Everyone is asking the greatest question of the century: “Is Social Media a Fad?” Some say it is just a symbolic milestone during the passing of the old industrial age to the new digital era.  Some even term this the biggest shift since the Industrial revolution.  No matter what it is, the time has come for another change.  Here are some amazing hard facts and statistics that are astonishing to one who has been living in the cave.

While we are going by with our daily activities, we glanced over the fact that over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old and 96% of millennial have joined a social network.  For most who are in tune with the internet world, Facebook has topped Google for the weekly traffic in US.  And social media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the web.  Some may or may not know that 1 out of 8 couples married in US met via social media.

The human race has come a long way since the invention of the first social communication tool and it just took a very short while to outdo this feat in the past few years.  For the same 50 million users, Radio took 38 years, TV took 13 years, Internet took 4 years and iPod took 3 years.  Facebook out performed all by hitting well over 200 million subscribers in less than a year.  Just for the records, iPod application download hit 1 billion in 9 months.  That is a lot of zeros.

A quote from Erik Qualman, he says, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”  Great summary statement.  To put a yardstick around this new force, imagine for a second that Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest population behind China and India, ahead of United States, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan.  That is how large the install member base is.  We do not have concrete numbers, yet QQ and RenRen dominate in China.

In another story, US department of Education study revealed that online students out performed this receiving face-to-face instruction.  Why am I not surprised.

80% of companies use social media for recruitment.  95% of these companies used LinkedIn.  The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year old females.  Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Isreal, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Panama.  That’s absurd!

50% of the mobile internet traffic in UK is for Facebook.  Imagine what this means for bad customer experiences.  A company may just go bust in a few minutes if not a couple of hours.  Generation Y and Z consider email passe.  Some Universities have stopped distributing emails accounts, instead they are distributing eReaders, iPads and Tablets.

Contrary to the past media world, what happens in Vegas (or any other cities for what matters) stays on Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, B’Kohtakte, Flickr and YouTube.  The Internet is your TV channel.  YouTube is the the 2nd largest search engine in the world.  While you are looking at this post, 100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.

Wiki is an Hawaiian term for “Quick”.  Wikipedia has over 15 million articles.  Studies show it is as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica.  78% of these articles are non-English.  If you were paid $1 for every article posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $1712.32… per hour.

There are over 200,000,000 blogs worldwide.  In the blog world, “word of mouth” equates to “world of mouth”.  25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.  34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.  Do you like what they are saying about your brand? Is your brand better?  People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them.  78% of consumers trust peers recommendations. A sharp contrast to just only 14% trust advertisement.  Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI and 90% of people skip ads via TiVo/DVR.  Let’s pause and digest the numbers.

Kindle eBooks outsold paper books on Christmas. 24 of the 25 largest Newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation.  The fall of the Titans.  60 million status updates happen on Facebook daily.  They no longer search for the news, the news finds us.  We no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media.

Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.  Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men.  Listening comes first, selling comes miserly second.  Consider that the ROI os Social Media is “Your Business will still exist in 5 years.”  This is the power of Social Media.

Do you still think social media is a fad?  If Yes, think again!

To learn more on other aspects of Social Media, read here.  Check out other Social News.

Filed under: Social Media News

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