Social Media Stats 2016: Which Platform Will Lead the Way in 2016?

Written by Zac Johnson
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Every year it seems like a new social networking platform pops up and instantly gains millions of new members overnight. While Facebook and Twitter are still kings in this space, it’s the smaller networks that continually change the game with their innovation and targeting of younger audiences. Just take a look at what social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and SnapChat have been able to accomplish since they first came out.

In terms of total users, Facebook will almost certainly keep its top position. But as smart marketers and businesses understand, it’s not just numbers that count. Pay attention to the social media networks your customers and potential customers use most and focus your presence there.

The most important thing to remember is, it’s not what social platform you like the most — it’s the platform your audience likes the most! It’s then your job to make sure you are seen there as well.

Social Media Icons on Mobile Device

Facebook and Pinterest Will Continue to Serve Consumer-Oriented Businesses

Facebook received more than 45% of all US social media visits in 2015, according to Stastica. Pinterest came in second, accounting for just under one-third of US visits.

Businesses in all industries and of all sizes are taking advantage of what social media has to offer, especially in the coupon space where viral sharing is key. Sites like Frugaa.com and RetailMeNot make it easy for customer to find discounts and money saving coupons on everyday purchases, products and brands. Social media has made the concept of targeting these audiences so much easier (through advertising, groups / communities and pinboards).

In the case of Frugaa (and most coupon sites), their strategy is a smart one, because 42% of adult US women use Pinterest, says Pew Research, making it the leading social network for this group. Venture Beat reports the site hit 100 million US users in September 2015. Another big money statistic is that 93 percent of Pinners (male and female) shopped online in the past six months — which makes Pinterest a perfect platform for e-commerce and coupon related sites.

Pinterest is practically tailor-made for advertising. It’s almost entirely a visual experience, with just a smattering of comments. And as any teacher will tell you, younger people are far more likely to be drawn to images over text. Nowhere is this more effective than online!

Coupons_on_Pinterest

Pinterest’s appeal is growing among teenage girls, part of a demographic Facebook admits it’s losing. Piper Jaffray, which surveys American teens on their social media use, found a dramatic drop in 2015 among teens who visit Facebook. (They do, however, love Snapchat, which Facebook owns.)

Pew, which also studies teenagers’ social media habits, finds one-third of teenage girls use online pin boards like Pinterest. If they’re shopping for ideas, they’re likely doing it on Pinterest, which has a huge headstart compared to its competitors Snapchat and Instagram.

Coupon sites have a huge attraction for Pinterest mainly because of who their target audience is, which is Millennials. More than 90% of them use coupons they find online, reports Business Insider. Not only are they using coupons on Pinterest, but they are sharing them with their auidence as well.

Business-to-Business Sites Favor LinkedIn Among Social Networks

If you’re a business-to-business (B2B) operation, you probably have had limited success with Facebook — unless you are an individual marketer or expert with a unique twist. Facebook apparently gave up on the goal to compete with LinkedIn and Twitter for this market.

LinkedIn edges out Twitter and Facebook among B2B marketers, according to CrazyEgg. It hasn’t strayed from its roots to introduce professionals to one another, and whose users widely regard it as more mature than Facebook.

B2Bs thrive on leads, and this is where LinkedIn is focusing its efforts, largely through its SlideShare tool. Companies can upload their presentations to SlideShare, and for a fee, LinkedIn’s LeadGen service will collect data about who viewed it. It’s a great way to B2Bs to share their offerings to a much wider audience and see who bites without actually advertising.

Share_and_Discover_Knowledge_on_LinkedIn_SlideShare

SlideShare claims 70 million users who can show their work to any of LinkedIn’s 400 million users (107 million in the US), including users who use the site for free. It offers 40 content categories, enough to identify target markets.

After in-person events, email and company websites are the most successful ways B2Bs collect leads, CrazyEgg finds. Both can be used to recruit followers on corporate social media sites as well.

  • Put social media link icons on every page of your business’ website. LinkedIn should be one of them.
  • Add one or two social media links to your email signature; anything more can send the email into a spam filter.

Above All, Use Images in Social Media Messaging

Just about all social networks are image-friendly. Use this to your business’ advantage.

It’s not an accident that the top social media networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn) were among the first to figure out ways users could share images. Research consistently finds that including images in social media posts boosts sharing two or three times over. This is especially seen when B2B sites and brands use infographics in their outreach and marketing.

For more industry stats on how to increase social sharing with unique content, video and images, refer to this recent Hubspot article.

infographics-liked-and-shared-more

Video continues to grow as a popular way to share and receive information. In 2015, Google reported that YouTube, the grandfather of video sites, is more popular than cable TV among the coveted 18-49 age market. YouTube also provides the following statistics about their site and audience.

  • YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60% y/y, the fastest growth we’ve seen in 2 years.
  • The number of people watching YouTube per day is up 40% y/y since March 2014.
  • The number of users coming to YouTube who start at the YouTube homepage, similar to the way they might turn on their TV, is up more than 3x y/y.

Facebook also recently let the world know that over 100 million hours of video is watched through their platform on a daily basis!

Facebook Community Update

Now that smartphones are ready to record and share high-quality video, it’s easy for businesses, including B2Bs, to record and share video. Go ahead and record sales presentations, product demonstrations, and other video-friendly marketing material. Post them on YouTube and other video platforms like Vine and Vimeo and share the links on through the social media you already use.

Is Social Media Worth the Effort? Yes!

A social media campaign is well worth the effort when it’s been planned and executed with an understanding of the information customers want.

Here are a few last tips to keep in mind.

  • Research competitors’ social media and look at their most popular posts
  • Follow a few of them and the experts in your industry
  • Engage with your own followers:
    – Thank them when they follow you and share your posts
    – Follow them as well
    – Comment and share their posts

Social media is here to stay. The platforms might change based on their preference and growth over time, but it’s up to you to make sure you have an active presence on each.

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