2012 has been the year when social media networks saw an important rise – in what number of users, number of social networks and even the budgets companies used to promote themselves online are concerned. A simple conclusion would be that 2013 budgets will also include promotional activities on social media networks. As social networks are more and more used by people, companies need to pay enough attention to their digital presence.
According to data from US Ad Agencies included in a Q3 2012 report from STRATA, a media buying and solutions provider, 91.9% of the US Internet users questioned for the survey said they use social media networks. The most likely networks to be included in clients’ campaigns are, for Q3, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, foursquare, MySpace and Digg. Facebook accounted for 82.4% of the total answers, while YouTube had only 41.9% – a huge difference. Twitter had 36.5% of the mentions, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest each had over 20%, while the other sites had less than 5% each.
Another study showing that Facebook takes the lead was the one conducted by engagement advertising firm SocialVibe which revealed that social networks where users were most likely to connect with brands in October were Facebook: 77% of the mentions, Google+ (14%), YouTube (13%), Twitter (6%), Pinterest (2%).
A Q4 2012 survey from Strongmail suggests that the financial investment in Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest marketing programs will increase in 2013. A concern on measuring social media presence and managing social media programs was also revealed by various reports, therefore we could also see a rise in budgets spent in these directions in the following year.
So all the reports show pretty much what we see online – the importance of Facebook for the moment, and the big gap between this social network and the other ones. Google+ is however on the rise and it will be something to monitor in the next year as it is also preparing to launch new features and updates aimed at making the network attractive and a real competitor for Facebook.