How does social media in the U.S. help brand building?

Social media is pervasive in the U.S. and is becoming increasingly integrated into the entire media landscape. From a consumer point of view, people use social networks in a few primary ways:

Connection: Facebook is far and away the most popular social platform; as it’s grown over the last 8 years, Facebook has gone from connecting college classmates to being the central social network. Facebook’s wide reach means many people are becoming more selective about what they share, and have higher standards for what they consider relevant or interesting on the platform.

Nicheworks: More active social users are turning to what we call “nicheworks” that have a more specialized interest or functionality and smaller circle of sharing. Sometimes this means sharing similar information, but more in-depth or with a different audience (for example, professional information on LinkedIn). Other platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest, are focused more on image sharing where users upload and post content based on certain topics – like recipes, crafts, travel, or other hobbies and interests.

Discovery & Sharing: Twitter is the most open information platform and has become a cascade of data consisting of personal updates, news and politics, and TV. But it also tends to be the sharing platform of choice for users of nicheworks: when those users create or find something cool, they share it more broadly on Twitter. As Twitter has grown both as a “pure-play” social medium and as a distributor for many smaller networks’ updates, it’s become a microcosm of what’s happening across nearly all of social – and traditional – media.

What do consumers think about brands using social media to reach them? What challenges do brands face in the U.S. when using social media?

Consumers are tolerant of brands but tend to be somewhat transactional in terms of what they want in exchange for their “likes” – they want something back for their attention. Ultimately, almost no one voluntarily wants to interact with ads, so it’s up to brands to change their messaging strategies to offer something genuinely interactive and interesting. This also means brands must have a much stronger arsenal of content at the ready, and they need to be limber and experimental in how they deploy it.

Report: Social network demographics in 2012

Do you know how old the average Twitter or Facebook user is? Do you know what share of Reddit’s users are women? We could go on and on; when it comes to social network demographics, the questions are endless. This research is going to answer those questions for you, showing you the age and gender distribution on 24 of today’s most popular social networks and online communities.

Average age distribution

If you average the age distribution across all the sites in the survey, this here below is what you end up with. You could think of it as the age distribution in the social media sphere.

Age distribution per site

When it comes age distibution among social media networkds, the youngest site is at the top.

This chart should make something very clear; social media is most definitely not just for the young. Some examples:

55% of Twitter users are 35 or older.
63% of Pinterest users are 35 or older.
65% of Facebook users are 35 or older.
79% of LinkedIn users are 35 or older.

Average user age per site

Based on the sites in this survey, the estimated age of the average social media user is just under 37 years old. Here are some other observations:

The oldest users: LinkedIn has the oldest user base, with the average user being 44.2 years old.

The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old.

The average Twitter user is 37.3 years old.

The age trend for Facebook and Twitter. Compared to a previous survey which was conducted 2.5 years ago, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up two years, while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down two years. In other words, Twitter’s user base is getting younger, while Facebook’s is getting older.

What about gender?

Based on the United States demographics data (from Ad Planner) there is a clear gender imbalance on many of these sites. Some are much more male dominated, and vice versa. However, when you look at all the data together, it becomes clear that women rule social media. More than two thirds of the sites in this survey have more female than male users.

17 out of 24 sites (71%) have more female than male users.

The average gender distribution is 48.75% male, 51.25% female.

Most male-dominated site? Slashdot (87% males) is the standout, followed by Hacker News (77% males) and Stack Overflow (76% males). In general, the more tech-focused sites in this survey have more male users than female.
Most female-dominated site? Pinterest (79% females) is in a league of its own, followed by Goodreads (70% females) and Blogger (66% females).

Facebook and Twitter have the same gender distribution: 40% male, 60% female.

How Employers Really Feel About Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

According to this infographic, researched and developed by PayScale, the higher-ups are really not too keen on the social media movement at large, especially when it involves giving social media freedom to employees within the company. And the fear of negative information keeps employers running for a tight leash. Only half of companies have a formal social media policy, and 42% of companies surveyed nix all forms of social media activity at work. In the employers’ eyes, social media should be exclusively reserved for carefully managed brand promotion and professionally handled social recruiting.

From 0 To $1 Billion In Two Years: Instagram’s Rose-Tinted Ride To Glory

Company:Instagram
Website:instagram.com
Launch Date:March 2010
Funding:$47.5M

Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it on the service or a variety of other social networking services, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr , Foursquare and Posterous .The application is compatible with any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 or above. Instagram, in an homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras, confines photos into a square shape. 

Even now, it’s still shocking how the remarkably low distribution costs of the web can change a founder’s fate overnight. Many startups are duds, and most grow at a clip that’s just not fast enough to justify an interesting valuation.

But once in awhile, a company comes along and just nails it. The right timing. The right market. The right place. Then all the rules you know about multiples, comparable benchmarks and so on just buckle under the pressure of momentum.

Continue reading :  http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/09/instagram-story-facebook-acquisition/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest Now Third Most Popular Social Site; Beats Google+ & LinkedIn

Since it’s become the flavor of the month in the social media world, Pinterest and its ever increasing popularity has meant that it’s been covered extensively over the last few months with many wondering how long it’ll be until its growth will begin to waver. Despite the controversy surrounding it with regards to copyright, it keeps attracting new users and now, new research from Experian shows that this trend is very much here to stay as it’s now the third most popular social networking site in the U.S.

The report, entitled “The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report“, found that Pinterest experienced a 50 per cent increase in traffic between January and February 2012, and received nearly 21.5 million total visits during the week ending January 28th 2012. That’s almost 30 times the number of total visits the site was receiving six months prior. Both this and the graph below shows highlights just how phenomenal Pinterest’s growth has been.

LetsLunch.com : Lunch is Business

LetsLunch.com was founded in 2010 in Silicon Valley by  Syed Shuttari. It provides an alternative smart way of  increasing communication, creating new networks and maintaining relationships. Lets Lunch is a new social network exclusively for entrepreneurs and people who want to really use their time. The Website, recently online, propose that if you sign up with them you can actually have lunch with professionals that can help you with your labor duties.

Their goal is to encourage smart business networking by focusing on in-person interaction to build strong relationships. Increasing your business network can mean the difference between success and obscurity. LetsLunch.com uses the time you have at lunch to have you meet other professionals, using a unique algorithm that finds relevant people you don’t know yet.