Why Social Media?

This is the third in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Media Operating Manual for Enterprises. The book (itself part of a series for different audiences), is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson –  save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the subsequent post, How is Social Media Relevant to Business?

“One of the things our grandchildren will find quaintest about us is that we distinguish the digital from the real . . .

In the future that will become literally impossible.”

William Gibson, author

You’re reading this book because you’re at least curious about social media. You probably want to know why there’s such a fuss about it, and you’d like to find out if it can help your enterprise. We’ll get to all these topics, but first, why should you care at all about social media?

One reason is it is the fastest growing segment of the Internet, having overtaken online games and email as the most-used category of applications on the Internet.[1]

Think of how much you use email, and how much those around you use it. People are using social networking more often than they are using email.

In fact, here are some statistics on various social media properties:

YouTube is now 10 percent of all Internet traffic[2]

1.5 million blog posts per day (17 per second)[3]

YouTube & Wikipedia are among the top brands online[4]

Five of the top 10 Websites are social[5]

There are more than 152 million blogs[6]

More than 175,000 new blogs launch every day[7]

Not convinced yet? How about some more statistics?

  • One in four social network users knowingly follow brands, products or services on social networks. For those who use these sites and services
    several times per day, this figure increases to 43%.[8]
  • Americans spent an average 5 hours 35 minutes a month on social networking sites in 2009
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest,[9] with
    750 million people, having over­taken the US, at 308 million[10]
  • Facebook users shared 30 billion pieces of content (links, notes, photos, etc.) per month in 2010 [11]
  • Online communities are visited by 67 percent of the global online population, which numbered 1.8 billion at the end of 2009 [12]
  • Nearly two-thirds of US Internet users regularly use a social network (and almost two-thirds of all Americans are on the FTC’s no-call list!) [13]
  • Nielsen Netview found that in 2010 social media use by Americans dwarfed other online usage by more than two-to-one

US Monthly Time Spent Online Graph

Figure 1- Source: Nielsen Netview, June 2010[14]

Managed security company Network Box found in an April, 2010 survey[15] that
social media sites dom­inate Internet usage by businesses. According to the company, employees watching YouTube videos accounted for 10 percent of
all corporate bandwidth during Q1 2010 – up two percent over the previous quarter.

The top five bandwidth Websites, and the percentage of all bandwidth they used, were:

  • YouTube – 10
  • Facebook – 4.5
  • Windows Update – 3.3
  • Yimg (Yahoo Image Search) – 2.7
  • Google – 2.5

Business usage of YouTube and Facebook sucks up almost 15 percent of the average org­anization’s bandwidth! This brings us to another reason to be
interested in social media: It’s already here. Your enterprise is already dealing with its effects. You need to understand it, plan for it, and create
a social media strategy for your business, if only in self-defense.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, consider the fact that Amazon recently was granted a patent [16] for “A networked computer system [that] provides various services for
assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users,” – in other words, social networking. When the big boys get this
serious, you know something’s going on.

Next up: How is Social Media Relevant to Business?

Can’t wait for all the chapters? Buy Be a Person: The Enterprise Social Operating Manual and save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV .

Nielsen Online: bit.ly/bkJZvx

Source: Ellacoya Networksbit.ly/8YKzTr

Source: Technorati – bit.ly/9eXgAj

Source: brandchannel.combit.ly/aMurzT

Source: Alexa – bit.ly/dzCkL5

Source: Blogpulse via Royal Pingdom: Internet 2010 in numbers: bit.ly/rk8vMB

Hmmm. Apparently Technorati said this as long ago as 2008, but this seems to be an accepted bit of Web lore at this point: a stat everybody
quotes, but has no findable source.

Edison Research and Arbitron The Social Habit II: Internet and Multimedia Study 2011: slidesha.re/oZ9JJB

For a light-hearted take on what this means, see: bit.ly/alnzw2

Royal Pingdom: Internet 2010 in numbers: bit.ly/rk8vMB

Nielsen, Social Networking’s New Global Footprint: bit.ly/lLH53L and Switched, FTC’s ‘Do Not Call’ List Hits 200-Million Mark, but Telemarketers Still Call: aol.it/lqY9Fh

Nielsen Netview: bit.ly/bkJZvx

Network Box survey: bit.ly/dBffUI

Amazon granted a social networking patent: bit.ly/cyB3p8