A recent article in Forbes announced an amazing social media usage increase…

the answer to the question “Is social media a fad?” the answer is no. A resounding no for that matter. How could be anything but a resounding no with a growth of 800% on just 8 years?

It would appear that those in the corporate world also believe social media is here to say as witnessed by results from a study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research.

You can bet your next Pin that these numbers will continue to go up – or at least they better.

I say that because I have an inherent fear that those in the big offices in corporate America will begin to ponder if social media is a fad and/or worth the investment.

Back in November of 2012 Courtney Seiter wrote a great piece for Marketing Land entitled Why Social Media ROI Can’t Be Measured – And Why That’s OK. In her piece Courtney says she’s “gotten to a zen place when it comes to social media ROI.”

Of particular note is that this rise in use is a result of adult on line behaviors. This important demographic for online marketing is key to running a successful inbound marketing campaign.

Pew Research broke down which social media sites were garnering what percentage of this traffic as of december of 2012:

As of December 2012:

  • 15% of online adults say they use Pinterest
  • 13% of online adults say they use Instagram
  • 6% of online adults say they use Tumblr
  • 67% of online adults say they use Facebook

20% of online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.

These numbers show that while many industry minds are eager to dismiss the powerhouse Facebook as a thing of the past due to low or undependable ROI, this is far from true.

While the ROI on Facebook is lower than on Pinterest, for example, there are simply more fish in the Facebook sea of users.

The Forbes article cites a work by Courtney Seiter, which goes on to discuss “dark social”…That one set of metrics always beyond measuring, such as sharing via instant message, e-mail, and Facebook chat.

While we have no way of checking how often this sharing method is used, it is believed to be more and more often as individual users try to fill their personal feed less to protect their privacy.

Google and Google Plus has not officially announced a drop in users but there are signs that some internal numbers there are influencing management decisions. Google is accelerating its encryption re-coding program in the wake of the NSA debacle. An update that was due out in 2014 is now expected to debut later this year, possibly six months ahead of schedule. Until then, it may just be that dark social will gain in use and popularity as Americans seek to protect themselves from snooping eyes. Hopefully, Google Plus will not receive any long term drop in number of users.

In spite of constant Facebook privacy concerns, Facebook still remains the one platform that puts the most privacy control in the hands of each user. Although Pinterest and other more visual based social media platforms have made great strides and have higher traceable ROIs, they have virtually no dark media presence and virtually no privacy options for their users.

All of this leads to one conclusion. Facebook is still the king of the hill and likely to remain so for at least a year if not longer.

What are your thoughts?

We look forward to your contributions in our vibrant online discussions. You can find us on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus and Pinterest.

BJC Branding
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Jake Burns