8 Shocking New Social Media Facts

I’m pleased to be a collaborator with Edison Research on the new Social Habit Project.  Why? Because I’m a numbers geek so I’m overjoyed to finally get some social media data we can trust! Here are eight fantastic facts from the Social Habit’s latest study.

1) 7 percent of Americans have never heard of Facebook

So on this one, can I hear a big ol’ what the HELL?  How can seven out of 100 people you see each day have no clue about Facebook?  The social network has dominated ALL media, not just social media, for a couple of years now.  TV. Magazines. The news. Even a movie. This is one mind-blowing fact. Who are these people? Even my mom knows about the “Facebox.”

2) 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-24 use this one product

Can you name any other branded product in the world that is used by 80 percent of the young people in the United States?  I asked this question in a class once and somebody shouted out “toilet paper.” Ha ha. Very funny. That’s not a brand.  But Facebook is, and the penetration of this single brand is beyond belief.   It seems like that fact alone might be a reason some people would want to invest in Facebook. They are just so … THERE.

3) Facebook acquired one new user in the U.S. every second for three years

Check out this growth rate between 2009 and 2012.  Over three years, Facebook acquired about 3,805 new users per hour. That equates to almost exactly one new user per second — and that’s just in the U.S.  I wish I had the server installation and maintenance contract for this outfit.

4) 74 million Americans are passive aggressive

If these numbers are to believed — and they are — 74 million Americans are at least somewhat concerned about privacy issues on Facebook.  That is one significant gaggle of people. Why is there no outcry? Why isn’t anybody DOING anything? How come there is no Occupy Facebook Movement?  Seems a little passive-aggressive to me.

5) Look to your left. Look to your right. One of you is a social media stalker.

So how many social media users are active on the network but NEVER post?  If you guessed about one-third it’s only because you looked at this graph first. Come on, you didn’t REALLY know that did you? I would have guessed about 5 percent. Shows how much I know. I guess I haven’t earned my guru merit badge yet.

6) Foursquare still sucks

Well maybe I took some liberty with that conclusion, but the data show that there has been a dramatic drop-off in both the use of location-based service and the amount of check-ins going on. Why?  Boresquare is not delivering enough value to its users. We want free pastries and we want them NOW. Here’s the bright side. It has never been easier to become the fake mayor of your favorite donut shop.

7) Companies are rapidly figuring out social media

I think this chart is a real-eye-popper.  Here’s my assumption.  Since 2010, human nature has not necessarily changed so that we are more open to “following” brands and companies.  I’m thinking that people aren’t waking up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat and a sudden realization that the simply MUST follow more brands on Facebook. The way I interpret this chart is that the brands are delivering more value so that people WANT to follow them. I think this is a pretty amazing validation that the money being spent on social media is at least having some impact on customer connections.

8. Content marketing is for real

Here’s another good news chart for marketers. A significant number of people are coming to our social media sites because they like the content, not just because they are getting a coupon.  I would like to see more research about this as far as loyalty to coupons versus content, attitudes, conversions, etc. but this is pretty encouraging.  Maybe there is an alternative to buying off fans and followers with daily discounts?

If you thought this information was interesting, wait until you see the whole report: The Social Habit.  It is very well done and has lots of pictures of Beyonce and Justin Bieber. Well. No it doesn’t. But I’m suggesting it for the next report, along with free pastries. Somebody has to do it.

Many thanks to my partners Jay Baer, Jason Falls and Tom Webster of Edison Research for collaborating on this project.

Now, here’s how you can get involved. What question did we NOT ask that needs to be included next time? Give it your best shot in the comment section!

All posts

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast!

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Mark’s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details