24 Mar 2014

Social Media Growth (Infographic)

The infographic below created by Search Engine Journal at the back end of 2013 basically speaks for itself in that it gives an impressive graphic overview of how huge social media has become over the last decade.

Huge in terms of monthly active users on social media, time spent per day on it, mobile skew, and huge in terms of the number of brands considering it within their marketing.

Facebook leading the way

With 1.5 billion active monthly users and a 57% penetration rate in Australia (12 million people), Facebook is very much leading the way, but are brands reaping a positive ROI from platforms such as Facebook versus the time they put in? Across the board I am not convinced.

I think there was (and still is) a huge knee jerk reaction for brands to get themselves onto networks such as Facebook simply because 'everyone else is'. Don't misunderstand me here, some brands are getting an excellent return from their social media activity, but the brands that are are the brands that have specific objectives, specific budgets, and specific resources and roadmaps for social media itself. These brands have also moved away from the oh so very annoying and to be honest ridiculous metrics of success of likes and followers. The targeting tools on networks like Facebook are increasingly improving to the point of being pretty excellent, but with more and more people advertising on there, brands need to maintain creativity and proactivity (and a healthy media budget) to be noticed from the ever growing crowd.

Evaluating or considering social media

If you are a brand and are considering or evaluating your social media activity, start at the beginning.

  • What are your objectives? What are you trying to achieve?
  • How will you / should you measure success?
  • What are your competitors doing (well and badly) on social media? 
  • What are your (and your colleagues) expectations of social media?
  • Who are you talking to / targeting?
  • Do you have the budget, time and resource to support your social media efforts?
  • How does social media align with your other customer and marketing channels?

My advice is engage with an agency who has a solid track record of both social media strategy and social media community management. Social media is much more than simply creating content and seeding it out onto the networks, it should be part of a longer term and on-going customer service and engagement strategy. This takes time, resource and an on-going budget.

Discuss the above with your agency, and allow for a period of observation and strategic development. Social media is a very public forum, and a forum where preparation and pragmatism is very much required.

As the below shows, there are a huge number of people using social media, so there is a huge potential opportunity to leverage it; if you have a well considered approach.

About the author
Si Muddell is a Digital Strategist who has worked extensively both agency and client side. Si is fascinated about marketing, psychology & what motivates people, and loves guitar, surfing and travelling.

Get connected with Si on TwitterLinkedIn &

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