An infographic published by Search Engine Journal a couple of months ago perfectly illustrates the rapid growth of the major social media networks and the industry in general. Although these networks keep tabs on total registered users, it’s the amount monthly active users that appeal most to marketing professionals. As of November 2013, the breakdown was the following in terms of monthly active users (note that some sites such as LinkedIn or Tumblr were not included in the infographic):
- Facebook: 1.15 Billion.
- Google+: 359 Million.
- Twitter: 215 Million.
- Instagram: 150 Million.
- Pinterest: 20 Million
- Reddit: 2 Million.
When it comes to planning strategic plans of action, business and marketing professionals alike generally love social media, as represented by the following major statistics:
- 93% of marketing professional leverage social media marketing for their respective businesses. The actual implementation will differ, however. For example, a business selling enterprise software may focus efforts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging platforms for lead generation, whereas an ecommerce brand will focus on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to cement brand loyalty and drive sales.
- Although there are split opinions regarding the potential of Google+, 70% of brands have established a presence on the burgeoning social media platform.
- In terms of generating new business, Facebook has proven quite successful as 70% of brands stated that they have been able to acquire customers on the platform.
- Twitter, on the hand, has also proven to be quite useful as 34% of brands surveyed indicated that they have been able to generate leads by marketing on the micro-blogging site.
- While many of the sites mentioned in this article are highly popular among business professionals, sites such as Stumbleupon, Tumblr, and Flickr were tabbed are the least favourite choices for social media marketing.
2014 should be an interesting year for the industry, especially as sites such as Pinterest and Instagram start to roll out advertising, while others such as LinkedIn and Twitter continue to focus on improving the overall user experience by testing new features and site designs….and then there’s Facebook, which continues to dominate headlines (eg: Facebook just purchased WhatsApp for $19 Billion!).
To see some of the other major trends in the industry, I’ve embedded the infographic below.