Important Social Media Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2014

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There was a tipping point last year that has major implications for business and brands. It will impact publishing and marketing strategies and tactics in the future. One of the worlds biggest music stars ignored the traditional mass media product launching process. She bypassed the “normal” mass media release of a radio campaign, multiple TV appearances and retail and consumer brand promotions. Instead she announced it on Instagram to her 8 million followers with the word “Surprise” and proceeded to launch the 14 songs and accompanying 17 videos on iTunes. It was a success and it exceeded the album downloads of the previous album which had used the traditional marketing model. Its a trend that is not going away anytime soon. Build your own networks now! Businesses who are relentless in building a following on social media are in fact creating their own publishing platforms, growing their marketing channels and content distribution networks. It is a digital asset that grows every year. Over time it can can provide huge leverage and marketing independence if done right. So with that in mind let’s have a look at where the major social media networks are up to at the start of 2014. Social web demographics Social media is a blur of tweets, shares and content. No longer is it just used by the young and the restless. It is global and embedded in every corner of the web. So some questions. Which age groups are using social media, what countries are big Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare users and what percentage are using mobile to access social media? This is the who and the where of social media users. 72% of all internet users are now active on social media 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage The 30-49 bracket sits at 72% 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media Time spent on Facebook per hour spent online by country. Here are the top three. USA citizens get the top gong at 16% followed by the Aussies at 14 minutes and the Brits at 13 minutes. 71% of users access social media from a mobile device. The paradigm of social media only being used by the younger generation should be put to rest now. Facebook Facebook is still the biggest kid on the block, but there are some pundits predicting that by 2016 Google+ will surpass Facebook on “social sharing”. Here are some of the latest figures to mull over. There are now over 1.15 billion Facebook users One million web pages are accessed using the “Login with Facebook” feature 23 percent of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers Google+ Prying the numbers out of Google for Google+ has always been a challenge. A bit like getting a date with the prettiest girl in the class. Not impossible but it doesn’t happen very often. So what are the latest numbers? There are now over 1 billion with Google+ enabled accounts It has reached 359 million monthly active users Google+ is growing at 33% per annum. The 45 to 54 year old bracket increased its usage on Google+ by 56% since 2012 When you consider that Google+ has only been around for less than three years, then it is a success on many levels. So Google must be happy with with its investment, which is north of $500 million that it initially invested in Google+ Twitter Twitter has to be taken seriously. Last year it took off its short pants and become a public company. So what is happening in the Twittersphere? There are now over 550 million registered users 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 215 million monthly active users Twitter has also made some changes in the last few months that has made it more visual and engaging. Business should no longer be ignoring the 140 character pip squeak. The others We haven’t mentioned some important social media channels. These include. Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare and many others. This year expect the visual social media networks to hit more home runs. Keep an eye on these two: Pinterest with 20 million active monthly users Instagram with 150 million active monthly users. Here is an Infographic from Search Engine Journal that provides a visual medium for the social media facts and statistics you should know in 2014. Social Media Facts and statistics you need to know

Social Media Facts and statistics you need to know

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2014 Social Media Tricks, Tools & Trends

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2014 Social Media Tricks, Tools & Trends

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When it comes to covering the news, getting the visual word out, and capturing the ROI moment, social media proved itself as an influencer in paid, earned, owned, and even traditional media.

NBC’s “Today” show joined the social love club with a rebranding and reinventing this year unveiling the #orangeroom. Headed by celebrity host @CarsonDaily, the #orangeroom is a social newsroom within a traditional newsroom, it’s not only part of the physical set of the NBC morning talk show pimped out with everything from sliding high definition monitors with visual social slices of news, but it also increases the reach, power, and influence.

The Social Newsroom

As brands set the social media stage for 2014, social newsrooms are proving to be a critical tool that serve as the hub that merges traditional, digital, social and mobile news.

RebelMouse made significant strides this year and now offers small brands, domains, enterprises, and publishers a way to unleash content in a visual, social and mobile way. Founded by the former CTO of the Huffington Post Paul Berry, RebelMouse powers up a brand’s social newsrooms by curating, populating, and publishing real time news.

Brands as Publishers

The concept of brands acting as publishers becomes more of a survival tactic than a novelty in 2014. Content continues to be king, but the stakes are higher and the bar is raised for quality content.

Resources such as TekGroup and Pressfeed offer companies a content publishing solution to give brands a way to easily incorporate online newsrooms as part of a content strategy that hits all the 2014 marks of newsworthy, social, mobile, and visual.

Other bookmark and spin-worthy finds that blend the best of SEO, social media and public relations in 2014 include relationship and influence builder BuzzStream and Inkybee, a blogger outreach and relationship enhancing tool for communications and SEO pros, alike.

Fans Like Brands on Mobile

Home Court Advantage

No doubt, the mobile movement is here and it’s taking up permanent residence in the marketing department. That’s why brands like the Boston Celtics made it a priority to launch the first official mobile show by an NBA team called “Home Court Advantage”, giving fans mobile access to exclusive and unique content before each game.

More Social Media Tools and Platforms for 2014 from the Experts

Social Media ExpertsRebecca Murtagh, author of “Million Dollar Websites: Build a Better Website Using Best Practices of the Web Elite”, said Hootsuite is one of her favorite social media platforms heading into 2014. Why?

“It allows marketers to easily and collaboratively drive traffic from social networks back to owned media such as the company website or blog; a best practice in getting the ROI out of social,” Murtagh said.

TheSelfie by GabbaGoods is the trending new social media tool heading into 2014 for Sarah Evans Digital Media Correspondent and creator of #journchat the first TwitterChat. It doubles as an iPhone accessory and social media conversation piece this season. She put it to Social PR work as a visual, mobile, social way to promote a public relations media tour.

“#TheSelfie was the inspiration for my recent #NYCselfietour with my client’s team,” said Evans. It worked as a means to document the tour in a fun and interactive #selfie kind of way.

TheSelfie

Certainly one to watch in 2014 is Majestic SEO Search Explorer tool and backlink analysis toolset, according to Mel Carson, founder of Delightful Communications and co-author of “Pioneers of Digital”.

“I’m very proud to be their U.S. Ambassador and have helped them start getting into the digital PR space by showing how Majestic can be used for influencer discovery, building media lists and measuring the impact of PR campaigns,” Carson said.

If Kristi Kellogg, content associate with Bruce Clay Inc., had to choose the ultimate social media app heading into 2014, it would be Tweepi, a suite of Twitter account management tools that allow you to easily identify who’s following you. Other runners up include: TweetDeck as a dashboard; Pixlr for photo editing; Bitly for shortening URLs; and Klout for social authority measurement.

“I will continue to use all of these in 2014,” Kellogg said.

Considering all the stats pointing to video in 2014, Sarah Van Elzen, director of social media at Hanson Dodge Creative, said her 2014 social media must-have list includes any platform/app that showcases video (Vine, Instagram Video, or Snapchat video).

“Creating short, educational videos or brief, engaging videos requires creative talent and strategy,” Van Elzen said. These platforms tell stories better than a press release and encourage virality and sharing.

Facebook and CRM Connect!

Dennis Yu, BlitzMetrics CEO, likes Facebook’s custom audiences as we head into 2014.

“It is a good thing that CRM and social are finally able to talk to each other and in 2014 brand should be taking advantage of this powerhouse way to email marketing with social,” Yu said.

Social Media Plugin Favorites for 2014 Hit List

WpLeadMagnet.com is a favorite of Neil Patel co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics, because it lets you block your content and requires people to share it before they can read it.

Another favorite of Patel’s: Flare by Digital Telepathy “as it is pretty social sharing icons, unlike all of the ugly ones out there.”

Last but not least is Buffer, “because it helps you increase the chances that you’ll get more traffic from the social web,” he said.

Aaron Agius, general manager for Louder Online, agreed that wpleadmagnet.com is one of the top social sharing plugins for 2014 because “the content locker is a great way to seed the content out socially to a wide audience.”

Agius said he also loves Digg Digg (created by the Buffer team) because of the options available for the different social networks that content can be automatically shared to. He is also a big fan of Buffer, the scheduling options (being able to send messages out when your target audience is actually online and most active) and sheer number of social profiles you can connect through their app are simply awesome.

“The Buffer team is kicking massive goals online and it is for good reason. The app is amazing and used by some of the most famous Internet entrepreneurs, including Tim Ferriss,” Agius said.

When it comes getting the party started in the comments section of a blog, it’s Livefyre, said Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich.

“I don’t know why blogs use any other commenting platform. It is the best out there,” Dietrich said.

What’s OUT

Data is in, but it’s the right data that really matters! Low level reporting and insights are OUT. Social media plans and analytics that show business value are IN.

“Clients don’t want to see a ticker of how big their communities have grown; they need to understand the fundamental value that social media can bring,” said Van Elzen. “This means setting a baseline with clients upfront and developing strategies that speak to the company’s bottom line. It’s no longer just about having a presence with consistent posts and tweets.”

Another 2013 fizzle was the infamous “(not provided)”, the Google bomb that dropped the collective jaws of online marketers. Google taking away keyword and referral source data was the big fizzle, Yu said.

The Free Ride is Over, Social Paid is Here!

“Organic social media efforts are still in, but it looks as though social advertising will gain more traction as the ROI driver in 2014. In fact, reports recently came out that suggest it will be harder to succeed in Facebook unless you pay to play,” said Jessica Lee, founder of bizbuzzcontent.

“As Facebook continues to monetize its social platform, brands are going to have to decide if the paid model is worth the effort,” Lee said. “My guess is that Facebook is so engrained in the marketing psyche, that brands will continue to focus efforts there no matter what the cost. And this is likely true across the board with all the major social networks. Social advertising is evolving to become a standard in social engagement, even at Google+.”

Pinterest Not a Score for Everyone in 2013!

The Boston Celtics gave Pinterest a try to help the team move merchandise in 2012-13, but it didn’t prove to be effective, according to Peter Stringer, senior director of digital media.

“We don’t have the manpower to spend time and energy on platforms that don’t produce results for us,” he said. “While Pinterest may be really effective for other brands, for us it never really moved the needle. So we won’t spend much time at all with it this season.”

Summary

What’s your social media favorite for 2014? Sharing might be IN, but the stakes are higher, measures are closer, values are clearer and paying to play is part of the game.


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sophie_tran
Great list of top-notch tools for Social media marketing and management. I currently use quite a few including Buffer (my fave so far). I have also used RebelMouse for live events. Recently started using G+ and Livefyre and I’m very impressed and can’t wait to try Digg Digg. Bookmarking all of these tools now to check out later!

12 Hours Ago
· Reply
NickStamoulis
“My guess is that Facebook is so engrained in the marketing psyche, that brands will continue to focus efforts there no matter what the cost.”I think that’s a fair guess. But I also think marketers will look to more heavily invest in other social networks as well. It’s dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket and risk your whole social media budget on one network.

JessicaLee and lisabuyer like this.

14 Hours Ago
· Reply
lisabuyer
I totally agree! But Facebook is the dominating social force right now, even though it was less expensive to dominate and get ROI a year ago. Too many brands played the “wait and see” game. Now they are paying to catch up – big time.
JessicaLee likes this.

13 Hours Ago
· Reply

Engage , Connect, Converse and Grow are the essentials of Social Media Branding And Marketing

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HubSpot Leads Automatically Get Social Media Info and Photo Added to Them (Photo credit: HubSpot)

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English: Screenshot of the social media toolbox for fundraising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Social media is no more the next thing. It has grown bigger and has spread like a wildfire. There is a brand karma associated with social media, when it comes to start-ups who grow to become smart-ups. Why do start-ups adhere to social media so vigorously? The reason is simple. They want to converse, collaborate, engage and finally shape the idea.

So what is it that drives the start-ups to channelize ideas through social media?

The golden word is ‘innovation’. It is actually the thought process that matters. The idea is to take ‘the road less travelled’ and to be able to take the risk than to accept failure. With start-ups there is always a ‘wow-factor’ that needs to be attached at every corner – or else the world is always ready to look for a better replacement.

What is the ROI quotient from social media?

– The ROI in case of social media cannot be easily measured. It comes out as “brand recall” and the perception of your brand to your target market.
– Have a clear overview of your present condition and the efforts you need to put in.
– Chain your thought process. Are you thinking outside the box or just following the crowd?
– Is it the right approach or do you need to add a unique factor to get your presence felt?

The reason: You do not want to get lost in the crowd after some time. It is not just being a name, but to evolve as a brand.

Where is the vantage point? Well, you need to know where you want to be:

Be it a business, research, individual entity or community building, it is essential that you have a USP to put forward. If not, you are perhaps on the same level as any other start-up business. Determine the elements that need to be altered first, so you can know where you are going wrong. Listen to your target market and design your product/services subsequently. Revamping is another factor that must be prevalent in your product designing. Every time you will find new markets, new conversion rates and so on. But what you need to pitch is one big idea that will hit the score. To grab a better stand think what you can offer better than the others even if you have many competitors. So don’t just develop an idea. Keep on fostering and nurturing it. Start engaging users and converse to get better conversion rates!!!

What after planning a social media plan? Start cultivating it constantly to acquire that brand equity:

Social media is not a stagnant sphere where the same old concepts rule. It changes every single moment and thus it becomes pertinent that you take a shift likewise. So stay active and make more friends who will protect your image in case there are some bad omens lurking around you. It is true when you have a visible brand, there will be some anti-elements that will try to spoil your reputation. During those tumultuous times, your consumers will be a boon in disguise. The more you connect and converse, the better you emerge out as a trustworthy brand.

There are a few things that you can keep in mind in this regard:

– Be aware of the social media present that can be used for promotion of your company.
– Follow current trends to get idea about the current market or recent events.
– Check out applications that you think can be of any assistance.
– Keep a check out for the updates so you are always on track.
– Ensure that your target market trusts your brand. This takes time – but must not fade away.

The aim is to stay focused, but think differently. Think, develop, create, engage, experiment, share and grow. The journey from start-ups to becoming smart-ups has a silhouette of elements. All you need to do is to break the shackles and do the new!

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