Sometimes, we can get blinded by statistics. They can be skewed and manipulated to serve the purpose of the presenter, giving us false impressions that don't tell us much. With numbers being thrown around daily about social media users, engagement, and revenues, it's important that we interpret the data properly.
Statistics are particularly important when dealing with social media, in large part due to the fact that the numbers are so ridiculously large.
Let's take a look at some of the most eye-popping social media numbers, and interpret how they can influence your marketing strategy.
"Above all else, show the data"
- Edward R. Tufte, described by the New York Times as the Leonardo da Vinci of Data
1. Facebook has topped 1.59 Billion Users
1.59 billion - that's how many active monthly users Facebook has, as last reported on December 31st, 2015. To put things into perspective, that would make Facebook the largest country in the world, with more monthly active users than China's entire population. Facebook is just one example of how social media has caught the world by storm - no matter where you are in the world, Facebook is likely pretty popular.
The enormity of Facebook in comparison to Twitter in the chart above shows you just how many people you can reach through the platform. Your customers and potential customers are very likely already on Facebook, and the targeting available in their ad platform is extensive.
2. Employee Advocacy Programs Are up 191%
One of the major trends we're seeing this year amongst companies is employee advocacy - these programs are up 191%. If you encourage your employees to share your content, they can become your brand ambassadors and make sure that your content is seen online. If you're producing good content, this strategy will work - if not, you're wasting your time. Put the effort in and be sure you're sharing valuable video, blogs, and infographics before you ask your employees to share your content - or better yet, make it so good they actually want to share it.
3. Auto-Posting Leads to 70% Less Engagement
HubSpot is reporting a 70% decrease in likes and comments when you auto-post to Facebook. If you're using Hootsuite or Buffer, this could be a drawback. They may make your life a lot easier, but you're definitely going to be missing part of your audience if you choose to auto-post. If you continue to use these tools, be sure to still occasionally post in the moment - you need to give your audience the authenticity they're craving.
4. $24 Billion Was Spent on Social Media Ads Last Year
The total spent last year on social media advertising was $24 billion - and that number is growing rapidly. Over the next few years, social media could very well make up a quarter of all online ad spend, as marketers flock to where their target customers are. This is a huge number - especially when you consider that a few years ago, it was zero.
5. Adults Watch an Average of 66 Minutes of Online Video per Day
The average adult spends 66 minutes watching online video every single day, according to eMarketer. Facebook has doubled its daily video views very quickly, overtaking YouTube in a very short period of time. With Snapchat and other competitors also riding the video wave, it's looking more and more like video content will be the future of digital marketing. If you're not experimenting with video now, it's time to start.