The folks at Nielsen are pretty good at media market research and providing extensive (and more importantly accurate) data within various verticals including entertainment, advertising and recently, a growing industry which combines both: Social Media.
In this year’s Social Media Report which Nielsen released earlier today, a staggering statistic was revealed regarding social media usage – Americans collectively spent 121.1 billion minutes on social networks in July of 2012 alone!
Image Courtesy of Nielsen
According to the infographic published by Nielsen, 5.7 billion of those minutes were logged via mobile devices, 40.8 billion were through apps and somewhat surprisingly, 74 billion minutes were attributed to desktop/laptop users. Even more surprisingly, apps and PCs experienced significantly more growth in this sector than smartphones and tablets.
What’s less shocking is Facebook’s continued dominance in the social media industry. The world’s largest social network accumulated an average of over 300 million visitors per month this year. Facebook also proved to be the most engaging network in terms of audience retention, as users spent more time on the site than any networks such as Google+, Twitter or Pinterest.
Speaking of Pinterest, the up-and-coming, visually-appealing social startup has earned the title of Fastest Growing Network of 2012, having grown by over 1,000% since 2011. Blogger, Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIn were amongst the other top networks this year.
What do these stats mean for business owners? Most importantly, they’re an undeniable indicator of social media’s staying power and usefulness as a marketing tool. Every minute that a user spends on a networking site sharing, following and liking is another opportunity for businesses to achieve greater consumer awareness and gain new customers. With literally billions of minutes a month being spent on social media, those opportunities are virtually limitless.
Furthermore, these statistics show that while Facebook is the most obvious target for Social Media Optimization & Social Media Marketing campaigns, rapidly emerging networks like Pinterest are truly capable of gaining market share and getting noticed in the social media landscape and shouldn’t be overlooked as potential marketing platforms. The data speaks for itself: Social Media is a valuable resource for businesses and those not utilizing it are undoubtedly missing out on one of the world’s largest and most effective promotional outlets.
What are your thoughts on Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report? I’d like to know your thoughts on how social media marketing will change in the year ahead. Leave a comment below, send an email or a tweet with your opinions and insights on the future of Social Media!
WebiMax Founder & CEO Kenneth Wisnefski will be appearing on HuffPost Live momentarily with Winklevoss Capital founders Tyler & Cameron Winklevoss, HuffPost Tech Editor Bianca Bosker and Hukkster Founders Erica Bell & Katie Finnegan.
Click HERE to check it out live now!
View the entire HuffPost Live segment, “Tech Game Changers” featuring Ken Wisnefski below:
With the 2012 Holiday shopping season officially beginning on Black Friday, consumers have begun to seek out product reviews and price comparisons in order to find the best deals for this year’s “must have” items and according to recent market research conducted by Adobe, search engines and social media will be the most effective tools for shoppers this season.
Graphic courtesy of Adobe Digital Index
The Adobe study indicates that 2012 will break retail records in its final months, with $2 billion in sales forecasted for Cyber Monday alone and a total of $96 billion in online sales expected between now and the end of December. The driving forces behind these huge numbers are search engines and social media. With an estimated 24% of all holiday sales coming from mobile devices, it is apparent that tablets and smartphones will also play an instrumental role in sales this season and going forward.
Surprisingly, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only significant days for shoppers this season. Free Shipping Day, which takes place on Dec. 17th this year, is expected to generate millions in last-minute sales for online retailers.
With millions of shoppers worldwide using Web search, social media and mobile devices this year, it is crucial for retailers to enhance their online presence and visibility in order to capitalize on what looks to be the biggest season in retail history. This season will also be important to SEOs, as various retailers will increase their emphasis on Internet marketing initiatives in order to gain more traction online and compete with retail giants on the Web.
Throughout this year’s Presidential campaign, Twitter played an instrumental role. Both candidates expertly utilized the network and kept voters engaged by addressing major issues and promoting their public appearances. As our own social media expert, Mike Stricker pointed out in a comment on one of my previous posts; Barack Obama was even responsible for generating the most re-tweets in history for a political message on Twitter.
Following the election, Twitter released an interesting new application, the Political Engagement Map, which demonstrates the impact of the candidates’ most influential tweets.
The tool breaks down the tweets by state, engagement level and even keywords. Not only is it intriguing to see which tweets drove the best results for Romney and Obama, but it’s also interesting to learn more about the demographics which had the most online social influence on the campaign itself.
Furthermore, a re-working of the Political Engagement Map application could prove to be very useful to social media marketers in order to learn more about their own engagement levels and demographics. Although Twitter hasn’t announced any plans to develop the application beyond its current form, it is good to see the network delivering new offerings to its users and I hope to see more tools like this from Twitter in the future.
To check out the Political Engagement Map for yourself, visit https://election.twitter.com/map/.
At first glance, DuckDuckGo appears to be one of the most unlikely contenders to ascend to Google’s position as the world’s top search engine, but in reality, it may actually stand a pretty good chance in due time. The small, privately-held company based outside of Philadelphia in Paoli, PA has grown rapidly and garnered substantial attention from the public and press without a multi-billion dollar ad campaign, but instead by simply offering an interesting alternative to the competition.
DuckDuckGo’s business model emphasizes “better search”; which its developers have attempted to achieve by utilizing data obtained from Wikipedia and other crowdsourced sites to supplement results, eliminating user tracking and “personalized results” and even open sourcing parts of their code. DuckDuckGo’s radical departure from its competitors has also intrigued SEOs, with many wondering what fundamental differences and similarities exist between DuckDuckGo and Google from an SEO perspective. After conducting a few searches of my own, here’s what I learned about DDG’s algorithm:
Starting With the SERPs
When entered into both DuckDuckGo and Google, the term “WebiMax” yielded relevant (albeit, drastically different) results.
Perhaps the most curious omission from the above-the-fold results on DuckDuckGo is the WebiMax.com homepage. Interestingly enough, DuckDuckGo recognizes our Careers page and the Website Analyzer tool subdomain as being of greater relevancy. However, when the term “webimax” is entered into DuckDuckGo in all lowercase letters, WebiMax.com is the first result and the SERP looks significantly different. The emphasis on case-sensitivity within DuckDuckGo is important to note and clearly impacts rankings.
As I already mentioned, both search engines returned relevant results. Commonalities such as social media profiles, news articles and review sites were noticeable, indicating that like Google, DuckDuckGo also finds these to be highly relevant and authoritative sites.
Rich Content Within Universal Results
Unlike Google, DDG does not feature image or video packs on the SERP. This will be crucial for rich content producers and video SEO practitioners to consider when attempting to gain visibility within DuckDuckGo’s results.
The Bottom Line
DuckDuckGo is very similar to an early Google in its sheer simplicity and SEOs will need to take that into account when designing campaigns. I’m interested to see how DDG’s continuing evolution will affect its algorithm, but for now, there are discernible contrasts between both search engines and optimizers should definitely monitor their rankings closely on the up-and-coming Google challenger.
Last night, I had the opportunity to speak at the fourth Agile SEO – South Jersey Meetup of 2012 at the WebiMax HQ in Mt. Laurel, NJ and thanks to the great audience and my fellow presenters, Ryan Buddenhagen, Chris Countey and Bill Slawski (who offered a thorough SEO audit to one of our attendees), it’s safe to say that this was one of our best meetups yet!
My presentation, entitled, “Future Shock: How Rich Content & Public Relations Will Change Online Marketing” offered a glimpse into two key components of emerging digital marketing strategies. The increase of both video and PR within Internet marketing campaigns and greater consumer interest in those services has put them on the radar of many SEO developers and will help solidify their position in the industry. Additionally, the authoritative backlinks within press releases and online news articles and the ever-increasing prevalence of video packs within universal search results are making them less esoteric to traditional SEO developers.
The Role of Video
Although I’m definitely not the first guy in the digital marketing industry to support the use of video as a marketing tool, but I do stand firmly behind its value as a resource to business owners looking to enhance their visibility. In my presentation, I discussed YouTube’s growing presence on the Web and how Google’s AdWords for Video has heavily been promoted as of late. At this point, the value of rich content is virtually immeasurable and every business should utilize video marketing and advertising online in order to create a stronger brand identity and captivate the attention of a larger consumer base.
Public Relations in SEO
I introduced the topic of PR during my presentation, but Ryan really elaborated on the subject and explained how it integrates flawlessly into many SEO campaigns. By issuing media pitches and press release which utilize important keywords, brand names and key figures within the company, it’s possible to achieve backlink placement on high-quality, relevant and authoritative sites. Beyond that, PR provides credibility to brands and individuals within those companies, as well.
The Site Analysis with Bill Slawski & Chris Countey
Watching Chris and Bill put their expertise to use during the SEO analysis they performed was a great learning experience for me and virtually everyone else in attendance. Even to the most knowledgeable SEO tacticians, Chris and Bill offered very useful insights into the process of determining a page’s SEO performance.
All-in-all, last night’s Agile SEO Meetup was an entertaining, informative experience and I can’t wait to see what our host Chris has in store next month. Stay tuned!
View the full presentation from last night’s meetup on SlideShare here and as always, feel free to reach out to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @brwebimax with any questions or comments!