Mobile communications are no longer only the future – they are the present. Social media is the key platform, on mobile gadgets, for anyone who wants to communicate with anyone else.
This moment in history is seeing the most targeted communications on public and private levels. Targeting used to be a buzz-word used by marketing ad men. Now it’s common practice for the 1 or 2 in 7 people in the world who use social media.
Social media is not optional. It’s not a play thing for teens who want to keep themselves amused. It is also not like the elaborate expensive advertising media of the 20th Century, which stayed mainly accessed by multinational corporation conglomerates. Social media is the glue which currently brings the world together.
It is for everyone. Individuals include retirees sharing expertise, teens finding a sense of belonging, and parents in supportive communities. Users include the group previously referred to as ‘audiences.’ Equal users can be brand names of physical products, services, and public personalities. Every man and his dog is going viral. It’s the new screen every set of eyes watches.
How popular are the individual platforms of social media? They vary, from the tens of millions, to the billions. Facebook still skyrockets in numbers – followed by Instagram and Twitter, then others like Tumblr and Pinterest.
Mark Zuckerberg’s masterpiece, this global social network, is possibly the real empire of the early 21st Century. The scale of reach is something other media providers could only dream of.
1 in 7 People in the World Use Facebook
BBC reported in 2015, “Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month.” This news story was among the flood of headlines to announce a greater achievement this year: on 24th August 2015, Facebook boasted 1 billion users in a single day. The current world population of the world is a bit over 7 billion. So the generalisation was that, on that specific day, 1 in 7 people in the world were logged into Facebook.
The Future of Facebook
Numbers could go in any direction in the future for Facebook. What matters is that, right now, Facebook unofficially rules the internet.
Purpose of Twitter
The micro-blogging site gives access to anyone, anytime. The official website features a mission of the company, “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
How Many Users on Twitter
Easily accessible summarised statistics are available, at the Twittter page about the company. There are currently 320 million active users and 1 billion “unique visits monthly to sites with embedded Tweets.”
This image site has exploded in popularity over the last while. An Instagram news release reported 400 million monthly active users in September 2015. Instagram is reportedly now more popular than Twitter
Targeting on Instagram
The great news story from Instagram described the current segments of users, “more than 75 percent living outside of the US.”
Famous Accounts on Instagram
The most followed accounts in 2015 included:
- Sporting hero (and hubby of Posh Spice Victoria) David Beckham at 17.6m followers
- Reality star and activist Caitlyn Jenner (former Olympian formerly known as Bruce) with 5.7m followers
The official LinkedIn site currently reports
more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
The popularity of Tumblr is a curious one. Business Insider estimated the active users to be around 30-50 million active users. The news provider referred in 2013 to Tumblr’s claim of, “more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups every day.”
This is a very commercial platform. Pinterest is a place to share crafty creative creations. The site announced, in September 2015, there were 100 million users.
This is not a mass audience of friends connecting with fellow friends, or randomly commenting on what they had for breakfast. Pinterest is a comfortably public way to share anything useful.
The Pinterest blog gave valuable context, “What started as a simple visual bookmarking tool quickly became a catalog of ideas that all kinds of interesting people—architects, designers, gardeners, chefs, parents—used to discover creative ideas they wanted to try.”
Fortune reported, “Two thirds of content pinned on Pinterest is from the website of a business. It makes sense. Facebook is for connecting with friends. Twitter is for discussing and debating. Instagram shares visual moments of life. Tumblr distributes blog posts. So Pinterest has found its niche as a comfortable place to say, ‘Check out my product. It will be handy.’
How to Use Social Media Stats
All communication is about targeting. Whether it is a secret for only one person to know, or a mass campaign for particular countries, everything is targeted. Have a look at the purposes and styles of each medium. Tailor messages for each. Some users prefer one site and not another. A campaign could need to appear on some or all platforms. It’s partly about trial and error, also about research and instinct. The most important lesson is to follow the changing trends of which sites change their popularity over time.