Christmas is right around the corner and before you know it, 2013 will officially be here! It will be a time for renewal for many businesses. We’ll assess our sales performance over the last year, review our analytics data, and check out the latest consumer trends to formulate our game plans for the coming quarter. Here are 8 social media statistics from 2012 that I found particularly interesting. (Hopefully you will too!)

1. Social media users spent 121.18 BILLION minutes using social media in July 2012.

You can compare this figure to July of 2011, when social media users spent a total of 88.48 billion minutes. That’s a 37 percent increase! Today’s Facebook and Twitter user is much more engaged and willing to spend vast amounts of time in these portals. You can extend your reach further than before with the addition of the “Pages Feed,” which makes it easier for Facebook users to browse your posts. So that makes having a comprehensive social media strategy even more important than ever!

social media stat
Source: Nielsen

2. Facebook by PC is still the #1 way Americans engage in social media, with 152.2 million visitors.

Comparatively, 78.4 million users access Facebook by mobile app and 74.3 million visitors access by mobile web. Not only is Facebook the most popular site, but it’s where consumers spend the most time as well. About 17 percent of a person’s time is spent browsing Facebook via PC, on average.

3. Pinterest grew in leaps and bounds, with an astounding 1,047% increase in unique visitors from 2011!

Pinterest emerged as a “breakout star” in social media for 2012. This year, 27,223 unique visitors came to the site on their PCs! Additionally, there was a 1,698% increase in mobile app visitors and a 4,225% increase in mobile web visitors. Over 1.25 billion total minutes were spent on Pinterest. Users are predominantly females in the 25-64 demographic.

pinterest statistics

4. Smartphones accounted for 64% of the growth in social media engagement this year. 

Smartphones are broadening our connectivity to the online world and giving us more freedom to hop online whenever and wherever we please. Whether we’re in the bathroom or waiting in line, we can fill every waking moment with meaningful interactions if we so please. According to Nielsen, 46% of people surveyed use their smartphones to access social media sites and another 16% use a tablet. Therefore, it’s important that your website is optimized for mobile.

5. TV and social media go hand-in-hand, with 45% of PC users shopping online while watching TV.

Not only do 45% of social media PC users admit to shopping online while watching TV, but 22% of mobile users do too. Furthermore, 44% of PC users and 38% of mobile users visited a social media site while watching TV. Another 35% of PC users and 23% of mobile users looked up TV show info via social media sites; 26% of PC users and 15% of mobile users looked up product information while watching TV; 24% of PC users and 12% of mobile users looked up a coupon. This means it’s important to develop a comprehensive social media strategy that links TV and social media campaigns.

6. Social media customer service is actively used by 47% of social media users now.

“Social care,” as Nielsen calls it, is a growing field. A whopping 70% of those who communicate with brands for customer service do so on a monthly basis. Another 21% do so weekly and 9% do so daily!  Research shows that 1 in 3 social media users prefer to contact via social media than by phone. If you don’t have people assigned to field customer service inquiries by social media, then what are you waiting for?! The time is now! Focus your efforts on Facebook, the company blog and Twitter.

social media statistics

7. A third of users say social media ads are “annoying,” but over a quarter are influenced by them.

A third of social media users (33%) agree that social media ads are “more annoying” than ads on other channels. However, 26% are okay with ads tailored to their profile information, 26% are more likely to pay attention to an ad posted by a friend, and 17% feel more connected with brands they see on social media. It’s a delicate balance deciding who to pitch to and how often, but it’s something that analytics data can really help with before you lose too many subscribers.

8. Nearly a third of social media users are buying a product based on social media ads. 

A good 31% of social media users say they’ve purchased a product after seeing a social media ad. They are largely buying via daily deal and coupon sites (28%), followed  by purchasing online  (19%) or in store (18%).  More commonly, people are clicking the “like” button on ads to share the information with all of their friends (41%). Also, 26% directly shared an ad with a particular friend. Facebook advertising done right could expand your brand’s reach considerably.

social media statistics


SOURCE: NIELSEN – The Social Media Report 2012 

Are you looking to boost your social media presence this year?

Contact me or click here to download 8 (free) marketing tips for 2013!

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