If your impression of social media is limited to your friends posting cat videos and teenagers glued to their iPhones - think again. Social media possesses incredible influential power, and since the advent of the Internet it's evolved from a simple way for people to keep in touch into a massive global network connecting organizations, communities and people. Social media is the easiest, fastest and most explosive way to transmit and receive information! And best of all - absolutely anyone can take advantage of it. Active membership of the most frequented social network is now over one billion people, one out of every seven people on earth is on Facebook! Yes, you read that right - one billion. With the global population still rapidly growing, it's become abundantly clear that social media is no passing fad either. Its influence is remarkable. Small businesses and large corporations alike have tapped into this influence to reach new customers and generate real, honest communication. In the wise words of web strategist Jordan Raynor:
"It has never been easier to be as influential as you can be today. Information is cheap. Information is easier to produce. And if you have a quality message, it's never been cheaper to get out."
This certainly explains a number of phenomena - that, for example, 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy products from brands they follow online, or that the average Facebook user spends 405 minutes per month interacting with friends and following their favorite pages. Our best advice? Embrace the ubiquity of social media and use its power to better yourself, your business, or cause. Below you'll find a host of statistics and fun facts (thanks to Liz Martindale) that may surprise you about just how influential social media really is!