Reports, surveys, studies and infographics are among the most popular content posted and shared across social networks. We’re all hungry for data.
Marketers, we’re told, need to think like publishers. But which networks are most effective for spreading the content produced? How widespread, really, is the use of social media for marketing? How are B2B marketers using social media differently from their B2C counterparts? How are marketers measuring social media success? Who is actually consuming all of this content?
Find the answers to these questions and many more here in more than 40 of the best reports, studies, videos and other sources of social media, search, and other marketing facts and statistics of the past year.
General Social Media Statistics
The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic by Search Engine Journal
Jenise Uehara Henrikson highlights the phenomenal growth of social media over the last six years, and particularly since 2008. Also noted:
- • One in four Americans watches a YouTube video every day.
- • 53% of employers now research candidates on social networks before hiring.
- • 71% of companies now have a presence on Facebook. 59% are on Twitter, and 43% use a company blog for marketing.
Researchers To Marketers: Go Social, Mobile by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Les Luchter looks at research showing that 10% of all website visits to the top 1,000 web properties come from social sharing, half as much as from search. Sharing accounts for nearly a third of all referral traffic, and shared links are “clicked on 4.9 times each, on average, across all sharing channels, so content shared by large groups of people reach a wider audience than content passed along from others.”
Social Networking Growth Stats and Patterns by Social Media Today
Dan Nelms dives into a Comscore report which found that although Facebook engagement is increasing (the average time spent on the site per user per month increased from 4.6 hours to 6.3 hours in the last year), niche social networks are experiencing the fastest user growth (up 48.1% for the year). Still, the top 10 social networks account for nearly 80% of all social network traffic.
Shea Bennett examines research finding that, no surprise, the user base on LinkedIn skews older than on other social networks: more than half of all members are aged 36-65, with just 6% younger than 22. People over the age of 65 don’t make up more than 6% of membership on any social network (the 6% figure is for Facebook). And while women outnumber men on almost every major social network (e.g. women make up 64% of Twitter’s following), men (63% to 37%) are the larger share on LinkedIn.
Infographic: Social Media ROI Statistics by Digital Buzz
Aden Hepburn shares a wealth of social media ROI statistics here, such as that 74% of CMOs believe they will get a handle on social media ROI in 2012. Website traffic is the most commonly measured social media metric, followed by conversions, positive mentions and number of fans/followers. In the coming year, 77% of companies plan to spend more on YouTube; three-quarters plan to increase spending on Facebook and blogs, and 73% will invest more on Twitter.
You just shared a link. How long will people pay attention? by bitly blog
***** 5 STARS
Hilary Mason reports on research showing the “half-life” of a link on various social networks (the time in which half of all clicks the link will ever get occur). Among her key findings: “(looking at) the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links, the results were surprisingly similar. The mean half life of a link on twitter is 2.8 hours, on facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on facebook than if you post on twitter.”
The State of the Internet Now
***** 5 STARS
This incredible site displays real-time statistics on a variety of global internet metrics, including today’s “Intetnet mood poll,” the relative positions of the largest social networks, how time is spent online, and a constantly changing collection of “Fun Facts” (e.g. “Lady Gaga is Twitter’s most followed user with 8.4 million followers”).
11 infographics for your next presentation by Ragan’s PR Daily
***** 5 STARS
Arik Hanson shares a collection of “Infographics that would fit nicely into many digital marketing/PR presentations.” Topics include online demographics, the growth of social media, Twitter facts and figures (e.g., 40% of all tweets are pointless babble; only about one out of every 11 tweets gets retweeted), location-based marketing, and how executives use social media (LinkedIn is used by 92% of top executives, Facebook by 51%, and Twitter by 41%; half of all top executives use at least three different social networks regularly; and 83% trust social media sites “somewhat” or “strongly”).
Social Media Adoption Slows For Fortune 500 by The Realtime Report
Marissa McNaughton looks at social media use among America’s largest companies. Among the findings: 114 companies (23%) of the Fortune 500 maintain blogs, 62% have active corporate Twitter accounts, and 58% have a Facebook presence. But after rapid growth in 2009 and 2010, the study found that “There has been little or no change in the number of companies using corporate blogs (0%), Facebook (2%) and Twitter (2%) in the last year.”
McKinsey Social Technologies Survey: the Business Ecosystem Benefits by Fusion Marketing Experience
J-P De Clerck passes along some fascinating stats from a McKinsey study on social technologies, including:
- • 72% of companies use at least one type of social technology; 50% use social networking, 41% have blogs, and 38% use video.
- • The most rapid increase in adoption has been in the use of social networking, which has nearly doubled since 2009.
- • 27% of companies expect “the elimination, or at least lessening, of an organizations formal hierarchy because it will be easier to make decisions as a group.”
Out with the Old (Marketing) And In With the New by Blue Focus Marketing
Echoing the statistic from Erik Qualman that “78% of people trust peer recommendations vs. only about 14% who trust ads,” Mark Burgess makes the case for online and inbound marking using numbers: consumers are more likely to trust online consumer opinions (49%), opt-in (vendor) emails (40%) and even brand websites (35%) than any type of web-based advertising–though search ads (21%) outperform other formats.
Companies Should Communicate Via Social Media by MediaPost Onlne Media Daily
Gavin O’Malley relays research from New York University which finds that “78% of respondents (consumers) agreed that either social media platforms would soon replace other means of customer service altogether, or become the dominant way for consumers to communicate with corporations.” The study also noted that “45% of respondents would feel ‘angry’ if ignored by companies on a particular social media platform…nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they would stop doing business with the offending company altogether…(and) if confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, 88.3% of respondents said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to buy from that brand.”
McKinsey Research Again Validates Social Technology Benefits by paulgillin.com
Paul Gillin quotes from McKinsey research findings on social media use in the enterprise that 72% now use some form of social media, with more than 40% participating in blogging and social networks. Why? Because it produces real business results: “Executives at fully networked organizations report greater benefits from both internal and external interactions…Self-reported operating-margin improvements correlated positively with the reported percentage of employees whose use of social technologies was integrated into their day-to-day work. Market share leadership in an industry, the final self-reported performance measure, (also) correlated positively with the integration of social tools in employees’ day-to-day work.”
B2B Marketing Research and Statistics
10 informative B2B marketing infographics by Econsultancy
Graham Charlton presents 10 B2B-focused infographics, filled with statistics and findings such as that B2B buyers are increasingly getting their information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs while other sources fall in popularity, and that 86% of B2B firms are using social media (versus 82% of B2C companies), but they are less engaged than their consumer-focused counterparts (with 32% of B2B companies engaging online daily, compared to 53% of B2C enterprises).
B2B Marketing [r]Evolution (Content Marketing) by PropelGrowth on YouTube
The latest version of this video provides a wealth of B2B-related stats, including: 83% of buyers no longer trust advertising (but most do trust recommendations from other users online). Google attracts more than one billion unique visitors per month. 92% of B2B buyers use online resources to research products and services. And most B2B buying cycles are 70%-80% complete before the salesperson is even aware of the buyer.
Scott Gillum believes that tools like Blogger Dynamic Views and Flipcard have “the potential to turn over complete control of the user experience to the visitor.” He explains what it means for B2B marketers when buyers are essentially able to create their own UI.
How B2B Search Engine Marketers Can Better Impact the B2B Buying Process by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS
In this must-read post for B2B marketers, Derek Edmond reviews research from TriCommB2B detailing the role of content marketing assets in B2B marketing (e.g., which assets are viewed as most critical to buyers—technical data sheets and vendor websites—and which are least important), the six distinct phases of the B2B buying cycle, SEO best practices, using social networking for link building, and more.
Types of Valuable Marketing Content by The Daily Numbers
David Erickson reports that 39% of B2B marketers (as well as 37% of their B2C counterparts) view blog posts as the most valuable type of content to support their marketing efforts. He notes that some companies try to use a blog simply as a mechanism to re-post their press releases, and are subsequently disappointed by the results. But he also points out that companies who stick with blogging over the long term “gain immeasurably through an understanding of content marketing, what types of content appeal to their customers, (and) how content works with search in attracting new customers.”
B2B Marketers Have Much To Learn About Social by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Gavin O’Malley passes along findings from a Pardot study, indicating that “as much as marketers like social media, they’re not spending proportionately on the new channel.” Although 95% of B2B marketers report using social networks to reach prospects, “nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of such campaigns on lead generation and sales. And among those who do, about 42% of marketers replied that zero or an uncertain number of sales leads resulted from social media programs.”
Study Shows Differences Between B2B and B2C Marketers by Marketing Pilgrim
***** 5 STARS
Frank Reed examines the differences in digital marketing practices between B2B and B2C marketers, such as that 75% of B2C marketers say Facebook is their most active social media channel, while B2B marketers are more divided on the question (35% say Facebook, 26% Twitter, and 25% LinkedIn). B2B marketers on average spend a higher percentage of their online budget on SEO (33%) than their B2C counterparts (22%), but less on PPC advertising (28% vs. 43%) and social media marketing (10% comapred to 15%).
Only 8% of B2B Companies Heavily Engaged in Social Media by Social Media B2B
Jeffrey L. Cohen looks into an Accenture study finding that although 65% of B2B marketers call social media “extremely or very important,” only 8% would describe their own social media use as “extensive.” 26% are only slightly engaged or not using social media at all. Why? According to the study, “50% of marketers surveyed felt they needed new tools and technologies to manage their social media efforts and 40% indicated that their team was not properly trained to take advantage of social media.”
4 Ways To Boost The Value Of Your B2B Marketing Content by Social Media B2B
How can B2B companies best take advantage of social media? Adam Holden-Bache passes along research showing that 77% of B2B buyers view content as more influential if it includes social sharing buttons. 92% say that when video “is embedded in content it positively or very positively effects the overall influence.” And 37% of buyers have consumed b2b content using a mobile device.
Social Media and C-Level Executives
Despite the fact that 80% of companies with 100 or more employees now use social media in their marketing mix, “only 27% (of business executives) list social business as a top strategic priority. Nearly half (47%) admit a social plan is necessary but not a strategic priority and 19% say social business strategy is simply not necessary.” Given those figures, it’s not surprising that just 17% of executives believe their company’s social media strategy is ahead of the curve, while 33% are concerned that they trail the market.
Social Media Stats for the C-Suite by Social Media Today
***** 5 STARS
Jeff Esposito here compiles results from several research studies in a collection of 30 interesting social media facts, among them: 82% of 18-29 year olds utilize at least one form of social networking. 40% of corporate Twitter accounts include customer service use. Only about 10% of CMOs say that social marketing efforts are integrated with their overall marketing strategies. And nearly half of consumers “combine social media and search engines in their buying process” (which is why web presence optimization is critical).
Social Media: A Must For CEOs Of The Future by V3 Integrated Marketing
The always insightful Shelly Kramer comments on recent research showing that more CEOs are starting to embrace social media. More specifically, “Twenty-eight percent of CEOs under the age of 40 maintain a work-related blog daily. And 32 percent of them contribute or read micro-feeds using Twitter or a similar application.”
13% of Online Americans Use Twitter [STATS] by Mashable
According to Pew Research stats cited by Lauren Indvic here, 13% of all online Americans, 15% of those with incomes greater than $75,000 per year, 16% of college graduates, and nearly 20% of Internet users aged 25-34 use Twitter.
Study: 76 percent of communications professionals use Twitter by Ragan’s PR Daily
Michael Sebastian reports that “76 percent of communicators (PR professionals) in the United States and Canada used the site, nearly double the percentage from 2009,” and in addition, “The percentage of organizations with a budget devoted to social media has doubled since 2009, to 30 percent from 15 percent. 32 percent of PR pros said they have a dedicated social media team in place.”
30 Terrific Twitter Facts And Figures by Geeky Stuffs
Noting that its “glamor and brand problem has not held back (Twitter’s) growth after its humble origins and launch in 2006,” Shaan Haider lists 30 stats about the microblogging service such as that the service had only three million registered users in 2008 (but 225 million by March 2011); 60% of all tweets come from third-party apps; and mobile Twitter users increased by 182% in the past year.
The Shelf Life of a Web Page by The Daily Numbers
David Erickson (again) reports that StumbleUpon not only accounts for the bulk of social sharing (it drove “50.3% of the social media traffic referrals in the US from August to September” in 2011) but also that its link have a much longer half-life than those on Facebook or Twitter. He also notes that once-hot Digg has devolved into “the MySpace of social sharing sites.”
Emma Hutchings shares an infographic loaded with StumbleUpon statistics and facts, such as that “2.2 million web pages…are added to StumbleUpon every month, which works out at 51 each minute. The average Stumble page view lasts 72 seconds, nearly 25% longer than the average web page view, and the average Stumble session lasts 69 minutes, which is three times longer than the average time someone spends on Facebook.”
Social Network User Base Grows, 56% Are Adult Females by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh relays survey results revealing that nearly half of Americans now use at least one social networking site. Facebook is, no surprise, the dominant network, but interestingly “the average Facebook member has 229 friends on the site, with people from high school making up the largest share at 22%, followed by extended family (12%) and coworkers (10%), college friends (9%), and immediate family (8%).” The survey also suggests that Facebook may have reached its saturation point in the U.S..
Social Media Surpasses Search, Facebook Leads by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Frequent best-of honoree Laurie Sullivan looks into a Nielsen report showing that in terms of time spent on the site, Facebook (yeah, I know, a shock) is the leader followed by Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn. All came in well ahead of sites like Google, AOL and MSN. In addition, “Tumblr has grown to become the eighth-largest U.S. site, jumping 183%…in the past year.”
Shea Bennett (again) posts an infographic loaded with online usage stats, such as that 65% of adult internet users engage on social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn (vs. 13% who are on Twitter), 92% use email and search engines, and 81% go online to check the weather. Meanwhile, dating websites and virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) are reportedly among the least popular online activities.
SEO Research and Stats
SEO Underused, Forrester Report Suggests by MediaPost Search Blog
Laurie Sullivan reports Forrester research discovering that three-quarters of technology vendors have embraced SEO; less than 10% don’t use search optimization at all. However, SEO remains under-used in certain areas, such as “supporting sales in moving prospects through the sales process.” From the buyer perspective, Forrester found that “When customers search for IT products, 20% said they primarily search for best practices; 19%, vendors and products; 18%, technology categories; 17%, other experiences; 16% business problems; and 9%, organizational adoption programs.”
Wow, you can make good money in Search by iMedia Connection
AJ Lawrence shares SEMPO research on SEO salaries showing that the average search marketer earns $75,542 per year. This ranges from rookie analysts starting at around $30,000 annually to vice presidents bringing down more than $250,000. More than half of all SEO professionals (57%) have five years or less experience.
SEO Salaries and the Best Cities for SEO Jobs by Onward Search
Going a bit deeper into the topic of SEO compensation than the post above, this post/infographic shows the top cities for SEO work (New York, LA and San Francisco top the list; Minneapolis, where I’m at, comes in at a respectable 12th place), a breakdown of SEO titles, and salary ranges by market (if you don’t mind the heat, SEO jobs in #10 Atlanta apparently pay considerably better than those in #9 Seattle).
SEO Behavior: Click-Through Rates Drop Per Search by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan (again) notes research showing that more than half of searchers click on a first-page search result. In round numbers, the top result generates 18% of click-throughs, the #2 result 10%, and positions 6-10 each get 4% or fewer of all clicks. David Erickson offers additional detail on the same study in Organic Click-Through Rates by Ranking.
10 Stats to Justify SEO by Search Engine Journal
Daniel Bianchini shares some high-level stats on the importance of search, such as that 93% of all internet traffic comes from search engines, with Google dominating. The figures here are specific to the UK, but the general ideas are more universal.
Google Longtail Keywords Infographic by SEO Book
Aaron Wall presents an infographic titled “How Google Killed the Long Tail,” which delves into topics like spell correction (sometimes a friend, sometimes not), Google Instant (ugh), query freshness and “not provided” keywords in Google Analytics (boo, hiss).
A Tale Of Two Studies: Google vs. Bing Click-Through Rate by The Daily SEO Blog
According to this infographic, results on the first page of Google generate higher click-through rates across all positions (maybe that “Bing and decide thing isn’t working out—or maybe this data set is simply too small). 55% of Google searchers are male, while women (58% to 42%) are more likely to be searching on Bing. And in terms of ranking factors, Google supposedly no longer cares about the H1 tag, while neither search engine gives weight to domain age (hmmm).
General Marketing Research
Among Affluent Americans, Print Media Is Tops by Ad Age Blogs
While social media generates headlines, don’t write off traditional media just yet. Stephen Kraus and Bob Shullman report that of households with more than $100,000 in annual income, 93% read magazines in hard-copy format, while just a third read them online. Similarly, 86% read printed newspapers compared to 39% who read the same news online. And 94% watch television shows on (gasp!) televisions, versus 23% who view TV shows online.
Lauren Indvik (again) takes note of research from Outbrain which finds that the Drudge report drives 7% of traffic to sites like the New York Times, MSNBC, and The Atlantic (and Mashable), more than twice the percentage of Facebook and Twitter combined. That figure was up 1.5% from the previous year. Overall, according to the study, “social networks still drive relatively little traffic (7%) compared to content sites (56%) and search (37%).” Among social networks driving traffic, Twitter and Reddit came out on top.
2011 Insane Mobile Marketing Facts & Trends by Bit Rebels
The delightful Diana Adams reports that more than one-quarter of all mobile phones are now smartphones, that mobile internet usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2014, and that Americans spend about twice as much time on their mobile phones each day as they do eating, among other fascinating factoids in this infographic.
Paid Search To Grow 15% In 2012 by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan (yet again) shares findings from recent search marketing research. Among the trends: paid search is projected to grow 15% in 2012 and 2013, followed by 13% in 2014. Costs are rising: “a promoted trend on Twitter now costs $120,000 daily, up from between $25,000 and $30,000 when Twitter first launched in April 2010.” And the fastest growing format is expected to be online video ads.