“14 Stats from 2013”,to inform your “2014 Social Marketing Strategy” development |by: Jordan Slabaugh| SpredFast

As 2013 draws to a close, Brand-Marketers and Social-Media Strategists have the opportunity to reflect on learnings from the past year.  While no single industry statistic should stand alone in informing future plans and strategies, a broader snapshot of social network trends, social consumer behaviors and brand social media results can help inform the big picture of social going into 2014.

Here are 14 Statistics & Trends from 2013 to inform your 2014 social marketing strategy :

Growth, Usage and Trends of Social Networks –

1. Facebook users spend 6.35 hours each month on the social network via their desktop – When it comes to sheer usage, Facebook still reigns supreme, accounting for almost twice as much time spent monthly by users on the social network over Google. And while mobile usage is on the rise, the majority of this time is still via a desktop experience.

2. Instagram has more than 150 million active users – Now a part of the Facebook family, Instagram has surged in growth and has more than 150 million active users. One third of that number grew in the last 6 month time period, underscoring the growing interest in visual content creation and consumption.

3. 15% of Internet users are on Pinterest – Nearly one in every 6 people who use the Internet are on Pinterest. What’s more? These users are well educated and 18% have an annual income of $75,000 or more.

4. Tumblr & Pinterest outperform Twitter & LinkedIn when it comes to share of time spent, in minutes – They may not have as large a user base as giants Twitter and LinkedIn, but visually-focused social networks Tumblr and Pinterest win out for time spent on their sites in comparison.

Users Share of Time on Social Networks

Social Consumer Behaviour :

5. 33% of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products or services – One in three consumers are discovering new brands and products via social networks. That may not lead to direct attribution on the brand side, yet, but it’s an indicator that brand awareness and reputation are powerful in the social consumer life-cycle.

6. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site – 2013 has raised much discussion on the effectiveness of social advertising. If LinkedIn’s advertising performance is any type of indicator, relevant social advertising is going beyond awareness building through impressions and driving action.

7. 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes – Social networks are huge, but does that mean they are being used for business purposes? Forrester Research confirmed this year that, yes, statistically every business decision maker is both using social media and doing so in part for some type of work purpose.

Social Networks Use Business Decision Makers

8. 47% of Internet users share photos or video they found online – Active usage is great in understanding where people spend time, but understanding consumer actions is an even more meaningful way to get insight. Pew reported in 2013 that nearly half of all Internet users share multimedia they discovered somewhere online. The learning here ? Resonate with your consumers’ interests, and they will share and propagate your content.

9. 25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour – Listening without action is no longer an option for social brands. The expectations of consumers have shifted to make brand responses a mandate. A non-response now risks a disappointed customer, at the least, and a negative brand perception.

Brand Intentions and Results :

10. 91% of executives are planning a more programmatic approach to audience segmentation in the next two years – Two trends are highlighted here : the rise of audience segmentation and the intent to scale social media through a programmatic approach. 2014 will likely bring with it more, personalized content and a strong concentration of building internal infrastructure to make this strategy repeatable and successful.

11. 70% of marketers say that Content-Marketing has increased their Brand awareness – Content marketing is on the rise for a very important reason: social is an always-on medium and it requires compelling content to consistently reach and resonate with audience members. The good news ? iMedia reports that brands are seeing positive results as it pertains to content raising brand awareness.

12. 65% of marketers cited an increased social media ad budget in their 2013 plans – To advertise on social, or not advertise on social is no longer the question. Two out of three marketers planned to increase their social advertising budget in 2013. And with greater stringency placed on News-feed placement, this number will likely rise in 2014 for marketers to reach their intended audiences.

13. 79% of Marketers have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities – 2013 solidified the year of social media earning a seat in the integrated marketing mix. Going beyond Paid, Owned and Earned social, brands are now actively integrating social with traditional marketing and creating a full view of social’s integration within CRM systems.

14. Pinterest drives twice the website referral traffic of Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + combined – conversions are a marketer’s best friend. As it pertains to social media, Pinterest proved its power in driving users from the social network directly to corporate websites, second only to Facebook.

A bonus stat and parting thought – social media is the top driver for relationship building : 52 % of enterprise brands say social media is the top driver for relationship building/ brand engagement, more than twice as much as email, and quadruple that of corporate websites.

Why is this significant ? Marketers are realizing and embracing the inherent value of social media – building relationships – and working to create programs that deliver great experiences.

The impact : Happier, more Loyal Customers and Increased Awareness & Demand.

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