We love a good statistic, both in spite and because of the fact that they can be interpreted differently by different people. As George Canning said, “I can prove anything with statistics except the truth.”
There’s also the old joke that goes something like, “89% of statistics are totally made up.”
The thing to remember is that it’s all about the source of those statistics and the methodology by which they were given. If you look closely at the “95% of people agree” statistics on commercials for hair products, that’s usually because they polled 20 people. And there’s a decent chance that those 20 people were all existing users.
The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you, and we’ve also linked through to our sources so that you can carry out some further investigation of your own. And while some statistics can be questionable, others are a super useful way of getting a feel for the direction in which the world is moving.
And so with all of that said, let’s take a look at just 11 stats that prove that social media can drive business growth, along with why that is.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Approximately half of the world’s population is now active on social media. When we consider that even B2B companies still sell their products to people within other businesses, this statistic is a useful reminder of the fact that whoever your target audience is, they’re active on social media.
WHAT THIS MEANS: It’s true that there’s a big difference between someone believing something and whether it’s actually true, but marketers tend to be metric obsessed and driven by a return on investment. With so many marketers prepared to go on record to say that their efforts have been effective, it’s a good sign that the majority of businesses have been able to demonstrate tangible business value from their social media marketing efforts.
WHAT THIS MEANS: This statistic shows that people are already using social media sites to inform their purchase decisions. By using social media as a core part of your marketing strategy, you can reach people when they’re already looking for purchasing inspiration and use quality content to attract their interest, engage with them and eventually turn them into a buyer.
WHAT THIS MEANS: The first thing to mention is that it’s in Instagram’s best interests to provide this statistic, and so take this one with a pinch of salt. With that said, this statistic does a great job of showing how effective it can be to run influencer marketing campaigns, particularly if your brand is in the fashion industry.
SOURCE: Edison Research
WHAT THIS MEANS: At the very least, this shows that Facebook advertisements can be an important driver of traffic to your website. The statistic doesn’t cover what those users actually do though, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that clicks equate to sales. It’s still a positive sign that Facebook advertisements are worth using, though.
WHAT THIS MEANS: This statistic means that Facebook isn’t just for major companies. If 66% of Facebook users visit a local business page once per week, that adds up to over two billion people. Because of that, this statistic shows that Facebook marketing isn’t just for internationals and FMCG companies. Local businesses can benefit from it, too.
WHAT THIS MEANS: This shows that even though Facebook is primarily designed for connecting people with their friends and family, it can also facilitate purchases. When you combine this with the statistics we’ve seen on the effectiveness of Facebook advertising, it suggests that it’s a good idea to run Facebook ads that are designed to encourage people to make a purchase.
WHAT THIS MEANS: This is an important reminder of how valuable video content can be. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, Ask and AOL combined. The upshot is this: if you’re not creating video content for YouTube and other platforms, you’re missing a trick and you’re going to lose sales to your competitors who do.
WHAT THIS MEANS: We’ve seen how FMCG B2C brands and small businesses can benefit from social networking, and this statistic shows us that B2B brands can also find a lot of value from using social media. LinkedIn is the natural place to turn to, and the fact that a third of B2B decision makers are already using it to research purchases means that it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re creating content there.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Although this statistic comes to us from Snapchat itself, it seems likely to be accurate. Snapchat is all about impulses, and indeed the content that people share there is mostly impulse-driven and spur of the moment. The fact that its users are more likely to make impulse purchases suggests that advertising on Snapchat is a solid idea for brands that sell lower value products that don’t require a large amount of consideration ahead of a purchase.
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