Nobody could have predicted that in April 2016, Twitter would surpass 310 million monthly active users. In the month prior, Instagram broke 400 million users and Facebook has been dwarfing them both by surpassing the 1 billion mark. On average 31% of the global population use social media, with North America leading the pack with 59% of its population regularly logging on.
This mammoth popularity seems to have crept up over night, and we perhaps do not yet fully appreciate the repercussions. One thing we do know however is that it means big business. Facebook has a market cap of $312.78 billion, followed by professional networking site LinkedIn at $15.49 billion and Twitter at $11.69 billion. It is interesting to note, that although Instagram has more users than LinkedIn and Twitter, Instagram has been unable to translate that into more revenue.
It is not only business for the sites themselves, but also for the savvy companies that utilize them successfully for marketing purposes. While the exact return on investment can probably never be calculated, Coca Cola’s staggering 98.33 million likes on Facebook counts for quite a bit. A brand in his own right, soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo tops the entire rankings with 114.66 million likes on Facebook. World Wrestling Entertainment has been able to keep its fans hooked between weekly TV shows by delivering a constant stream of video clips via YouTube, where they now have over 10 million subscribers. Katy Perry tweets on the daily to her record 95.22 million followers and they will be first to know when her latest album drops.
Most companies would do anything to gain that kind of exposure, and they are certainly giving it a go. Data suggests that companies will be spending a combined total of $17.34 billion on social media marketing by 2019. This is almost double the $9.74 billion figure from 2015. It’s a smart strategy since it was reported that 85% of people admit to relying on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with current affairs. It was also reported that 18% of Facebook users cannot avoid their news feed for more than a couple of hours. Social media is the new medium for news. And it is also having a direct influence on people’s purchasing decisions. It was reported that 35% of social media users discover new products on Twitter and 43% find out additional product information on Pinterest.
Social media is becoming extremely useful in recruiting new talent at companies. Professionals can market themselves and employers can do targeted searches for the kind of recruit that they desire. LinkedIn was designed specifically for this type of networking is used 93% of the time, followed by Facebook at 66% and Twitter at 54%. Conversely 83% of active job seekers are on Facebook, compared to 40% on Twitter and just 36% on LinkedIn. Younger people are also more active on Twitter than the other platforms.
Whether it is marketing, content delivery or recruiting, social media is now an integral part of the business world. For even more facts about this, social media’s growth and the habits of its users, take a look at the adjoining infographic designed by the team at skilled.co.