11 Shocking New Social Media Statistics in America

I originally noticed this post by Jay Baer via a share on Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop service. It is an interesting read on the current state of Social Media in America based upon statistics. I fully agree with the “Check-in” phenomenon; it really never has caught on if you compare FourSquare’s users to Facebook users. It is also interesting to see how much our purchasing decisions have become influenced by Facebook.Do you agree or disagree?

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You think social media is reaching maturity, and the whipsaw behavioral shifts that change like a Dwight Howard trade request are things of the past? Uhhh, no. Released yesterday at Blogworld New York, findings from social media behavioral researcher Tom Webster and the team at Edison Research show some shocking changes in how Americans use and consume social media. You can access the entire presentation at The Social Habit microsite, but 11 social media statistics in particular stood out for me. Two quick notes: This is not data dredging. This is real, random sample, tightly controlled research from the same company that is the exclusive provider of Presidential exit polls in the USA. This is the last time the entire research from Edison will be released for free. It???s just too valuable to be given away wholesale ??? considering it costs tens of thousands of dollars to produce. But, you can get exclusive access to the Social Habit research when it???s refreshed and expanded in early Fall. Sign up now for a sneak peek. And if you???re interested in including a question about your company or a category of social media usage of particular interest to your organization, that may be an option (click for details, fees apply). I???m partnering with Edison Research, Jason Falls, and Mark Schaefer on the next round of these findings, so you???ll be hearing more throughout the summer. But for now, here are 11 Shocking Social Media Statistics:

Social Media Statistics Twitter Users Lean Towards teh Democratic Party 11 Shocking New Social Media Statistics in America

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1. Twitter users are 33% more likely to be Democrats

An interesting finding, and representative of the type of custom queries we can answer for you in the next round of the Social Habit, this edition found that 40% of Twitter users are Democrats, compared to 30% of the U.S. population overall.The percentage of Republications and Independents on Twitter mirrors the U.S. average almost precisely.

2. The ???Check-in??? is the phenomenon that never happened

74% of Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of checking in to a location via mobile device, and only 3% have ever checked in. Even more damning, is that 4% had checked in when surveyed in 2011. This is a 25% decrease in check in behaviors in a single year. It???s not going to rebound, which is why Foursquare???s play is to be the new Yelp.

3. Only 33% of Americans have ever followed a brand in social media

From 2010 to 2012 the percentage of Americans following any brand on a social network has gone from 16% to 33%. This is a sharp increase, but looked at from the opposite perspective, it???s shocking to me that 2/3 of Americans using social networks have never followed a brand.Companies still have substantial room for growth in connecting with customers and fans on social networks.

4. 56% of Americans have a profile on a social networking site

This is up from 52% just last year, and 48% in 2010. How high can this climb? Certainly, there are sizable chunks of the populace that will never join a social networking site, but it???s amazing to consider that significantly more Americans (12 years old and up) have a social networking profile than do not.

Social Media Statistics 45 to 54 year old users  11 Shocking New Social Media Statistics in America

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5. 55% of Americans 45-54 have a profile on a social networking site

It???s not just for kids any more. The biggest growth of any age cohort from 2011 to 2012 was 45-54 year olds, who now exhibit participation matching the U.S. average. The only group that is below average are 55 Americans, and even 3 out of 10 of them are in the social networking game.

6. 22% of Americans use social networking sites several times per day

It really is a ???Social Habit???. In the past year, 12 million more Americans are using social networking many times daily.How many other things do we do several times per day? It???s not a long list.

7. Huge uptick in Facebook???s influence on purchase

Last year, 68% of Americans using social networks said that none of those networks had an influence on their buying decisions. This year, just 36% said that there was no influence. Now, 47% say Facebook has the greatest impact on purchase behavior(compared to just 24% in 2011). Incidentally, Twitter ranks below ???other??? at 5%. If you want to drive purchase behaviors within social networks, Facebook is the one and only game to play, statistically speaking.

8. Facebook via mobile continues to be a major factor

54% of Facebook members have used the social network via a phone, and 33% use a phone as their primary way to access Facebook. This despite the fact that the Facebook mobile experience and mobile apps are mediocre, at best. Here???s hoping the Instagram guys can jump start it. If so, watch for these numbers to soar.

Social Media Statistics 22 percent of Americans have social habit 11 Shocking New Social Media Statistics in America

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9. Facebook is the most addicting of the social networks

23% of Facebook???s users check their account five or more times EVERY DAY. The mean number of daily look-ins by Facebook users is 4. Are we really so interesting that we have to keep up with our friends??? inanities every 90 minutes? Evidently, yes.

10. Twitter will have an easier time making changes to its core service that Facebook does.

53% of Twitter users have been a member for less than a year, compared to just 19% for Facebook. This means that Twitter???s user base doesn???t have long-term, deep seated expectations for what Twitter is or should be. It will be interesting to see if Twitter doubles down on this advantage, and continues to hang ornaments on the functionality Christmas tree.

11. 76% of Twitter users now post status updates

This is one of the biggest behavioral changes of the past two years. In 2010, the Social Habit research found that just 47% of Twitter users actually sent tweets, with more than half the user base in listen-only mode. The overwhelming majority of new Twitter users are active tweeters, driving the overall average to 76%.   In the next edition of The Social Habit, we???ll be looking at YouTube, social video, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. Plus, if you???ve got questions you???d like to ask thousands of Americans via the best social media research methodology available, let???s talk. Get on the list for The Social Habit now. Which of these 11 is the most shocking social media statistic? I???ll go with #7 and #11. You?

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Promoting Others More Than Yourself

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How often do you promote yourself?  How often do you promote others?

Lately, especially on Twitter, but on Facebook as well; self-promotion has not only reached a fever pitch, but I think it’s reached a point that  people are being turned off.

I see “social media consultants” doing it; and as I shake my head, I also wonder why.  Does this person and others not have a strong enough network to promote  their posts, their tweets and important activities?  Or do they think “this is how social media” is done?  Maybe they don’t believe their network is strong enough. My next question is, wouldn’t their time be better spent building a network and then activating it to promote on their behalf?

In their book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan presented what I believe is a powerful idea: promote others 12 times more than you promote yourself. What a concept…promoting others!

We all know that promoting others ultimately contributes to our own material getting promoted; but personally that is not why I do it!  Promoting others builds trust in what you have to say, but only if you build your network; and you do this by genuinely working to help others!

So, if you are seriously interested in helping others, here are some ideas on how to do it properly.  And remember the most important rule: You promote without expecting anything in return.

1. Spotlight Someone You Believe In: Shine the spotlight on a colleague or business partner through a Facebook post, a genuine Tweet,  your blog or newsletter. If you have many followers or subscribers, it’s as good for the person or brand you’re featuring as landing a cover story. Even if you do not have many followers, it provides them with exposure to your network! The value is that someone in your network could be beneficial to that person!

2. Face-to-face Conversations: Make a connection or like what someone is doing?  Sit down and talk with them.  Interview them for your blog, or just talk with them about how you can help their business or how they became successful!

3. Ask the Expert: If you want to tackle a topic you’re not familiar with or have been asked a question you don’t know how to answer, bring in a friend who can answer that question for you on your blog or e-mail newsletter and invite them to promote their services.

4. Lend a Local (Foursquare) Hand: Become the biggest cheerleader in your community by checking in and writing positive reviews of local restaurants, shops and other businesses you frequent.  Use services such as Foursquare to check in and promote these businesses!

5. Advance and Retweet: If you can’t think of anything nice to say, spread what someone else is saying by retweeting . Do it the old-fashioned “RT” way so that you can add a few words of praise. Just don’t get carried away, retweeting everything you see. That’s annoying.

6. Like It: As with retweeting, the “Like” button on Facebook allows you to approve of others’ messages without a second thought.  Spread the love around!

7. Show Up: Simply stated, there is NO substitute for actually attending someone’s event. Be there for the people you care about. And once you’re there, start tweeting and Facebooking to encourage others to come out. Oh, and bring a friend or two!

How do you promote others? Share it with us all in the comments.