Did you know: There are 2.3 BILLION active social media users?

Social media is here to stay, and it’s something that every single small business needs to start to utilise if they want to stay ahead of their competition. Even though social media is here to stay, the digital world is constantly evolving, meaning it can be difficult to stay up to date with the latest trends.

As someone who has “lived” in the world of social media for the last 8 years, I have seen the likes of Myspace and Google’s failed social network; Google Buzz come, and go.

To really utilise social media, you need to understand what the future holds, and to start introducing the latest technology and tools into your marketing strategy. Today I am going to be sharing with you 10 amazing facts and statistics about the future of social media, and what they mean to you as a business.

1. 65% of social media users upload photos to Snapchat every day (30% more than Facebook).

Short-lived content is the future of social media. Snapchat in particular has perfected the idea of flash content that has a shelf life. If Snapchat’s success isn’t enough to convince you that short-lived content is the future, take a look at Instagram’s latest feature; Instagram Stories.

2. Virtual Reality: Pokemon Go has doubled the engagement of Snapchat and has overtaken Twitter and Facebook in its percentage of daily active users.

Whilst virtual reality is still new to the world of social media, it is hard to deny the impact Pokemon Go has had on the world. The time spent by users on the Pokemon Go app has surpassed daily activity on Facebook and Twitter.

I recently wrote an article on Pokemon Go for small businesses, which went viral in just 48 hours. I have had over 10,000 views on just LinkedIn Pulse alone. Virtual reality is a clear player in the future of social media.

3. Facebook is still king with 1.65 billion monthly users.

Facebook is still the leading social network and when talking about the future, I don’t see this changing. Facebook have been smart with the way they have taken the social world by storm, and spending their cash on acquisitions. They saw the importance of Instagram, and acquired it. They saw the popularity of Whatsapp, and acquired it. They saw the potential of virtual reality, so they acquired Oculus. Facebook understand what is trending, and have the cash to add to their already impressive acquisition list.

4. Engagement on Instagram is up to 7x higher than on Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram is primarily a mobile application, and the fact that engagement is higher than the likes of Twitter and Facebook show how powerful mobile will be in the future of social media.

Mobile marketing in the form of call-to-actions inside of Instagram have been a huge selling point for a lot of users, allowing small businesses to truly make a sale through social media.

5. Growth in watch time on YouTube is up by more than 50% year on year for the last 3 years.

YouTube now has over 1.3 billion users, with a community that is extremely powerful. Whilst you may not be using YouTube, you could be missing out on using the platform to find influencers in your industry.

Small businesses that have been mentioned in a video by a YouTuber with a large following have seen substantial increases in sales. Finding thought leaders and influencers in your industry is the future of social media and the success than can be achieved online.

6. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

This was one of the biggest online acquisitions we have ever seen, and this is more significant than you may realise. LinkedIn is the big fish in the world of B2B social media. It is the most used professional social network and nothing has, or will come close to LinkedIn in the near future.

7. 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour.

You probably already know this, but it is still worth mentioning. Your target audience, regardless of how you define them, WANT and NEED you to use your social media as a customer service outlet. Your success online is dependant on how happy your paying customers are and customer service plays a huge part in this.

8. 53% of people recommend companies and products on Twitter

Social media recommendations are so important. You instantly build trust through great reviews from those in your community who have already purchased a product/service of yours. Recommendations and reviews will continue to be as important as they are now.

9. Over 80% of all my retweets and mentions on Twitter are based on my written content

Blogging is crucial but without sharing it on social media, you could be missing out on a huge amount of engagement, and sales. Every time I write a piece of content on my website, I will share it across all of my social platforms, including LinkedIn Pulse. I get SO much engagement on social media around my content which automatically builds trust.

10. The Google +1 button is used 5 BILLION times a day

Yes, I know… Crazy. Raise your hand if you don’t care for Google+? It’s time for you to start caring. The biggest ranking factor for Google Search based on your keywords is how active you are inside of Google+. The statistic above is true because businesses are now realising the impact it has on Google Search and Google+ will be a key player in the future of social media.

This article was inspired by Jeff Bullas’ “95 Awesome Social Media Facts You Should Not Ignore” which you can read here.

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