As marketers, it is our jobs to assure our clients that the time and money that they are investing in social media is not in vain. Therefore, we are constantly tasked with searching for studies and statistics that suggest that social media is still heading for world domination. One particular source I like to turn to for said stats is AllTwitter.com by MediaBistro. They frequently feature studies done by excellent social media companies. Recently, they featured an infographic by Balihoo that had some great and validating social media statistics. As we know, infographics are meant to present data in a quick and easy to digest way, so let's apply some context to the data.
1) 15% of consumers use social networking site to search for local businesses.
This might seem like a small number, but I think that general perception is that there wasn't much search (in traditional terms) being done on social media sites. This data point tells us that the opportunity is there and that the trend exists.
2) 71% of social media users say that they are more likely to purchase from a brand they are connected with.
One of the biggest perks of a brand being social is that they get to connect directly with consumers and create brand affinity and advocacy. It makes complete sense that people who connect socially with brands online are more likely to buy from that brand. However, it is important to keep in mind that just because they connect with you, it doesn't me they will ABSOLUTELY buy from you. Many times we fall into this fallacy that 10,000 Facebook likes automatically equals cash. This is not true.
3) 23% of brand marketers are developing social strategies but are still having a hard time executing them.
No matter how great a strategy looks on paper, executing it is completely different. This stat might actually be a bit low, as many brands start with a strategy in mind, but just end up "doing things" on Facebook and Twitter. To ease difficultly with executing a social strategy, allow yourself ample time to put your plan into place, analyze it and calibrate it as needed. Create a strategy that allows for some flexibility if needed. The world of social media is ever changing, so your game plan should be able to change quickly too!
4) Social media sites and blogs now account for approximately 25% of the total time Americans spend online.
Social media has gone from a past-time, to a habit and is now becoming engrained in our online culture. I expect this number to grow as future innovations in social media come about.
5) 63% of local searchers on social media sites are more likely to patronize a business with info on a social site.
Think about your own habits when researching a new brand. You might Google them, read some reviews or even poke around on their site. One thing I guarantee you will do is see if they have a Facebook page. Consumers trust peer recommendations more than they trust marketing speech from a website. Brands are doing a disservice to their consumers and themselves by not having an active social presence. An active community suggests that a brand is credible. People want to see the engagement and content. If they are like me, they are also looking for negative comments and how they are handled. Make sure you are findable and approachable on social sites and you will be rewarded by your consumers.
6) 91% of local searchers say they use Facebook to find local businesses online.
Similar to the previous point, people want to investigate businesses online before spending their hard earned money with them. With the development of Graph Search, this will become more and more prevalent. The key here is to put your best brand face forward and always strive to maintain a growing and active community. This sounds cliché, but the same way you would optimize a webpage for search engines, you have to optimize your brand and community for PEOPLE. Ready or not, people are searching for you or a brand like yours on Facebook and other social sites. It's time to get with the program!