Best Social Media Stats, Facts and Marketing Research of 2010

January 17, 2011

For anyone in marketing or PR being asked to make “data-driven” decisions “based on the numbers” (and doesn’t that include pretty much everyone in marketing and PR these days?), the sources below provide a vast wealth of data, statistics and research results, as well as a bit of interesting social media trivia.

Best Social Media Stats and Market Research of 2010How are consumers and b2b decision makers using social media in their buying processes? Which social media platforms are most effective at influencing buyer behavior? How do the audiences differ across various social networks? How do social media marketing strategies in small businesses differ from those in larger enterprises? Although social media has been the hottest topic in marketing this year, what other tactics are critical to adopt, maintain or expand?

Discover the answers to all of these questions and more here in more than 40 of the best resources for social media and marketing stats, facts and research of the past year.

Social Media Facts and Stats

10 Interesting Social Media Statistics by Jeff Bullas

Social media networks and blogs consume nearly 25% of people’s time online. The number of people who are visiting social media sites has increased by 24% over the last year. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than they did a year ago. Facebook is the world’s most visited social media brand with 54% of the worlds internet population visiting the brand. And much more.

How U.S. Internet Users Spend Their Online TimeWhat Americans Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity by Nielsen Wire

Americans spent nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs in 2010, up from 15.8 percent just a year earlier—a 43 percent increase. 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities: social networking, playing games and emailing. Mobile internet activity is different, however, with the dominant share of time (42%) spent on email, and just 11% on social media.

20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited by Econsultancy

More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook. 70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog, and 38% of them post brand or product reviews. At its current rate, Twitter will process almost 10 billion tweets in 2010.

Social Marketing Lifts Organic Conversions by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 Stars
Still don’t think social media is important for marketing your business? According to MarketingSherpa research, marketers working in social media report an average 27% conversion rate for organic search traffic, while those not using social media reported a 17% rate. Adam T. Sutton concludes, “Clearly, SEO is more effective at attracting attention and ultimately converting people. However, social media is more likely to increase positive thinking around a product and brand.”

Marketing Salary Survey: Social Media Marketing by Aquent

How much are you worth? Find out in this report. The median salary for a social media marketer in the Minneapolis area is $63,179, just a shade below the national average of $64,000. However, that figure rises if you work for a company generating at least $10 million in annual revenue, or you’re in management (in which case it’s $109,000). Salaries are lower in certain regions (e.g. Houston—but consider there’s no income tax in Texas) and highest, shock of shocks, in Silicon Valley where the median social media marketer’s salary is nearly $78,000.

Facebook, Twitter Growing As Video Referral Sources by MediaPost Online Media Daily

How should you expect to promote that cool new video? Well, about two-thirds (64%) of the traffic from third-party sites to video sources currently comes from Google, followed by Yahoo (11.9%), Facebook (4.3%), Bing (2.6%), and Twitter at 1.2%. However, Facebook and Twitter send the most-engaged traffic as measured by average viewing spent time per visitor.

Are Twitter Followers Better Than Facebook Fans? by eMarketer

Yes—sort of. According to an ExactTarget survey, Twitter users who follow a brand are more than twice as likely as Facebook users who “like” a brand to say they are more likely to purchase from the brand after becoming a social media follower. And a third of Twitter followers say they are more apt to make a recommendation about brands they follow, compared with 24% of email subscribers and 21% of Facebook fans. However, marketers need to keep in mind that Twitter’s user base, particularly active Tweeters, is much smaller.

Social Media 3Q Update: Who Uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & MySpace? by Social Media Today

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continued to add users in the second half of 2010, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters. Facebook reaches 57% of the U.S. population, and the average visit length is 23 minutes (versus 13 minutes for Twitter and 10 minutes on LinkedIn). The fastest-growing demographic group on Facebook is no longer women over 55 years old–it’s now users under 18. Young adults (but not teens) are fueling growth on Twitter.

Roundup of the Top Internet and Social Media Statistics by Awareness Community

A goldmine of social media trivia, e.g.: has the oldest demographic of any major social network. Twitter has the fifth oldest. 75% of small businesses in the U.S. have a company page on at least one social networking site (but only 39% blog and just 26% tweet). 35% of bloggers are professional journalists. 5% of Americans had heard of Twitter in 2008; that figure rose to 87% last year. 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices.

Social Media Gender Roles Follow Traditional Offline Trends by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Recent research from the University of Texas suggests that many of the actions people take on Facebook follow traditional psychological and physiological gender roles. For example, women (63%) are more likely than men (56%) to post comments and likes to their profile, suggesting that women show a greater tendency to engage in personal communication. Women are also more likely than men to share pictures. The types of photos women post most frequently are described in the study as “affectionate,” such as pictures of family gatherings or friends hanging out and having a good time. Men, on the other hand, generally post photos that reflect hobbies and landscapes. Men are also more likely to post videos as opposed to still images, oriented toward pop culture, sports, entertainment or politics.

The State of the Blogosphere 2010 by Brian Solis

Frequent best-of contributor Brian Solis shares stats from Technorati showing that nearly half of all bloggers are U.S.-based, with another 29% in Europe. Bloggers are social and outspoken; the two most common motivations given for blogging are “to meet and connect with like-minded people” and “to speak my mind on areas of interest.” The largest share of bloggers have been at it for 2-4 years, though 35% of corporate bloggers have been blogging for 6+ years. Nearly half of all bloggers use WordPress, and roughly three-quarters promote their posts via Twitter.

6% of Adult Americans Use Twitter by Roy Wells

Roy Wells reports on research from the The Pew Internet & American Life Project detailing Twitter use in America. 8% of all Internet users are on Twitter, but the group is skewed more toward women (10%) than men (75), the young (18-29 year olds are most heavily represented) and urban. 62% of respondents said they post updates related to their work life, activities or interests, with 12% doing so on a daily basis.

Who Really Uses Twitter, and How? by Pamorama

Pam Dyer puts her own unique spin on the Pew Twitter report, noting that 55% of these Twitter users share links to news stories, with one in eight doing this at least once per day. 53% retweet material posted by others, while 52% send direct messages to other users.

Everyone Uses E-mail, But Blogging Is On the Decline [STUDY] by Mashable

The title is a tad misleading; while younger Internet users (aged 18-33) are blogging somewhat less than in 2006 and gravitating to Facebook, there has been an uptick in blogging among those 33 and older, and blog readership is up among all age groups. Not surprisingly, email and search are the most common online activities among all age groups.

The 4 A's of Social ConsumerismThe Difference Between Friends, Fans and Followers by Brian Solis

Brian Solis contends that “The future of business is tied to how the 3F’s (friends, fans and followers) convert into the 4A’s, action, advisor, affinity, and advocacy, regardless of network.” And which tool works best for that? When asked if they were more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a subscriber, fan or follower, 37% of Twitter users said “yes” (strongly agreed), versus 17% of Facebook users and 27% of email subscribers. Asked if they would recommend a brand based on their social media connection to it, 33% of Twitter users responded affirmatively versus 24% of email subscribers and just 21% of Facebook users.

A Year in Numbers: Top 10 Marketing Charts and Research Articles of 2010 by MarketingProfs

Noting that social media was the hottest topic on MarketingProfs last year, featured prominently in 7 of 10 articles, Ann Handley share some key stats, for example: if you’re going to market on Facebook, be prepared to offer special deals. 40% of Facebook users said their motivation for liking a brand there was “to receive discounts and promotions,” 36% said it was to get a freebie (sample, coupon, trial etc.), and 30% said it was to get updates on upcoming sales. Email open rates continue to decline from 14% in the second half of 2007 to just 11.2% in the latter half of 2010. Among small companies, 39% used Facebook for corporate purposes while 31% had a company Twitter account; those figures were 63% and 47%, respectively, in large companies. Less than 30% of respondents in either group said their company maintains a blog.

Social Media Use in Big Companies

Social Media Facts & Figures for B2B Sales by Inside View

You’ll learn from this fascinating infographic that Forrester Research estimates that $716 million was spent on social media marketing in 2010, and the figure will reach $3.1 billion by 2014. At that point, social media will be a bigger channel than email or mobile, though still far smaller than search or display advertising. Among the global Forture 100 companies, 65% use Twitter, 54% are on Facebook and half post videos to YouTube. 79% of the Fortune 100 use at least one of these social media sites, and 20% use all of them.

Fortune 500 Social Media Use: Twitter Overtakes Facebook by MarketingProfs

60% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain an active Twitter account, up from 35% a year ago. Meanwhile, 56% of those enterprises have a Facebook profile.

Social Media Use in Small Companies

How social sharing is working for SMBs by iMedia Connection

Simon Grabowski reports that the data should persuade even small businesses to “get social” with their email and other marketing tactics. 57.5 percent of internet users, or 127 million people, will use a social network at least once a month in 2010; that figure is projected to rise to two-thirds by 2014. According to MarketingSherpa, 49 percent of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33 percent of all email users. And email messages that include at least one social sharing option generate a more than 30 percent higher click-through rate (CTR) than emails with no social sharing options.

Social Media Has Scorching Impact On Small Biz by Forbes

54% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) were using social media to promote their businesses as of September 2010, double the number using these sites in December 2009. And it’s working for them: 60% credit social media with positively impacting their businesses, 46% said their company’s brand awareness has increased and 36% have attracted new business as a result of their social media efforts. LinkedIn is the most popular site, with 73% of small businesses using it, followed by Facebook at 64%, and Twitter, used by 63% of respondents.

Study: Social Media Affects SMB Purchasing Decisions by HubSpot Blog

Younger buyers rely more heavily than their older counterparts on social media as key influence in SMB purchasing decisions–but not by all that much. Just over 50% of buyers under 40 use social media, versus 35% for more senior buyers. Regardless of age group, personal recommendations from company or industry colleagues are rated the most influential information source, while retail websites are least relied upon.

Social Media Is Greater Marketing Priority for Small Businesses by eMarketer

Websites and email are far and away the highest-priority marketing tactics for small businesses; 93% of respondents to a Constant Contact survey last fall identified their website as one of their “most important marketing tools” while 92% said the same for email. Just 63% put social media marketing on the list, though that was up from 51% in a similar survey done in early 2010. In larger businesses, 95% said websites and social media were among their most important tools, with 82% also putting social media in that category.

B2B Marketing and Social Media

The B2B Marketer’s “New Normal”: How to Use Social Media to Generate Leads by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
In this must-read post for anyone in B2B marketing, Courtney Wiley reports that “the B2B buying process is fundamentally changing.” 93% of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process and 37% post questions on social networking sites when looking for suggestions. In response, B2B spending on social media is expected to rise 67% over the next three years, with digital and online marketing spending predicted to increase 64%. Nine out of ten B2B buyers say that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find vendors. As for specific tactics, “43% of B2B marketers prefer Twitter when it comes to social media marketing; 32% leverage LinkedIn to generate leads; 16% engage customers on Facebook, and 8% rely on blogs…100% of large and enterprise B2B firms realize the most value with Twitter as their #1 lead-gen tool.”

28 Awesome B2B Social Media Statistics by Social Media B2B

More than half (53.5%) of marketers currently use social media as part of their marketing strategy, up from 45% in 2009. However, B2B marketers are less active on social media than their B2C counterparts, with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared to 52% on the B2C side. 36% of B2B executives report that there was low executive interest in social media in their company, compared with only 9% of B2C marketers who say the same. Nearly half of the B2B marketers using social media view LinkedIn as an effective channel, while only one in three say the same of Facebook.

17 Compelling And Highly Usable B2B Marketing Statistics by Modern B2B Blogs

B2B advertising spending on social media is forecasted to grow at an annualized rate of 21% through 2013. Odd as it sounds, the majority of B2B marketing budgets are still spent on off-line marketing tactics. 86% of B2B firms are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C outfits. And 93% of business buyers believe all companies should have a social media presence. However, 54% of CIOs prohibit the use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook while at work. Seems like a bit of a disconnect.

The social prehistory of search engine marketing relevance and what it means for SEO and content by Conversionation

B2B vendors still on the fence about social media need to take the plunge. J-P De Clerck reports here on research showing that “Three quarters of…buyers use a social media channel at some point in the information cycle…LinkedIn is used by 58% (!) of the respondents to find information or to talk to colleagues about solutions in the context of a purchase. Blogs represent 50%, Facebook 47% and even Twitter scores 41%.”

B2B Marketing: Red-Headed Step-Child of SEM World? by aimClear

Old Spice and Skittles aside, online marketing isn’t just for B2C types as this post makes clear. For example: 84% of C-level executives find search very valuable in making business decisions. 83% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase. There are 1.5 million business-oriented queries on YouTube every week. YouTube reaches 36% of all business decision makers (more than 10 times the figure for

It’s Budget Season – B2B Marketing Budget Trends for 2011 by Everything Technology Marketing

After slashing marketing budgets by 8% on average in 2009, B2B technology marketers increased spending nearly 4% in 2010. According to IDC, “tech companies will allocate 19.3% of their total marketing budget to digital, up from 12.6% last year (2009). Within digital marketing, the largest share of the budget will go toward company websites (26.7%), followed by display ads (21.0%), email marketing (18.6%), search ads (13.6%), search engine optimization (7.6%), digital events (7.1%) and social networks (5.4%).”

2010 LinkedIn Marketing Stats That Matter For B2B by SmartBug Media

What’s the most important social network for B2B marketers? Brittany Brouse reports that “43% of employees at the largest companies in the US (think Gap, Microsoft and Google) report using LinkedIn for professional reasons. Only 11% say the same about Facebook and only 3% say the same about Twitter…100% of Fortune 500 companies have executives using LinkedIn. 50% of LinkedIn’s users are decision makers in their companies. 41% of people using LinkedIn for marketing have generated business with it.” Not convinced yet? There’s more.

PJA Social Media Index: Wave VI by
***** 5 Stars
That title may be a snooze, but this study contains an incredible wealth of data on the use of social media by HR, IT and finance professionals. As a technology marketer, I’m particularly interested in the responses from the IT group. Among the findings: It professionals spend, on average, almost six hours per week consuming social media content, versus roughly four hours with editorial content and less than three-and-a-half hours on vendor content. More than 55% of IT professionals say they “use social media to make better decisions based on insights from like-minded professionals.” More than 53% say that either their company doesn’t have a social media policy or they are unsure if one exists.

B2B Social Media Marketing –Is it relevant? by CustomerThink

For those B2B executives who still “refuse to see the value social media can add to their marketing programs,” Merlin Francis has a few—actually quite a few—compelling facts to share, among them: 90% of B2B technology buyers view online video. 80% read blogs. 69% are active in social networks. In response, 60% of B2B marketers increased their spending on social media efforts last year, and there is growing acknowledgment that hard social media ROI isn’t everything; the top reasons cited for using social media marketing include demonstrating though leadership, generating greater awareness, and engaging customers.

Sales People Want Social Media Training - but Aren't Getting It

Sales People Want Social Media Training - but Aren't Getting It

Social Media Driving Sales Worldwide by MarketingProfs

Nearly half of sales professionals worldwide, and almost two-thirds of top performing sales people, say that “social media is integral to their success,” according to research from OgilvyOne. 25% of U.S. sales pros are on Facebook, while 20% are on LinkedIn and 8% Twitter. Most disturbing: while almost half of sales people say that they would like their companies to train them on using social media for sales, less than 10% actually get such training.

Marketing Strategy & Tactics

Marketers Put More Lead Gen Budgets Online by eMarketer

Marketing budgets continue to shift more from offline to online tactics. 68% of companies increased budgets for website development and content in 2010, making this the top area for increased marketing expenditures. The next three targets for increased investment were email marketing (54%), new media (e.g., blogs and mobile marketing—52%) and SEO (51%). Conversely, telemarketing and direct mail saw the biggest declines in spending.

Paid Search Gaining Respect, But Not Enough by MediaPost Online Media Daily

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is viewed as highly effective for generating leads, sales and website traffic. However, only about one out of five marketers in a recent MarketingSherpa survey said that PPC was helpful in generating offline sales, and even fewer believe it improves product reputation.

Searching For Online Leads And Where To Find Them by MediaPost Search Blog

55% of companies who use paid search increased their budgets in this area in 2010, up from 53% who did so in 2009. Just 22% decreased spending on PPC ads. Other findings Laurie Sullivan pulls from the eConsultancy study: “After natural search campaigns, email marketing is the second most widely used online lead generation method…Between 70% and 81% of companies generate leads online with the intention of converting them offline. Only 21% of advertisers surveyed say they work with specialist online lead generation companies, suggesting that this is still an emerging sector which hasn’t fully matured.”

Search Marketers Tap Social to Boost SEO by eMarketer
***** 5 Stars
71% of respondents to an SEOmoz survey (likely a somewhat more sophisticated group than average) say they are using social media as part of their SEO strategy. 53% are using blogging to help achieve SEO goals. The most popular SEO activities however were using Google Webmaster Tools to identify SEO issues and performing keyword research. Among the most interesting findings in the report, however, were those who failed to learn from the experience of others: 32% said they were adding rel=”nofollow” tags to internal links, while 21% were removing them, having realized how little effect this has on SEO. Also, 14% of respondents admitted they were buying links from other sites, while 12% were sending reconsideration requests to Google—likely after being banned for buying links.

Does Google Instant Generate Query Shares? by MediaPost Search Blog

Google’s share of the U.S. search market increased from 65.4% in August to 66.1% in September, just after Google Instant was launched. The effect of the annoying new feature has been a notable shift from organic results to paid; prior to the launch of Instant, clicks ran 82% to 18% for organic compared to paid search clicks. After the launch, the shares were 78% to 22%. Total U.S. search volume rose 16% from 2009 to 2010.

How Google Instant Changes Behavior by MediaPost Search Blog

Same topic and source as the post above, but with a different set of stats. Google Instant is bad for long-tail searches, but good overall for AdWords advertisers: overall impressions for paid search ads have increased by more than 9%, while clicks are up more than 5%. “Searchers search and click more as a result of Google Instant.” Furthermore, average cost-per-click rates have declined by 3%.

Comparing SEO & Social Media as Marketing Channels by SEOmoz

The smart but oblivious Rand Fishkin explores, though statistics, the relative business value of SEO vs. social media. When asked how discover new online products, a large majority of consumers chose search engines over social media sites. Even in the 18-24 year-old age group, where the gap was at its narrowest, search beat social 42% to 24%. Search traffic also converts better. But as Rand concludes, this isn’t an either/or proposition: both traffic sources have value.

How Mobile is Changing Social Media11 Mind-Blowing Mobile Marketing Infographics by HubSpot Blog

59% of Americans connect to the Internet wirelessly (this includes laptops). MorganStanley predicts there will be more mobile than desktop Internet users by 2014. 75% of U.S. teenagers own cell phones. 72% of them text on their phones. 54% send a text at least once per day. Find all of these stats and more in this collection of cool and useful infographics about the mobile web market.

Other Downright Interesting Stuff

50 most stunning examples of data visualization and infographics by Rich Works

A big collection of awesome infographics, covering topics ranging from Twitter user types and the top earners in world football (soccer) to an explanation of how 3D technology works and the global popularity of World of Warcraft.

And Finally…

Best of 2010: Social Media Stats & Year in Review by Social Media Group

Leona Hobbs shares some interesting insights in her roundup of social media stats from last year, such as: Facebook is unsuprisingly the number one tool for sharing content, according to social sharing service AddThis, but the second-most popular tool? Email. Then Twitter. “Facebook” is also the most commonly used term in search.

Related Post

Best Social Media Stats and Market Research of 2010 (So Far)

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26 Responses

  1. I must say this is an extreme list of social media resources! I’ve just read the one from mediapost search and conversionation. Will be back to read the others. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Tom 

    Ben, thanks for stopping by and the positive feedback! Glad you found this collection useful. Lots of wisdom here.

  3. Naveed 

    This information is really great to share and very useful in making marketing / advertising strategies.

  4. Definitely one of the most extensive list of resources that I’ve seen ever since I’ve been doing SEO. Will definitely bookmark this, seeing as I’m more into writing social media stuffs on my blog these days. Thanks!

  5. Tom 

    Thanks Jason, glad you found the post book-markable! Look for more “best-of” posts here over the next few weeks as well.

  6. Tom 

    Uh, Starr Hall, don’t you think you should give the original source credit when you copy a blog post?

  7. Thanks for the Post! Its the best list of social media resources

  8. Great detailed post, i use social media in my seo campaigns each and every day it helps alot. Those stats would be even more mind blowing if you done another report now, its growing in a big way all the time.

  9. Tom 

    Here’s an update in case you missed it: 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012.

  10. Thanks tom will check it out now..

  11. Aditya 

    Odds are that your company will receive negative reviews on social media because it is easy for people to post when they are dissatisfied. Address and try to make amends with these customers to stop the spread of negative publicity. Social media is a great tool for this because your responses will be seen along with any negative commentary.

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