In less than a decade, social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday personal and professional lives, with seemingly no corner of the planet untouched by its infectious charms.
But is there still room for growth in this exciting sector, or has the space plateaued? How many social networks do we use? Are niche social networking sites the way forward? And how are consumers engaging with social brands?
In their Social Media Around The World 2012 report, InSites Consulting polled 7,827 consumers across 19 countries, and came to five main conclusions:
- The social landscape is stable. Awareness of Facebook is at almost 100 percent, with Twitter (80 percent) and Google+ (70 percent) some distance behind. Overall, 7 out of 10 internet users are members of at least one social network, implying that approximately 1.5 billion people use social networking sites.
- Mobile is the perfect accelerator for social media usage. 51 percent of internet users have a smartphone.
- Consumers connect and interact with a limited set of brands. More than half of their comments about brands are positive.
- Consumers reach out to brands: we want to help you! Eight out of ten consumers want to help in co-creation of company projects, but most brands are not receptive to these kinds of relationships.
- Opportunity for brands to optimize conversation potential of consumers. By combining reach and collaboration, brands can take social media to the next level.
Some other key takeaways from the study:
- On average, people join 1-3 social networks. The majority have a profile on two sites – this is usually Facebook and one other (predominately Twitter or LinkedIn)
- Pinterest is becoming an interesting place for brands, as 41 percent of Pinterest users share branded content on their page(s)
- LinkedIn has relatively low awareness (approximately 40 percent), but maintains a strong niche position in the B2B market
- Klout is a niche thing – two out of three internet users have never heard of it, and only 9 percent of social networkers actively use a Klout profile
- Emerging markets (such as Argentina, Brazil and India) have the highest penetration of social networking usage
InSites have documented their findings in this SlideShare report, which includes more than 2,000 facts and figures about the state of social media in 2012.