The numbers are impressive. Some highlights:
- Facebook gets more traffic than Google, and it’s barely being used in the world’s most populous country, China.
- Nearly every Millennial has opened at least one social network account.
- 1 in 8 married couples met via social networks.
- It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV 13 years, the internet four years … Facebook got 200 million users in less than one year.
- Gran’mama is Facebook’s fastest growing segment.
- Studies show Wikipedia to be as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica.
- Social media has topped porn as the top internet activity. Gosh, I never thought I’d see the day …
Some of the facts and assertions are still a little questionable despite Socialnomic’s scrupulous footnoting. For example, those years-to-50-million-users numbers are inflated by growing populations and vastly increased reliance on consumer technology. Likewise, 90 percent of people don’t TiVo past commercials. DVRs don’t even have 90 percent market penetration. Socialnomics cites the fact as coming from Starcom USA-TiVo, but the New York Times reported different findings in an article last year on how TV executives are actually embracing the boxes. In fact, Nielsen’s found that DVR viewing raises ad views.
So some of the scary numbers are, in fact, scare tactics, you’ve been warned.
Towards the end, the video also asserts that soon we’ll no longer search for products and services; they’ll come to us! That’s bull. Companies will do their best to put their products and services in front of consumers like they do now, and social media can make that a lot easier. But so long as people love shopping and bargain hunting, and so long as we’re all intimately aware that company communications are written to serve the interests of the company communicating them, I don’t think you’ll see consumers lay back and go completely placid. Shopping’s still America’s most popular past time and therapeutic.
But even if the video overstates some points, it’s clear social media has a growing role in people’s day-to-day communications. It may not suit every campaign, but it’s a mistake to avoid the channel out of laziness or ignorance.