Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Social Media Growth 2006 to 2012

Social_Media_Landscape_2012For the past two years, I’ve investigated the growth of Social Media. Consistent with those efforts, no clear or easy answer exists when investigating the growth of social media sites over the past six years. No reliable or audited data exists for social media sites. Therefore, the numbers presented in the table below represent an estimate of total registered users for each of the sites investigated. The numbers are not assumed to be accurate, valid or reliable – they are as presented: estimates based on the best available public information. Data was collected for five social media sites and two blog hosting sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress.com and Tumblr. Estimates for the latter two represent the number of blogs hosted on the sites (not the number of unique bloggers, a much lower number). No data for self-hosted websites or blogs using WordPress.org is presented. Data reported are from 31 December 2012.

Social Media CAGR 2006 to 2012

As in the previous two posts on Social Media Growth, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (GAGR) is calculated for each using the free Investopedia Compound Annual Growth Rate calculator available on their website.

When examining the charts individually, the growth patterns look similar.  Globally, the total number of people using social media continues to increase. Facebook, with 1 billion registered users, accounts for 11.15 percent of the global population and would be the world’s third largest country.  The average CAGR for the seven social media sites is 900.05 percent ranging from 71 percent to 4,900 percent.  Again, multiple factors contribute to this exceptional growth rate as compared to the data reported previously, including the inclusion of Google+ and Pinterest in this year’s investigation.

Facebook 2006 to 2012

Twitter 2006 to 2012

Google+ 2006 to 2012

LinkedIn 2006 to 2012

Pinterest 2006 to 2012

Wordpress 2006 to 2012

Tumblr 2006 to 2012

When charted together, the domination of Facebook’s growth and share of voice in the social media world remains apparent. The growth of Google+ is impressive as is the growth of Pinterest (the fastest growth to 10 million users in the history of social media). And those proclaiming the death of blogging may be hard pressed to defend their positions given the growth of both WordPress.com and Tumblr.

Social Media Growth 2006 to 2012

The final chart, one of my favorites, presents social media share of voice. The inner ring contains the data from 2006 and the outer ring presents the data from 2012.

Share of Voice 2006 to 2012

It is clear that in terms of diffusion of innovation, social media still remains in the growth stage. Equally as clear, but not reported above, is that more people globally are accessing social media using mobile devices.  For instance, over 604 million users (60 percent of total users) access Facebook regularly via mobile devices. For marketers, the implications are the same as they were last year: get social and become mobile or risk losing share of voice in the social/mobile marketing era.

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R You Ready for DIY Statistics and Social Media Marketing Analytics?

The logo for the R statistical software package

This post originally appeared in Social Media Marketing Magazine, Issue 1, Number 6

Statistics. For many current and former students, just the sound of this word evokes nightmares. However, once you learn to master some basic tasks using statistical analysis software, the world becomes your data playground. Thus, the purpose of this column is to introduce you to one of the most powerful statistical analysis software packages (open source!) and to provide examples of how it can be used to build your social media marketing analytics capabilities.

R is one of the most popular statistical analysis software programs available. It is used by statisticians, financial analysts, marketing researchers and social media researchers. To download and install R, go to the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) site.

You’ll find versions of R built for Linux, MacOS X and Windows. In my opinion, the versions for Linux and Windows work best. Issues for Mac users related to installing and updating additional statistical analysis packages (3311 are currently available – and like R, all for free) are known to exist. Mac users experiencing problems are encouraged to consider installing Virtual Box in order to install and run the Linux version of the R statistical program. After selecting, downloading and installing the base program, visit the Quick-R site for examples of how to use R for statistical analysis.

Two recent additional (or add-on) social media statistical packages are available to be installed in R: RGoogleTrends and twitteR. The former is one of the most difficult R add-ons to install in R (it took me a couple of hours to make it work) and the latter performs many of the same functions of one of the earlier software packages recommended in this column, NodeXL.

RGoogleTrends:

RGoogleTrends is not available for download within the R “install packages” option. To install RGoogleTrends, one must visit this site to download the .tar.gz file (I use 7-zip for Windows to unzip the file). Hyunyoung Choi and Hal Varian provide a unique perspective of the power of RGoogleTrends in their 2009 white paper “Predicting the Present with Google Trends”. Joe Rothermich developed an interesting presentation (2011) that illustrates the power of using RGoogleTrends to measure market sentiment and events. Download and read both to get an idea of the power of R from a social media marketing perspective.

twitteR:

The easier of the two R add-on packages to download and install (can be done within the “install packages” option included in the R base package), twitteR provides users with access to the networks of businesses or people who are on Twitter. Using twitteR, one can perform network analysis tasks that include basic statistics. Jeffrey Breen recently presented (2011) an incredible example of how to use R and twitteR to mine Twitter for consumer attitudes. His presentation includes advanced R code for how to replicate/duplicate his research.

Admittedly, none of this is easy. But spending the time to master R, RGoogleTrends and twitteR will make you a better social media marketing researcher. R you up to the challenge?

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Social Media Growth 2006 to 2011

Dell Social MediaIn a previous post, social media growth from 2006 through 2010 was documented. As with that effort, there are no clear or easy answers when investigating the growth of social media sites over the past five years. No reliable or audited data exists for social media sites. Therefore, the numbers presented in the table below represent an estimate of total registered users for each of the sites investigated. The numbers are not assumed to be accurate, valid or reliable – they are as presented: estimates based on the best available public information. Data was collected for three social media sites and three blog hosting sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress.com, Tumblr and Posterous. Estimates for the latter three represent the number of blogs hosted on the sites (not the number of unique bloggers, a much lower number, as estimated in the original post). The result of the change in reporting for the three blogging platforms, necessitated by the lack of data regarding number of unique bloggers, explains some of the exceptional growth reported below. No data for self-hosted blogs using WordPress.org is presented. As of December 2011, all variations of WordPress version 3 have been downloaded in excess of 65 million times.

SMM Growth Table 2011

As in the original post, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (GAGR) is calculated for each using the free Investopedia Compound Annual Growth Rate calculator available on their website.

When examining the charts individually, the growth patterns look similar. Globally, the total number of people using social media continues to increase. Facebook, alone, reports 11.45 percent of the global population as registered users. The average CAGR for the six social media sites is 443.66 percent ranging from 75.97 percent to 1,145.73 percent. Again, multiple factors contribute to this exceptional growth rate as compared to the data reported in 2010, including the change in reporting for blogs (total number of blogs hosted, not unique users) and the rapid growth of both Twitter and Posterous. Growth charts are presented below for each of the social media sites included in this investigation.

Facebook Growth 2006-2011

Twitter Growth 2006-2011

LinkedIn Growth 2006-2011

WordPress.com Growth 2006-2011

Tumblr Growth 2006-2011

Posterous Growth 2006-2011

When charted together, the domination of Facebook’s growth and share of voice in the social media world remains apparent. The launch of Google+ as a viable alternative to Facebook, although well received by the social media community, has not gained much traction in the broader audience. Data from Google+ will be included in next year’s update.

Social Media Growth 2006-2011 The final chart presented is social media share of voice. The inner ring contains the data from 2006 and the outer ring presents the data from 2011.

Social Media Share of Voice 2006-2011

It is clear that in terms of diffusion of innovation, social media remains in the growth stage. Equally as clear, but not reported above, is that more people globally are accessing social media from mobile devices. For marketers, the implications are irrefutable: get social and become mobile or risk losing share of voice in the social/mobile marketing era.

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