42% of users update their LinkedIn profile information regularly. (Source: SocialTimes)
48. There are 3,480 photos uploaded to Instagram every minute. (Source: Digital Trends)
You used to have to physically travel in person and dress up / make yourself presentable / get out of your PJs to get some solid networking in. Now you can do it from your couch while watching soaps and in your PJs. What has not changed? You still have to be you. You still have to be honest. You still have to be authentic, and you still have to provide something of value, and not just repeat what everyone else is saying. Oh, and if you try to spam the sh** out of LinkedIn Groups, you will be banished.
49. 61% of Social Media users primarily use LinkedIn for professional networking. (Source: Lab42)
50. There are more than 2.1 million LinkedIn groups. (Source: LinkedIn)
Don’t say that you’re a B2B company and Social Media isn’t for you. That’s just simply not true. Don’t try to argue; the stats will
put you to shame.
51. 69% of online business-to-consumer marketers use Twitter, compared to 80% for business-to-business. (Source: Brafton)
52. 51% of online business-to-consumer marketers use LinkedIn, compared to 83% for business-to-business. (Source: Brafton)
53. 41% of online business-to-consumer marketers use Google+, compared to 39% for business-to-business. (Source: Brafton)
Customer service in both the offline and online realm is growing in importance. Why? Anybody can sell sweatshop sneakers online at a price cut. What makes some shoe sellers different? They actually care about you and whether or not you get your shoes.
After a while, people get tired of dealing with businesses that short change them and don’t care about whether or not Joe Schmoe’s shoes ever got delivered. It’s just easier and better to deal with companies who actually care. Despite the numbers that show that there are huge returns for companies who can deliver on customer service, companies still struggle to fulfill this. Social Media is one of the most efficient, economical, effective ways to listen to your customers and provide customer service. You can send out one tweet and let masses of people know you’re really sorry, but the server is down. How else were you planning ondoing that before Social Media? Respond to every individual caller complaining? Send a mass email and notify people who weren’t even aware of the problem in the first place? HA! People really appreciate it, and it just plain makes sense.
54. 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour. (Source: American Express OPEN Forum)
55. Almost half of online customers expect brands to provide customer service on Facebook, but only 23% provide it. (Source: Buffer App)
56. 32% of Top Brands have dedicated customer service accounts on Twitter. (Source: Simply Measured)
57. 71% of consumers expect assistance within five minutes of entering a website. (Source: LivePerson)
58. 13% of Interbrand customer service accounts send 50+ tweets per day. (Source: Simply Measured)
59. 20% of customer service tweets direct users to an online resource. (Source: Simply Measured)
60. The average customer service response time on Twitter is 4.6 hours. (Source: Simply Measured)
61. The top Twitter customer service response rate is @NikeSupport at 73%. (Source: Simply Measured)
In case you’re still incredulous about the number of people / companies who have adopted Social Media, I’m here to tell you: if you ignore social channels you are in the minority. Now it may be cool, defiant, or even “hipster” to be in the minority if you’re making art or trying to differentiate yourself from the herds of sheep in high school. But if you’re in business, you should know that there’s no economic value in being the “only one” who refuses to get onboard with modern business technologies. There’s also no artistic benefit to being the black sheep. How many people do you work with in business that still send all communications via written letter? Yeah, that’s what I thought. It doesn’t matter how pretty that stationery is, you had to do away with it.
62. As of May 2013, 72% of online adults use social networking sites, and 18% use Twitter. (Source: Pew Research Center)
63. Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. (Source: ComScore)
64. 84% of B2B marketers use Social Media in some form. (Source: Aberdeen)
65. Women spend 30% more time on social networking sites than men. (Source: ComScore)
66. 70% of brands have presences on Google+, up 4% from Q4 2012. (Source: Simply Measured)
67. Google+ boasts more than 343 million users as of July 2013. (Source: Expanded Ramblings)
68. 90% of US online specialty retailers use Pinterest, up from 81% in 2012. (Source: L2)
69. Over half of all companies – and 70% of Leader companies – surveyed indicate that nurture-based marketing is a top pressure driving their adoption of content marketing. (Source: Aberdeen)
70. 83.8% of luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. (Source: L2)
71. 69% of brands have presences on Pinterest, up 10% from Q4 2012. (Source: Simply Measured)
72. More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (Source: Uberly)
73. The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%. (Source: HubSpot)
74. Digital marketing funding is too low, with budgets that averaged 2.5% of company revenue in 2012, growing 9% in 2013. (Source: Gartner)
75. Nearly half of employees report social tools at work increases productivity. (Source: Microsoft)
76. 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. (Source: HubSpot)
77. Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes. (Source: eMarketer)
78. 79% of brands say their organizations are shifting into branded content. (Source: Aberdeen)
79. The majority of marketers (59%) are using Social Media for 6 hours or more each week. (Source: Social Media Examiner)
For all of you who think that Social Media is for only the young or technologically advanced, think again. Also, this is for those of you who scoff and say that there are no doctors on Social Media or something of the sort. There are so many people on Social Media that it’s very unlikely that you will find a demographic that you can’t reach:
80. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55 to 64 age bracket (Source: jeffbullas.com)
81. In May 2013, 74% of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62% of men. (Source: Pew Research Center)
83. Moms are 16% more likely than other women to visit Facebook daily (85% vs. 73%). (Source: Performics)
84. LinkedIn vehicle owners are 105 percent more likely to have a household income of more than $100K, 136 percent more likely to hold a bachelor’s or post-grad degree, and 71 percent more likely to obtain vehicle information online. (Source: LinkedIn)
85. LinkedIn members are more than twice as likely to be in the market for a vehicle than the general US population – with 35% saying they are in the market to buy within the next 12 months, vs. only 15% of the general adult population. (Source: LinkedIn)
86. 88% of IT decision makers visit a social network at least monthly. (Source: LinkedIn)
87. 85% of IT decision makers use at least one social network for business purposes. (Source: LinkedIn)
88. 73% of IT decision makers have engaged with a vendor on a social network. (Source: LinkedIn)
89. 7 in 10 Financial Advisors are already using social networks for business purposes. (Source: LinkedIn)
90. 9 in 10 Financial Advisors who use social networks for business turn to LinkedIn. (Source: LinkedIn)
92. Men are twice as likely as women to be Reddit users. (Source: Pew Research Center)
93. Teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011. (Source: Pew Research Center)
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE
Finally, if you’re not mobile, you practically don’t exist. At least, you won’t exist very soon. Stop resisting: everyone is going mobile and you need to be ready.
94. 189 million of Facebook’s users are “mobile only.” (Source: jeffbullas.com)
95. Fully 40% of cell phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28% do so on a typical day. (Source: Pew Research Center)
96. 12% of users have looked for deals on Social Media using their smartphones. (Source: AllTwitter)
97. Facebook posted a 67% year-over-year mobile growth rate. (Source: AllFacebook)
98. Worldwide PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments will grow by 5.9 percent in 2013, while tablet shipments will increase by 67.9 percent. (Source: Gartner)
99. Americans spend 58 minutes a day on their smartphones. (Source: Experian)
100. Consumers are more inclined by nearly 2-1 to share via a mobile device than their PC/desktop. (Source: ShareThis)
It’s easy to dismiss Social Media without the research to back it up. Now that you’re equipped with these stats, share this with your coworkers and use it to pitch Social Media to your boss.
This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly ser