Social media use isn’t quite universal—but it’s getting close. 70% of the U.S. population now has at least one social networking profile; more than half use two or more social networks. The number of worldwide social media users is projected to grow from 2.1 billion last year to 2.5 billion by 2018.
And that usage isn’t all selfies and cat videos; both consumer and B2B purchases are influenced by social content. Social media now plays almost as large a role in purchasing decisions as does TV, and 57% of consumers say they’re influenced to think more highly of business after seeing positive comments or praise online.
Still, interesting contradictions remain. Most businesses now use social media for marketing and those efforts are expected to continue to increase, yet many marketers and top executives alike find the business value difficult to quantify.
Here are four key takeaways (among the many possible) from the compilation of social media marketing facts and statistics below: