Did you know that Sarah Palin hasn’t given a media interview in months?
It’s true. She doesn’t talk to reporters at all. Outside of her commentary stints on Fox News, she has no direct contact with any journalists in print, on radio or on TV. So how is it she constantly stays in the headlines? One word: Twitter.
Palin lets the world know what she thinks through Twitter feeds and then comments on them through other social networks, like her Facebook page. She is still mentioned as a potential presidential candidate and her name appears in the news almost every week.
Is there any better evidence that social networking is not a fad?
But don’t take my word or even Palin’s word for it. Just look at the stats:
- Since April, Twitter has gained 40 million users and a 62 percent increase in mobile use of the platform. (Source: ClickZ)
- Now, there are more than 175 million registered Twitter users. It is unclear as to how many of these are regular, but the number of Tweets per day has rocketed to 95 million – an increase of 250 percent. (Econsultancy)
- LinkedIn has grown by an impressive 100 percent from last year; it now has more than 100 million users across the globe. Interestingly, 56% of these users are from outside of the US. (Econsultancy)
- Back in January 2010, the site had 350 million active users across the globe. It now has in excess of 640 million – half of which log in daily. Based on this figure, Facebook has seen a 40 percent increase in daily usage over the past 12 months. (Econsultancy)
- People are sharing more content on Facebook now too. On average, there are more than 7 billion pieces of content shared on the site weekly. This figure has risen from last year, when it was 3.5 billion. (Econsultancy)
- 75 percent of brand “Likes” on Facebook come from advertisements. (Mashable)
- More than 250 million people use Facebook Connect every month. (Facebook)
- The average American Internet user watches 30 minutes of video online per day (comScore) compared to 5 hours of television per day.
- Social networking site usage grew 88 percent among Internet users aged 55-64 between April 2009 and May 2010. (Pew Research)
- In 2009, social gamers bought $2.2 billion in virtual goods, predicted to increase to $6 billion by 2013. (NPD Group).
- 22 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have a public-facing blog that has at least one post in the past 12 months. (comScore)
From the stats, a few key trends are quite clear:
- Corporations are using social networking to extend their branding efforts.
- Real commerce is taking place through social networking sites.
- Social networks are no longer a trend. They are a fact of life for millions of Americans.
This all stands to figure as Americans are being forced to do more with less. They have to make ends meet with less money, get more work done in less time and take care of their families despite the growing demands of earning money through more than one job. Social networking allows Americans to get news, stay in touch with friends and promote their business interests.
I use social networking as a key way of reaching out to my potential clients as well as those in the marketing community who want to use my columns for their Web sites, invite me on their shows as a guest, and even hire me as an expert speaker – all of which drives my business. As a marketing communications professional, I would never dream of eliminating social networking from my outreach arsenal. Each day it grows more important and even helps to drive my revenue, so when I recommend social networking to my clients, it’s not because I am trying to follow all the media hype. I’m living it daily and I see how it helps my bottom line.
But here’s probably the most compelling reason for you to dive into the world of social networking. Based on the stats, your competitors are already using it.
Now, forgive me. I have to go place this piece on my Twitter feed.
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children.