Have you ever wondered where marketers get social media statistics?
They know things like how many people are using each social media network, what type of people are using each social network, and which networks are growing the fastest.
There seems to be an unlimited supply of infographics about social media. Where are the publishers getting their information? Social media statistics are readily available for free online.
If you want to make the most out of your social media marking, it’s important to do some research first. Instead of guessing at what will work, it’s better to invest a little bit of time into research. Do this now so that you can be more effective later.
Examining social media statistics can be a great way of front-loading some of your social media marketing. This data can help you develop a strategy that is geared towards results from the get-go.
Social media statistics can help you:
- Decide which social media networks you should use.
- Decide what type of content to share.
- Optimize your campaigns for better results.
How to Use Social Media Statistics
Before you dive into social media research, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your time.
1. Compare multiple studies.
The sites listed below are reputable and will be very helpful. However, there are many variables when it comes to social media analysis, and different studies can yield different results. Watch out for outliers. Compare a few different studies to make sure the data makes sense before you move forward.
2. Consider other factors before making decisions.
A lot can be gained from examining social media statistics, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you consider in your marketing campaign. It’s also important to know what type of content works best for you, which networks you personally prefer, as well as any established best practices in your business or industry. Sometimes these things will conflict with the data and you’ll need to decide what’s best for you.
3. Learn from your experience.
Use your own statistics, too. Track and record your social media efforts and results with a tool like Sprout Social. Do you know which type of content drives the most sales in your business? Which content gets shared the most? If you find something that works, keep doing it! Don’t worry if external studies say it shouldn’t.
4. Plan for the future.
Examining social data is a great way to notice trends and changes over time. Think about where things are moving and plan ahead. For example, if Youtube keeps growing year after year, maybe it’s time you try it out?
5. Don’t get overwhelmed.
It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of data. There are endless interesting studies to look at—especially if you’re a bit of a numbers geek like I am. When you’re running a business, you don’t have time to analyze everything. Trust your gut and focus on the data that is going to help you.
You don’t need to get every detail perfect to succeed online.
Where to Get Social Media Statistics
The websites listed below are great sources for social media data. Each publishes surveys, studies, and other research on social media and the Internet. If there’s something you want to know about social media users and their behavior, you’ll likely find it here.
A market research company, Nielson has spent the last 50 years researching consumer needs in over 100 different countries. Through a combination of panels where users actually send in images of their recent purchases, surveys and more traditional market research methods, Nielson is able to help companies discover and meet the needs of consumers. They’ve even developed their own units of measurement to better study the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns.
comScore collects data from consumers in several countries around the world. The most interesting findings are posted as “data gems” on the data mine for the general public to use. Even better, data gems featured on the website are usually displayed with infographics.
TNS published their first study about online behaviour in 2010. Since then, they have been gathering their data from over 72, 000 people in 60 different countries. They focus on consumers’ online behaviour and also consult with different businesses to help them use the data.
Ignite Social Media performs studies and surveys of all shapes and sizes. They’re focused on how people of all ages and backgrounds interact with social media. They also offer comprehensive social media services, helping business owners interpret the data and use it to build their marketing success. Findings from their studies are often posted on their blog in easily digestible form.
Factbrowser is a search engine specifically for research studies related to business and technology. Their database contains thousands of studies from all over the world. These studies are taken from all over the web and compiled on Factbrowser so you can read them all in one place. Sometimes they also publish facts individually, which then link back to larger studies.
Statista is a great way to find interesting facts related to several different industries, designed to be easily understood by the average person. There are three different user levels, with corporate users having access to the most features, including the ability to alter how a given statistic is presented. Statista also publishes a number of infographics.
This is a social media analytics platform that allows business owners to measure, compare and contrast the success of their social media campaigns with other comparable campaigns. Created in 2009, Socialbakers has continuously upgraded their program, developing it so it remains the most comprehensive social media analytics platform available. However, the good news is you don’t have to use their platform to browse all the statistics they’ve gathered and published.
The Pew Research Center conducts public opinion polling, media content analysis, demographic studies and other empirical social science research. Their Internet & Tech project studies how Americans use the internet and how their online interactions influence their outside lives. They use this data both to analyze current and past trends related to the internet & technology and to help them predict future trends.
Founded in 2010, this group provides a combination of market research and consultations. They help online vendors understand current online trends and how to take advantage of them. Throughout the year they also publish dozens of reports and host many webinars discussing online trends. Almost all of their research is available online for free if you register.
This website publishes a wide range of articles analyzing different studies related to the internet and how different aspects of the internet affect different people’s lives.
The L2 index takes a detailed look at the effectiveness of online marketing from different brands. They analyze and rank companies based on their online marketing and brand, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each company.
Global Web Index is a collection of over 170, 000 data packs, reports and infographics. They study how people behave on the internet, including social media and e-commerce sites, and track them across PCs, mobiles and tablets to get the most comprehensive data possible. Although you need to purchase access to most of their data, they do publish a lot of interesting insights on their blog for free.
Forrester Research is a global research and advisory company. They provide research, consulting, workshops and even executive programs. Much of their research is available for free on their website. They focus on how both businesses and consumers interact with the world around them, especially online.
1. Choose one question to research such as which social media network your target audience spends the most time on.
2. Start digging around and compile your data. Compare studies and gather all the stats you will need.
3. Write down any observations. If you notice any trends, or anything useful or interesting, make a note of it.
4. Decide if you should make any changes. Now that you have more information, decide how you will use it and how it should affect your marketing strategy.
5. Write what you did in the comments below!
Finally, if you know a nerd like me who would love to poke around in social media statistics, please share this post with them. They’ll love you for it!