It’s everywhere.  It has become an integral part of our daily routine. It connects us in ways that nothing before has been able to and allows us to instantly share any aspect of our life that we may choose to.  And not just for the purposes of our leisure and pleasure anymore, but increasingly, as a tool that can now be so easily activated to boost business by extending the reach of our enterprise beyond boundaries previously limited by our marketing budget – because it is largely still free of charge.  It is of course, the seemingly unstoppable phenomenon of Social Networking.Social Media Makreting

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn.  And let’s not forget Instagram and Pinterest.  These are presently the dominant players in the world of social networking, all of them growing explosively in terms of their appeal and usage, many of them interconnected through recent corporate acquisitions.  But who knows how many newcomers to the realm of Social Networking may come along and be warmly embraced in this still relatively New Year? Who knows how far this awe inspiring entity has yet to grow?

One fact remains inarguable in the rapidly expanding social media universe:  namely, that any business which fails to engage with and begin to exploit the rich seam of opportunity this medium presents will be seriously missing out.  And here at Websmart, our team has established a demonstrable record of success in helping companies across a broad spectrum of sectors to successfully and productively build social networking for business into their programme of online activity.

Let’s look at some impressive figures that have emerged from recent research on the growth and use of social networking:

Incredible but true, there are now more devices connected to the internet than people on the planet.  And 40% of those people now prefer to go online to do their socialising than they to have a face to face chat.

With every minute that passes, 100,000 Tweets are sent.  In that same time, Google receives and processes another 2 million search queries, 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 684,478 items of content are shared on Facebook and 3,600 photographs are put on Instagram.

Dig deeper into these amazing facts and it becomes apparent that the major players are achieving huge membership numbers and usage patterns that anyone contemplating business focused social media will find extremely encouraging.

Facebook has 1 Billion users, of whom 552 million utilise the service every day.  Twitter boasts 517 million users, with 6.9 million people active with them daily. Google+ membership has reached 400 million and enjoys 75 million visitors every day.  LinkedIn stood at 175 million users at the time our research was conducted, with 25 million daily users.  Instagram has hit 100 million members, with 7.3 million daily users.  25 million people have joined Pinterest and 4 million are spending time on the site every day.

No wonder, then, that social media is finding such favour with the business community.  2012 saw 34% of medium sized and 27% of small businesses incorporating social media into their marketing activities, which is a 10% increase on 2011.  With 83% of the market, Facebook is now by far the leading social marketing tool for brands of all types and is expected to hit 88% in 2014.  Twitter is streaking forward at 53% and plans to reach 64% by 2014.

And well worth noting is the measurable degree of success that companies using social media have begun to report. Indeed, 74% have said they experienced a significant increase in traffic to and through their company’s website after just 6 hours spent per week on social media activity.  It is estimated that 62% of marketers are now using one or more social media network as part of their online marketing campaign, a figure expected to grow quickly in 2013.

We’d say these statistics don’t just speak for themselves, they shout loud and clear that the time has come for all businesses to share the rich brand-building opportunity that social media represents.  So, to talk to us about how we can make social media work profitably for your business, just call us on 01553 766760 or email sales@websmartstudio.co.uk

One more thing (as Steve Jobs used to say) … at the end of this month, we’ll be making an exciting announcement that’ll mean good things for everyone we work with – and of course, as well as using this blog to do so, we’ll be using social media to tell you all about it!