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Social Landscape for Business 2014

Social Landscape for Business 2014:

Author: Brendan Smith

There has never been a more important time to be aware of social media statistics than now. It has been well documented that users are shifting to mobile, but how are the demographics matching up in each platform?

Well Google + still hasn’t released any data, and if they did it, the number of users would be diluted with all the Youtube, Google+ and One Account ‘All of Google’ sign-ins. Surely if Google + was a big player they would have released confirmation in some way, shape or form to us by now?

Facebook released their figures for growth from January 2011 to January 2014 for the USA and it makes for an interesting read. I have tried to put some form of personal cause and effect in place to explain the changes and the figures.

Here are the figures:

Facebook Usage Statistics

Facebook Usage statistics 2

Source: Facebook Social Ads Platform.

The obvious data are the teens using the platform which has dropped off by 25% over 3 years. Why would 25% of youngsters drop off* Facebook? Maybe the answer is in the growth of 35-54 and 55+ categories?

Here is my reasoning:

With parents of 13-17 year olds signing up to Facebook, it’s lost its ‘cool’ tag and more importantly its privacy for teens to be stereotypical teenagers.

I’m not proud of what I’m about to tell you, but I do still laugh at my mother’s response. In 2006 (I would have been 25); my mother joined Facebook and tried to add me as a friend. I’m not a hell raiser, in fact my actions, profile and timeline is pretty safe. I replied saying “I can’t add you as I can’t control what my friends put on my timeline which might upset you” my Mother’s response when she read this; “When are you going to grow up and get some new friends?!!”.

Using that conversation as a general position of most teens and young adults, it would explain the drop off* of the teens to mid twenty year olds from the period 2011 to 2014.

Before people judge me, I did add her the following year.

*drop off – From January 2011 to 2014, 13-17 year olds would shift into the 18-24 category. Although the growth of the 18-24 year old category is also down. A revised position on the 25% drop off from 13-17 year olds is leaning more towards Facebook is not attractive to join up to if their parents are on it, rather than them joining and leaving.

UK Facebook:

Is it hard to believe that almost 1 in 2 people in the UK have a Facebook account? There are 31 million users as of December 2013 which is down 1.5m from the previous year. So regardless of demographic losses and gains; this remains the largest group of social media consumers. It will be around for a long time.

UK Twitter:

Twitter reported 15m users in 2013 which was up from 10m in 2012. Twitter have stated that almost half of the users only use it for reading up to date information and don’t actively take part in tweeting and a whopping 80% of the users are on mobile!


LinkedIn passed 10m users in 2013.

The most important statistic to come out of research by Econsultancy suggests that 64% of business websites social media visits come from LinkedIn! This for me is the stand out statistic for businesses to embrace in 2014. When collating an Online Strategy or Content Marketing strategy for 2014, make sure you have LinkedIn included. If there is a limited budget or limited resources within the company, pro rata efforts to LinkedIn.

Notes: Some markets will perform better in some social media platforms more than others, for example visual businesses may get more traction on Pinterest than LinkedIn due to its ability to house graphics and images. The 64% is an average across all niches and verticals. If you require training on LinkedIn, try out James Potter on LinkedIn here.


I blogged about the benefits of Pinterest a couple of years ago and it seems to be going from strength to strength and has a clear vision of where they’re taking it. Tech companies have been acquired and top end developers and engineers recruited to work on the various functional aspects of Pinterest. It doesn’t take a genius to work out by improving and expanding their search tool, they’ll be able to monetise the site through advertisers more.

They’ve already launched place pins for locations  and they’re looking into photo recognition, recipe search (type in your ingredients which returns potential recipes) and more.

Where Facebook may be at saturation point, Pinterest is on the move with (Source Marketingcharts.com) content sharing to Pinterest up by 58% surpassing even email!!


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