Social Media Knowledge is Power (Updated for 2016)
We all know that social media is an easy, cost-efficient way to build your brand, make connections with prospects and add a human element to your company’s relationship with customers.
It’s also constantly evolving, bringing new challenges and trends with each passing year.
Now that we’re halfway through 2016, it’s useful to check out some of the most important statistics and facts regarding social media for the rest of the year.
From things we know about the most popular platforms to trends regarding each platform’s users, here are some fascinating stats to keep in mind.
1. “In 2016, 4 in 10 U.S. Adults Said They Get Their News from Digital Sources"
According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, digital news sources were second only to television as U.S. adults' preferred method of getting their news. 38% of respondents said that digital sources like apps and online websites were their go-to source for daily news.
Within that percentage of respondents, 18% reported preferring social media sites as their go-to source for news.
57% of U.S. adults reported getting their news from television, while only 25% reported receiving their news from the radio, and an even smaller 20% received news from print newspapers.
With every new year, digital use goes up and traditional media use (like television and print news) goes down.
2. “Instagram’s Per-Follower Brand Engagement Rate Was 2.3% in 2015, Just Over Half of What It Was in 2014”
2015 brought sharp declines in nearly all major social media platforms' per-follower engagements (that is, the percentage of a brand's followers that actively engaged (liking, commenting, sharing) with their posts).
This being said, Instagram is still the king of social media engagement.
In a new study from Forrester, the top 48 brands on social sites still enjoyed the most engagement with their posts on Instagram, with 2.3% of each top brand's followers engaging with their content.
And the race wasn't even close: Facebook came in 2nd, with just .216% of followers actively engaging with brands' content regularly.
Facebook's engagement rate actually grew from 2014 to 2015; Forrester attributes the spike to an increase in brands that are paying to promote their posts.
3. "Snapchat's Video Views Grew Over 400% from May 2015 to May 2016"
Snapchat is coming up roses in the social media world these days.
According to a new study from Bloomberg, the social media newbie's video views jumped a staggering 400% in the past year alone.
Snapchat is coming out on top in the age of video-driven social media culture. With fun filters, their popular "Stories" feature, and a stronghold on the Millennial generation (63% of Snapchat's users are between the ages of 18 and 34), Snapchat is a certified social media juggernaut in 2016.
4. "Among Politically Active Millennials, Those Who Identify as Democrat Are More Likely to Follow the 2016 Election on Social Media"
Another great study from Pew Research explored some of the social media habits of citizens most likely to vote during primaries and caucuses during the 2016 election year.
They found that younger Americans (primarily Millennials) were more likely to get news about the election from social media. They also found that the majority of these social-media-using Millennials were more likely to be Democrat or Democrat-leaning.
Nearly three quarters of responding Millennial Democrats reported getting their election news from social media, compared to only 50% of Millennial Republicans.
5. “Facebook Users Spend an Average of 50 Minutes a Day on Its Multiple Platforms"
Facebook Messenger, Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Facebook itself take up nearly an hour of users' time each day.
This is according to an article in the New York Times, which outlines Facebook's dominance in the world of leisure.
According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Facebook's empire takes up more of respondents' leisure time than reading, exercising, or socializing.
The only things they spent more leisure time doing than surfing Facebook, Instagram and Messenger? Eating and drinking and watching TV and movies.
Facebook's stranglehold on users' time has increased by 10 entire minutes from 2014, when they spent only 40 minutes a day on the platform.
6. “Pinterest is Most Popular Among Educated, High-Income Women"
Pinterest is not just a virtual corkboard for recipes and wedding dresses anymore, people. It's expanding to include both video and audio-posting capabilites, from videos on YouTube to podcasts and more. It's also a hub for high-earning females.
This recent study on social media demographics revealed that the social site is used by roughly 44% of women who are online.
Most of Pinterest's users also have at least some college education and earn over $50,000 a year.
The site's highly-visual format makes it the perfect spot for brands looking to break into a new social media frontier.
Read More from IMA: 5 Things You Need to Know About Pinterest.
7. “Twitter's User Base Is Plateauing"
Twitter averaged 320 million monthly active users in the final quarter of 2015.
It was just a 9.6% increase in MAUs from the same quarter in 2014, and was Twitter's worst annualized growth rate since 2011, when the data was first being collected.
Twitter has also never turned a profit. Last year, it lost $522 million on revenues of over $2 billion.
8. “34% of Responding Employees Report Using Social Media to Take a Mental Break at Work"
A 2014 study from Pew Research found that 34% of respondents admitted to using social media during the workday as a mental break from their tasks.
Respondents also reported using social media during work hours to find out information about colleagues or co-workers, connect with family and friends, or take part in professional networking.
9. “Since 2011, Adverstising Revenue on Mobile Platforms Has Increased from $1.45 Billion to $31.45 Billion"
Just let that sink in.
Mobile ad revenue has increased faster than any other platform in the past five years.
To compare: ad revenues on television increased from $60.66 billion in 2011 to $68.88 billion in 2015. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 37% of all digital ad revenue in 2015, up from 25% in 2014.
Advertisement revenue for newspapers, magazines and radio all decreased during the same time period. Television ad revenue is also expected to plateau in the next few years.
10. “Google and Facebook Rake in the Majority of Digital Ad Revenue"
Of the $59.6 billion in revenue generated from digital advertising in 2015, roughly 64% went to Facebook or Google, according to a new study from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
Google Adwords was the digial ad dollar behemoth of the two, gathering $30 billion in revenue.
Facebook came in at a distant second with around $8 billion in revenue from digital ads.
Advertising revenue across all social media platforms was also up, totaling $10.9 billion dollars in 2015, a stark increase from the $7 billion in revenue that was generated in 2014.
Wondering how IMA's social media department can help your brand succeed? Check out our resources page!