Social media changes all the time and the only way marketers can truly leverage its potential for branding and engaging their audiences is by keeping up with research. We’ve got plenty of analytics tools at our disposal that make it easy to measure and predict consumer behaviors in social networks. Knowing how consumers interact with brands on social media, marketers stand a chance at developing strategies for further engagement. Here are 10 really surprising facts about social media – number 8 will definitely make you rethink your current outreach strategy.
- Young audiences love visuals
We all know that visuals are a powerful medium on social networks. And that goes especially for young audiences – Digital Insights unveiled a report that cites 25% of teens to consider Instagram their favorite social network. (http://blog.digitalinsights.in/social-media-users-2014-stats-numbers/05205287.html)
The rapid growth of Instagram is in itself a telling sign. During the last six months, the social network gained more then 50 million new users. And that’s a traffic that no marketer should ignore.
- Your biggest advocates have the fewest followers
A social monitoring website Mention analyzed over 1 billion social mentions from the last two years and discovered something really interesting. Apparently, over 90% of social mentions came from people who had less than 500 followers. (https://mention.com/uploads/whitepaper.pdf)
What does it mean for you? Don’t expect your brand mentions on social media to come from the influencers – less than 10% of posts or tweets will be from power users. One way to deal with this is to prioritize them in your marketing strategy. Whatever you decide, remember about responding to each and every social mention, no matter what is the status of the user.
- Going visual on Facebook
When it comes to content marketing, visuals have always played an important role on Facebook. Finally, we’ve got some research to prove what we instinctively though was true.
In a recent report, Social Bakers unveiled that Facebook is driven by visuals – posts that feature photos receive 87% of the whole number of shares on a Facebook page. In contrast, posts containing only links get 4% of shares and text statuses a meek 2%.
This finding is important to consider if you’re about to post something on Facebook – now you know for sure that adding a captivating image will instantly increase the engagement rate of your post.
- Pinterest has daily trending topics
Over the last couple of years, Pinterest has grown into an impressive social network that attracts a considerable web traffic. Their analytics team recently published a very interesting, data-driven post on the company blog.
Every day on Pinterest has a different trending topic. Mondays favor fitness, Wednesdays are for inspirational quotes and on Saturdays, pins about traveling receive most attention. If you’re just about to publish a new board, have a look at this analysis and choose the right day to do it.
- Written content in the center of marketing
Social Media Examiner every year brings us the results of a detailed survey conducted among professional marketers to help us learn what are the leading trends in digital marketing. This year we’ll see the importance of written content grow rapidly – over 50% of marketers consider it more important than the celebrated visuals. (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport2014.pdf)
What does it mean for you? Before you post yet another image, rethink your strategy towards written content and stop underestimating the value of great copywriting.
- Tweeting in late evenings is worth it
This is a crucial fact that might completely revolutionize the way in which you reach out to your audience on Twitter. TrackMaven analyzed over 1.7 million tweets and found out that tweets sent from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET receive most likes and retweets. (http://trackmaven.com/resources/retweet-report/)
If you think about it for a moment, it actually makes sense – late evening is a time of relatively low share volume, so whatever gets tweeted at this time won’t have a lot of competition and might even go viral. TrackMaven also unveiled the best day for tweeting – apparently, Sundays drive most user engagement.
- Facebook works best on Fridays
This is a major research finding about Facebook. Adobe took the task of analyzing over 225 billion Facebook posts and published their surprising results in the recent Social Intelligence Report. (https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/82076e0e-c4c3-41c9-9f13-42813d579c7a)
Adobe team found out that when it comes to user engagement on Facebook, the best day during the whole week is Friday. Content posted on this day was found out to receive more likes, shares and comments than it would on any other day. It sort of makes sense – how many of your colleagues have you seen slacking off at work on Friday?
This might be the cue for rethinking your own posting strategy. If you’re just about to construct a brand new posting schedule for your marketing team, bear this piece of data in mind.
- Twitter has 6 different communication models
We were all under the impression that Twitter was a relatively simple social network – this research proves otherwise! The Pew Research Center, together with the Social Media Research Foundation analyzed all communication models present on Twitter and found out that the network has 6 distinct communication models. (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/20/the-six-types-of-twitter-conversations/)
Have a look at this infographic to check whether your brand’s tweeting style can be placed in one of these categories. If so, don’t forget that each of those communication models reflects a different kind of brand-consumer relationship. Maybe it’s time to rethink yours?
- A Facebook post lives 5 hours
Another really important finding that might completely change the way you interact with your audience on Facebook. Digital Insights revealed that that 75% of engagement on a Facebook post happens during the first 5 hours after its publication.
What does it mean? Once those 5 hours are over, the post disappears from public consciousness. One thing is certain – if you want your post to make a difference, you better make the most from those first 5 hours.
- Mature consumers are using Twitter more than ever
This piece of data is imply mind-blowing. Twitter recently noticed that its fastest growing demographic is located within the 55-64 age bracket! This is a radical shift in social media audiences that’s happening right before our eyes. (http://smartsavvysocial.com/social-media-facts/)
Marketers who work for brands that address mature consumers might now turn their attention to Twitter as a potential point of interaction with their audiences.
In order to make the most from social media marketing, marketers should always keep up with recent developments and changing trends in social consumer-brand interactions. Research and analytics is one good method for mapping the changes in how social networks develop and how consumers use them to engage with brands.
Isabel Wiliams is part of the marketing team at http://www.bizdb.co.uk/. She is passionate about digital marketing and new technologies. She is a dedicated writer and tutor giving seminars on how to leverage the potential of the internet for business empowerment.