Best Social Media Stats and Market Research of 2009

March 31, 2010

Whether you need data to back up a proposal for investing in social media marketing for CFO, want to understand which online tactics work best for engaging with customers and prospects, or are just an analytics data junky, you’ll find a treasure trove of key insights and happy hour trivia in this collection of the best articles and blog posts on social media and other marketing research of the past year.

Best Market Research of 2009What are the latest trends in search? Which industry segments are most actively discussed in social media? Who’s really using which social media networks? Why are consumers following brands on Twitter and Facebook? Which social media tool do businesses find most effective at reaching their target audiences? What social media information source is used by 91% of b2b buyers? Do C-level executives really click on ads? What effect does social media marketing have on revenue? Read on for the answers to all of these questions and more.

Because these reports came disproportionately from one source (MediaPost), the articles and blog posts presented here are categorized by source. Each link is accompanied by a short illustrative snippet of the research findings. Learn and enjoy!

Market Research Findings from Around the Web

Searchers Using Longer Queries in 2009 by Small Business Search Marketing
Matt McGee
Single-word search queries declined from 24.5% of all searches in 2007 to 20.4% in 2009, while 4-word searches increased from 13.3% to 14.9% of all searches.

Twitter Demographics by Social Media Today
Jacob Morgan
20% of online adults age 25-34 have used twitter or something like it, compared to 10% of online adults age 35-44 and 5% of those aged 45-54.

Battle of the marketing sexes by iMedia Connection
Susan Kuchinskas
Does brain structure give women an edge in social media marketing abilities?

Predicting the Present with Google Trends by Google Research Blog
Hal Varian
How Google Trends data can help improve forecasts of the current level of activity for a number of different economic time series.

Top 10 Social Media Industry Segments by Sociable Blog
Kevin Stirtz
Which segments generate the most social media buzz? Web applications, media, software and autos are among the most-discussed industry segments in social media.

Twidiots: The Fact and Fiction of Social Media Demographics by Social Media Today
Augie Ray
Who’s really tweeting? The median Twitter user is 31, compared to 26 for Facebook and 40 for LinkedIn. Adults 25 to 54 over-index on Twitter compared to the general Internet population.

4 technologies that are killing the URL by iMedia Connection
Jonathan Richman
Eighty percent of all online sessions begin with search. Google alone has a 63.7 percent share of all searches, and the top three listings on a search engine results page account for approximately 63 percent of all clicks. Find out what other technologies visitors use to find websites without typing URLs.

Twitter Surpasses Facebook as Top Link in E-mail by ClickZ
Bill McCloskey
Companies with the highest level of social media activity increased revenue by 18 percent in the last 12 months, while companies that were the least active saw a 6 percent drop in sales.

20+ more mind-blowing social media statistics by Econsultancy
Jake Hird
*****5 Stars
Social networks and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities online, including beating personal email. 80% of companies use, (or are planning to use), LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees during the course of this year. 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs. And there’s much more here.

Social Networks More Than 20 Percent of Online Ad Impressions by Inside Facebook
Eric Eldon
Social networks account for 21.1 percent of all online display advertising impressions in the US, with Facebook reaching the most unique visitors.

5 Must-Read Social Media Marketing Studies by Social Media Examiner
Amy Porterfield
*****5 Stars
26 million (1 in 7) U.S. adults use Twitter monthly. Americans spend 17% of their online time on social media sites. And 51% of business users say the most useful social media tool for reaching their audience is…blogs.

3 New Social Media Studies Worth Reading by Social Media Examiner
Amy Porterfield
In this follow up to the previous post, learn about the biggest challenges in social media for businesses, the percentage of people using social media as a discovery tool, and the speed of social media adoption by business (slow – just 9% of businesses used Twitter to market in the last 12 months).

B2B marketing awards: Beauty over brains by iMedia Connection
Robert Davis
91% of B2B buyers read blogs, view videos or listen to podcasts online, and word of mouth is ranked as the most powerful influence on B2B purchasing.

World Rankings and Records by
A wealth of trivia for data junkies: discover which countries have the highest health care expenditures, the most cocaine users, the safest (and most dangerous) roads, and much more.

Customer Engagement Survey Shows Twitter is King of ROI by Marketing Pilgrim
Andy Beal
For companies, email newsletters still rate as the tactic offering the highest tangible improvement (67%) but a whopping 44% – almost double the percentage from 2009 – have discovered that social networks helped increase their online customer engagement.

Research Findings from MediaPost Online Media Daily

SEO Investments Expected To Grow More Than 20%
Laurie Sullivan
Growth will decline for paid search from 15.9% in 2009 to 11.3% in 2013–while SEO growth will jump from 17.7% to 20.3%, respectively.

Fortune 500 Companies Fall Flat On Millions Paid For Keywords
Laurie Sullivan
Fortune 500 companies spend $51 million per day in aggregate on 88,792 keywords–yet only 20.82% rank in the top 100 of natural search results.

Defying Downturn, Marketers Plan To Boost Social Media Budgets
Mark Walsh
Despite the downturn, 53% of marketers plan to increase social media spending and 42% will keep it unchanged.

Facebook Users Growing Up Fast
Mark Walsh
Facebook’s fans are getting older. Ages 18 to 25 still make up the biggest proportion of users, at 35%. But people ages 26-44 now account for 41% of the Facebook audience. Women over 55 remain the fastest-growing demographic.

What iPhone Apps Are Used Most? Hint: Not Games
39% of iPhone users cited weather-related apps as one of the three kinds of applications they use most frequently. A quarter of iPhone users said Facebook’s was one of three apps they accessed most often, followed by game apps, at 20%.

Report: The Business of B2B Is Online
Gavin O’Malley
Of all business-to-business media categories, online revenue showed the strongest growth in 2008, increasing by 15.1%, while rising at a compound annual growth rate of 26.8% from 2006 to 2008. At the same time, magazine net ad revenue declined 10.2% in 2008 versus 2007.

Where Do The C-Level Execs See Advertisements?
Laurie Sullivan
53% of C-level execs say they prefer to search the Web and locate information themselves rather than delegating this. 86% said they occasionally or frequently click on linked words from Web articles and content, 58% click on paid search listings in search engine results, and 53% click on Web site banner ads.

Superconnected: 71 Percent Say They Can’t Live Without Facebook
Just 29% of Facebook and LinkedIn users say they could “probably do without” the popular networks, according to a new study. But 35% of social media users surveyed said they could do without MySpace, while a more modest 43% thought life still worth living without Twitter.

Study: Who’s On Which Social Nets
Laurie Sullivan
The average user logs into a social network account about four times daily, five days a week, and spends about one hour per day on the network. About 31.8% are business users; followed by 26.3%, fun seekers; 21.8%, social media mavens; and 10.1%, leisure followers.

Razorfish Study: Special Offers Drive Engagement In Social Media
Mark Walsh
Of those who follow a brand on Twitter, 44% said access to exclusive deals is the main reason. And on Facebook and MySpace, 37% cited special deals as the main reason they have “friended” a brand. But customer service is also important, with 33% friending a brand on Facebook and MySpace for that purpose, and 24% on Twitter.

Research from MediaPost Search Insider

Google Ups Share of Search To 72%; Yahoo, MSN and Ask Continue To Tank
Rob Garner
Google has posted a year-over-year increase of 8% in its share of U.S.-based search queries, for a total of 72.11% of all U.S. searches.

Bing’s Gain Will Be Yahoo’s Loss, While Actual Google Share Varies By Vertical
Rob Garner
Google accounts for 62% of searches in the financial services category, but Yahoo is referring financial traffic at a higher rate. In health care, 65% of search visitors came from Google, also significantly lower than the market average of 73%. But in high tech, 85% of search visitors come from Google.

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