Statistics are not the top favourite part of a marketer’s job, but they are essential for doing their job. We like to share stories, to create content and to enjoy engagement with social media followers, but at the end of the day we need to know if there was something to gain from all these. And this is where statistics step into the social media marketing game, telling us how well we performed today compared with yesterday, or to our competitors.
What is more valuable about statistics is that they offer us clues and guidelines to develop sound and effective marketing strategies. Without reading, interpreting and using statistics correctly, your marketing strategy may be barking up the wrong tree, to use a folk saying. So today we will focus on statistics. We will dissect the social media world and show you the relevant numbers showing the growth, stagnation or fall from grace of the most relevant social media networks, as well as the way users and businesses use them.
1. B2B vs. B2C on the Social Media
We decided to start with this statistic, because it will help you interpret the rest of the ones we will present in this article in light of the top social media platforms preferred by business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies.
For B2B businesses the top social media networks for attracting prospects are:
- LinkedIn – 40%
- Facebook™ – 37%
- Twitter – 15%
No real surprises here, because LinkedIn is a professional social network, it is a place where businesses and professionals meet, share expertise, attract talent and find corporate customers. However, Facebook™ is right behind LinkedIn – at its heel, so to say – once again proving that no matter what type of business you are running, you cannot ignore Facebook™.
B2C businesses also offer no surprises in terms of their social media networks of choice:
- Facebook™ – 66%
- Twitter – 11%
- LinkedIn – 7%
Looking at these two statistics, we clearly see where most marketing managers spend their social media budgets and, again, there are no surprises since Facebook™, Twitter and LinkedIn are all mature social networks which offer marketers a wide range of tools and options for creating and sharing ads on their platforms.
2. The Users and Social Media Interactions
Currently, our planet has a population of 7.395 billion people, out of which:
- 46% (3.4 billion) have internet access and
- 31% (2.3 billion) are active on the social media
This is a huge potential marketplace at your fingertips if you know how to attract and engage the right people. And people are quite willing to interact with brands, not just with their friends and with celebrities. In fact, a study conducted by MarketingSherpa found out that 95% of the respondents aged 18 to 34 are very likely to follow their favourite brands on the social media.
At the same time, privacy concerns are on the rise, and these are translated into an increased use of “private” social media networks such as WhatsApp and Facebook™ Messenger, combined with an increased number of private accounts on Twitter. These trends should represent a guideline for all marketers and business owners who engage with their customers on the social media, in the sense of creating and enacting policies that guarantee the privacy of their followers.
In terms of social media usage, the numbers are indeed impressive:
- Facebook™: 1.65 billion monthly active users
- YouTube: over 1 billion users
- Instagram: 400 million monthly active users and the highest engagement rate per follower: 2.3%
- Twitter: 310 million monthly active users
- Snapchat: 100 million monthly users and counting, currently being the fastest growing social media platform
3. Brands on the Social Media
There are over 500 million business pages on Facebook™ and around 2 million advertisers which actively market their products through Facebook™ offers and ads. Last year, Facebook™ ads and promoted content influenced 52% of consumers to make a purchase, both online and offline: a significant growth from 36% in 2014.
Although Twitter experienced a decline in use by marketers – 61% in 2016 compared to 66% in 2015) – it still boasts 130,000 advertisers. It is also the social media platform, indicated by 42% of users, where consumers find out about new products, while 19% of users prefer to use Twitter for customer support, addressing their questions directly to the brand pages.
Instagram has several strong points for marketers:
- 68% of users engage with brands regularly
- Users click on Instagram ads 2.5 more times on average than on other social media platforms
- Users remember Instagram ads 2.8 times above the Nielsen norm for online advertising
- 75% of users state that they followed through with an Instagram call to action
As a conclusion, social media remains the strongest, most active and profitable online marketplace for businesses, and it will continue to grow and generate more revenues for large and small businesses alike.