The Changing World of Social Media

social media
By Sara Rider   |   April 14, 2016

What’s in, what’s out, what to consider when you plot your Social Media strategy

Twitter. LinkedIn. Instagram. Facebook. The world is full of social media options. But what is best for your business? Should you commit staff time and effort to all of the options (Tumblr anyone?), or should you focus on a few of them?

The reality is that the world of social media is changing. It is a vital part of any organization’s communications strategy, but there are some shifts that businesses and organizations should consider before committing resources.

First, some of the basics. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2015 survey, 85 percent of adults use the internet and 67 percent use smartphones. Facebook is the most popular social media site. According to the Pew report, 72 percent of online adults (adults who use the internet) use FaceBook. That’s 62 percent of all U.S. adults.

social media

Facebook’s numbers are far greater than those of the other major social media sites. Some 31 percent of online adults use Pinterest and 28 percent use Instagram. Some 25 percent use LinkedIn, with 23 percent using Twitter.

But here’s what has changed. When you look at stats that compare 2012 to 2015, there has been growth for all of these sites. In particular, Pinterest and Instagram have shown strong gains.

Pinterest’s numbers have more than doubled since 2012 (from 15 percent to 31 percent) as have Instagram’s (from 13 percent to 28 percent.) But if you look at changes from 2014 to 2015, the numbers have plateaued.

For all forms of social media. Twitter is flat at 23 percent for both 2014 and 2015. Instagram only grew from 26 percent to 28 percent during the same period, and Facebook went from 71 percent to 72 percent.

LinkedIn declined from 28 percent to 26 percent. In this period of slow or no growth, what has changed is how often people log on. Now 70 percent of users say they log on daily. Some 43 percent say they do so several times a day.

So if your company’s tweet or Facebook post isn’t reaching more people due to a growing audience for the medium, what can you do to at least make more of an impact on the people who are logging on daily?

One important thing to note is that 66 percent of all social media posts include images—not just Instagram, but Pinterest and Twitter, according to a study from The Content Marketing Institute.

In fact, Facebook users upload 350 million photos every day. And those photos make an impact. The same study reports that content with images gets 94 percent more views than content without images. Content with images also gets more social shares.

The same is true for a blog post. Blog posts with images produce 35 percent more reshares than blog posts without images.

So how can a business or organization grow their social media presence?

First, take a look at the demographics of each social media platform and see how well it matches your target audience. Then be sure to include visuals in your posts. And be sure while you’re tweeting and posting you don’t forget your website. Many of us assume that all organizations and businesses have a website—but that isn’t true. Research sponsored by GoDaddy found that about 60 percent of very small businesses (defined as one to five people) don’t have a website. Fewer (12 percent) have a Facebook page.

And the Small Business Administration says that many small businesses don’t have sites that are mobile ready. Hopefully, your business or organization is well-equipped with a website, blog, Facebook page, and a few other social media options. If not, it’s probably time to step up and add these strategies to your marketing mix.

So blog, post, tweet (with visuals of course), and keep an eye on social media trends so that you know you are maximizing your investment in time and resources. And if you need any help developing content for your platforms, just give us a call!  (Or an email, or a text!) We’re happy to help you communicate with all of the thousands of people that your targeted message can reach.



Sara Rider

About the Author

Sara Rider, Vice President at DeLaune & Associates, has written extensively for the healthcare, financial, non-profit, and technology industries for more than 30 years.

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