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

10 surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy

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English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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10 surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy

 
 

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Social media is changing faster than ever, as if that wasn’t something everyone already knew!

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are ten that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

  • This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
  • The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
  • For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
  • For Google+, 56%.

Those are impressive numbers against the prevailing idea that social media is ‘just for teenagers.’ It certainly points to the importance of having a solid social media strategy if these age brackets fit into your target demographic.

Rethink it: Keep older users in mind when using social media, particularly on these three platforms. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so if you’re focusing on younger users with the content you post, you could be missing an important demographic.

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, butmobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. This is a 7% increase from the end of 2012 already.

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Rethink it: There are probably more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices than you thought. It’s worth considering how your content displays on mobile devices and smaller screens before posting it, particularly if your target market is full of mobile users. Of course, make sure to make sharing to social media from mobile more straight forward.

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

Did you think TV was the best way to reach the masses? Well if you’re after 18–34 year olds in the U.S., you’ll have more luck reaching them through YouTube. Of course, one video won’t necessarily reach more viewers than a cable network could, but utilizing a platform with such a wide user base makes a lot of sense.

Rethink it: If you’ve been putting off adding video to your strategy, now’s the time to give it a go. You could start small with simple five minutes videos explaining what your company does or introducing your team.

4. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, continues to grow every second. From groups to blogs to job listings, this platform is a rich source of information and conversation for professionals who want to connect to others in their industry.

Rethink it: LinkedIn is definitely worth paying attention to. In particular, this is a place where you may want to focus more on new users. Making your group or community a great source of information and a newbie-friendly space can help you to make the most out of the growing userbase.

Make sure you share consistently to your LinkedIn company page and profile by for example scheduling your posts.

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5. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

We all knew social media was popular, but this popular? Apparently it’s the most common thing we do online. So next time you find yourself watching Kitten vs. Watermelon videos on Facebook, you can at least console yourself with the fact that the majority of people online right now are doing something similar.

Social media carries more weight than ever. It’s clearly not a fad, or a phase. It continues to grow as a habit, and new platforms continue to appear and develop.

Rethink it: Putting time and effort into your social media strategy clearly makes sense in light of these stats. If you weren’t already serious about social media, you might want to give it a bit more of your time now.

6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

Although LinkedIn is gathering new users at a fast rate, the number of active users is lower than most of the biggest social networks around. So more people are signing up, but they’re not participating. This means you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter.

Rethink it: If you’re hoping to get people involved, think about which platforms are best for that. Looking at the latest Twitter statistics and Facebook statistics, these platforms might be a better place for your contest or survey, while passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.

7. 93% of marketers use social media for business

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business. That means there are lots of people out there getting involved and managing a social media strategy. It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Rethink it: If you’re struggling to make your strategy work, or you just want some advice, you don’t have to go it alone. If 93% of marketers are using social media for business, you can probably find someone to give you a hand. Plus, there are lots of blogs, videos and slide decks around to help you out. Be sure to find the right social media management tool for you to stay on top of everything.

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them

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It’s pretty clear that mobile is a growing space that we need to pay attention to. And we’ve all heard the cliché of smartphone owners who don’t want to let go of their phones, even for five minutes. Well, apparently that’s not too far from the truth. If 25% of people aged 18–44 can’t remember not having their phone with them, there are probably very few times when they’re not connected to the web in some way.

Rethink it: While you can reach people almost anytime, since they have their smartphones with them almost always, this also means you can interrupt pretty much any part of their lives. Don’t forget that having a phone in your pocket all the time isn’t the same as being available all the time.

9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use it to market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. With only 9% of marketing companies hiring bloggers full-time, however, the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently will be a lot higher.

What a lot of people struggle here is how to write the best headlines for your articles, when the best time is to publish posts and lots of other blogging questions that arise when people are starting out.

(Of course, not all marketers work at marketing companies, but the stats are still interesting—how many companies in any industry can afford to hire—or already have—a full-time blogger?)

Rethink it: If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time blogger for your business, be aware that having a content strategy that requires consistently posting on your blog will mean a lot of work for your marketing team and/or other team members in your company to keep up that volume. This can work, it’s just important to realize how big a task it is to run with a full-time content strategy without a full-time content creator.

10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues, Instagram users recently got in a kerfuffle over changing their terms of service, and the recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

But despite these high-profile cases of security-conscious users pushing back against social networks and web services, Velocity Digital reports that 25% of Facebook users don’t even look at their privacy settings.

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Rethink it: Assuming that all of your customers are thinking along the same lines could be a big mistake. Especially if you’re basing that on what you’ve heard or read in the tech news. Remember that your customers might have very different priorities than what you expect.

Your social media strategy really comes down to what your goals are, and who your target customers are, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the trends happening across the web. Hopefully, these stats will help you to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly.

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7 Tips For Integrating Social Media With Your Email Marketing

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7 Tips For Integrating Social Media With Your Email Marketing

December 14, 2013 by  Leave a Comment
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When considering social strategies people often think about integration with websites and other media, but integration with email is just as important.

Here’s 7 tips to help you integrate social media with your email marketing:

  1. Send a dedicated social email to existing customers – Many brands already have minor visibility for social channels in emails, perhaps some share buttons under email content or all of their social logos at the top or bottom of an email. To really focus your customers response on social, try sending out an email that just directs people to a single social presence. To target further, make sure you send people to the social presence that’s most relevant to them. Send business customers to your LinkedIn page and your younger customers to Facebook or Instagram, that way you’ll continue to communicate with them on the most relevant platform.
  2. Email capture on social – You’ll often find that your customer database and your followers on social sites have significant overlap, but there will always be people who follow you on social sites that you don’t have in your database, especially valuable prospects who may not yet be customers. Engage them on social media in a way that encourages them to provide you with their email address. Competitions, surveys, free ebooks or other types of free content often work well. Using these tactics to acquire a following can lead to an unengaged and unresponsive following that’s not brand loyal, however these people are already following your brand on social and you’re simply adding another communication channel for them.
  3. Use the data – Now that you’ve got an email database and email addresses for those who follow you on social media you can start to look at the data. How many people overlap? How many are customers? How often do social followers buy our products compared to those who have signed up to our email database?  What percentage of Facebook fans are customers compared to Twitter followers? Asking these questions and finding the answers in the data will help you better understand your customers and prospects and inform future marketing campaigns.
  4. Make it easy for people to share – The fewer barriers for sharing content that customers have to overcome, the more they’ll share. Make sure that social icons are clearly visable around content that you want them to share. Don’t overwhelm people with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Bebo, Myspace and every other social site under the sun – focus on what’s best for your customers and serve that dynamically in emails if you have the option.
  5. Use social to access networks – One of your most powerful customer acquisition tools is your current customers. People who already buy and love your brand would be happy to share it with their closest 400 friends and family on Facebook, if only you made it easy for them. Pick a segment of your customers who are really engaged with a certain product and incentivise them to share it on social media. People who buy your products are highly likely to know similar people who are right in your target market. Utilise their network.
  6. Don’t duplicate content – You should be using your social presence and email databases for different types of communications. Email can be very specific and targeted, and almost a one-to-one conversation. Social should be used for broader engagement of your demographic on that site.
  7. Repurpose content – While it’s not okay to simply duplicate, it is a good idea to take great, inspiring content from social media and give it exposure in an email, especially customer generated content which people will trust much more than content that comes from your brand.

The Demographics Of Social Media Audiences, And The Unique Opportunities Offered By Each Network

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Evolution of the number of Facebook users. Data comes from Facebook’s press room: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Demographics Of Social Media Audiences, And The Unique Opportunities Offered By Each Network

  • BII top brands social mediaBI Intelligence

Each social media platform has a unique identity based on who uses the network and how they’re engaging on the site. As network usage develops, each lends itself differently to brands, depending on who their target audience is, and what they’re trying to achieve.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we break down the demographics of each major social media platform and what sets each one apart in terms of audience makeup and usage patterns.

Being able to identify the demographics of social media audiences at a granular level is the basis for all targeted marketing and messaging. The report also spotlights the opportunities that lie ahead for each social network, and how social media usage compares between the U.S. and international markets.

Access the Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today > > 

Here are where some of the biggest opportunities lie on the major networks:

In full, the special report: 

For full instant access to the report on Social Media Demographics, sign up for a free two week trial subscription to BI Intelligence

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/demographic-data-and-social-media-2013-11#ixzz2nORmjFaJ

5 Powerful Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

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5 Powerful Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

Categories: BloggingSocial MediaWriting

5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

There are so many problems that can arise when you’re trying to be a successful blogger. Maybe you can’t figure out what you want to write about. You might be suffering from writer’s block. You might get easily distracted while doing your Internet research. Do you plan out your writing to make it easier on you? Do you have goals and schedules set for your writing? Do you have some favorite productivity tools that you use? Following are some tips to help you in your journey of becoming a more productive blogger.

#1. Write

Have you ever stared at a blank page in your WordPress blog trying to decide what to write? “Blank page syndrome” is one of the biggest causes of loss of productivity when it comes to writing. Writing content is easy when you know what you’re writing about or you have an idea on how to get started. And often getting started is the problem.

So how do you get started?

This is going to sound weird, but the simplest way to get started blogging is to just get started. Open up a blank page and write anything that comes to mind. Steer it towards the topic you need to write about if you can, but you don’t have to. The idea here is to jump-start your thinking process. At some seemingly miraculous point during your writing you’ll have an idea and that idea will blossom and become that article or short story you need to get written. This process is called free writing and has been used for years to fix all manner of writer’s block.

Censor the inner editor

The idea behind the inner editor goes well with the idea of free writing. The concept is that when you write, you need to forget spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Don’t even worry about the exact order of the information. When you need to write, you just write. When you are done writing, you edit.

Don’t throw it out

Before you found that piece of writing hiding in your mind, you wrote stuff. It may be silly stuff. It may be stuff that makes no sense at all. It doesn’t matter. Save it. Read it again in the future. Something in there triggered an epiphany that saved you from the problem of getting started.

That same something or even a different something in the same writing might help again in the future. Maybe you want to write something fresh and new that isn’t in your editorial calendar. Free writes are treasures waiting to be polished.

Keep writing

Don’t stop now. Keep writing. Write every single day. Write for a set period of time every day. Writing is like any other skill. You have to keep practicing. You will get better. You’ll find your voice. But if you quit writing, there is a good chance that one day in the near future you’ll be sitting in front of a blank page trying to remember how to get started writing.

There’s the old saying, “use it or lose it.”

That goes for writing too.

#2. Avoid Distractions

Distractions are probably the second most common cause of productivity problems when you are blogging. They are especially common as you will be sat on your laptop and you need to do some online research for your next post, but the location where you write can be distracting too, if you’re not careful.

Avoid social media

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be great places to do some networking as a writer. You can meet other writers. You can find clients if you’re a freelance writer. You can find publishers. Or you can just have a little fun “hanging out” with your Internet buddies. But when you are supposed to be writing, you need to stay away from these places. It’s also a good idea to turn off notifications on your mobile phone too.

I have only found one use for social media sites when I’m in the process of writing: asking questions. Maybe you need that one little suggestion to get the ideas flowing. Social media sites are great places to ask those questions. But once you ask that question, it’s time to leave. Don’t just sit there waiting for answers. Go write something else.

Only check every once in a while.

Turn off your e-mail

E-mail is a wonderful tool for communicating with others but it is also a time sink that can destroy your productivity. It can be as bad as social media and sometimes it can be much worse. Make sure to schedule an hour or so per day to deal with e-mail. If it takes you more time than that, you might want to look into unsubscribing from a lot of services or hiring someone to help.

The key to keeping e-mail from being a distraction is to get the e-mails out of your inbox quickly. A simple way to do that is to take a tip from masters of getting things done. Create three folders called Follow-Up, Waiting and Hold.

Anything in your inbox that needs to be answered or dealt with goes into the Follow-Up folder. Anything that is waiting for a response or action from someone else goes into Waiting. E-mails that contain information you’ll need soon go into Hold. Anything else can just be archived or deleted immediately make sure you’re using an e-mail service with a great spam filter.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

You can also try using another system such as inbox zero which a lot of people find works for them.

Location

You need to pick a location to write that has the least amount of distractions possible. Don’t write in the living room if the family is watching television. Don’t write at a coffee house unless you have a way to keep your surroundings from distracting you. Music is a great way to drown out the distractions as long as you have a selection of music that doesn’t actually add to the distractions.

This is probably unique to me.  I was working one day at my desk in my attic and I found the rain bouncing off the roof a soothing sound. I then actually found a website that plays the sound of rain a few months ago and often listen to it when I need to give something my complete focus.

So find what works for you and stick to it.

#3. Plan

Once you have your idea, it is time to plan. You need to spend a few minutes getting an outline done. The outline, in this case, does not even need to follow any specific rules. The concept of an outline before writing it is breaking up the writing into smaller chunks that are easier to write.

For example, if you want to write a 2000 word article on shopping tips for the holidays, you might start with a list of five major topics you want to cover. Then you would take each topic and come up with more specific topics that fall under each one. Instead of writing a 2000 word article, you are now writing a 100 word introduction, a 100 word conclusion and five smaller articles that are less than 400 words each.

It makes it simple

Planning may not sound like much, and it’s not. It doesn’t take much time at all. However, it makes the process of writing so much easier. Remember that at the beginning you learned that finding a topic or idea is the hardest part of writing. An outline provides several topics and ideas and makes it simple to just write until the project is done. And don’t worry if you don’t hit the word count you planned out. Sometimes you will write more about a subtopic and sometimes you will write less. It tends to even out over the entire project.

#4. Set Goals and Schedules

Blogging is a job just like any other. You need to set your own deadlines but the time of day and exact hours you write are all up to you.

You absolutely must set a schedule. Pick a specific time of the day to work and don’t let anything get in the way of that schedule. Act like you are working at a normal job. Would your boss be happy if you decided to watch a television show while at work?

5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger 3

You are your own boss, so you shouldn’t be happy if you watch another episode of that show on Netflix during work hours. The beauty of being a writer with only a deadline is that you get to pick your own hours. Are you a night owl? Do you stay awake from midnight to six in the morning? Make those your writing hours. Are you more comfortable writing in your pajamas when you first get up in the morning? As long as your writing does not need to be done in an office environment, feel free. The important part is picking a schedule and sticking to it. Make it a routine.

Set firm goals

Goals are just as important as schedules. A schedule tells you when you are going to do the work. Goals let you know how much work needs to be done in the time available. Do you need to publish five or six 1500 word articles per week? Then that is a goal. Pick your goals and stick to them.

You need to stick to our goals and schedule. However, you also need to be reasonable with those goals and schedules. If you find you can’t write six articles per week, then you either need to look at adjusting your goals or schedule. Decide which is more important: the goal or the schedule, and then modify to fit.

#5. Use Productivity Tools

There are tons of tools out there that can be utilized by authors to make their time much more productive. Here are three tools worth considering:

1. Evernote

Remember the free writes? Evernote would be a great place to store those. With Evernote you can clip just about anything you see online or even your mobile phone and store it in a searchable and taggable environment. Store your free writes. Create a notebook for each project and clip pieces of research into the project it goes with. Evernote is an excellent tool for organizing any kind of information. When you are doing your research, you really shouldn’t be without it.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

If you’re interested in learning more about Evernote you should check out this post on using Evernote to be a more productive blogger.

2. Stayfocused

Everyone does it. They’re researching an article and they see a link to something on Facebook. They follow that link and suddenly they’ve spent two hours just browsing through Facebook and Twitter and now you’ve wasted half of your scheduled writing time. Stayfocusd is a Chrome plugin.5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

Avoiding those distractions is so much easier when you have a tool that won’t even let you go to those distractions in the first place. You can set a specific amount of time you are allowed to visit a certain site each day and when that time is used up, Stayfocusd blocks you from going there. It’s brilliant and it’s free.

3. Trello

Trello is another place to store information. It is amazing for organizing projects such as major articles. And the part that makes Trello stand out is the fact that you can have other people working on Trello with you. Collaborations are so much easier to do when everyone involved is seeing the progress of the project and able to add their own spin on the project in real time. Imagine having an article and a video that need to be done.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

You’re writing the article and someone else is providing the video. If you both set up the project on Trello, he can see what you are doing with the writing and adjust the video to fit better while you can adjust the writing to fit his progress on the video.

Conclusion

Write. Avoid distractions. Plan. Set goals and schedules. Use productivity tools. Those are five ways to stay productive while writing. There are probably many more. Feel free to use these ideas and tips to make your own system of productivity. Maybe only one of these ideas works for you but you have ways to tweak the others to work for you too. You can do that. It’s your writing time.

Find the way to make it work best for you. No two people are the same, and that includes their productivity.

Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/11/25/5-tips-to-becoming-a-more-productive-blogger/#ilFhHDqOgxQAZPoU.99