Staff Writer: Greta Frusha
Social media is growing by leaps and bounds. Emarketer predicts that by the end of this year there will be 1.43 billion social network users! This is a 19.2 percent increase over 2011. The marketing firms in Los Angeles should watch this growing use of social media. Somewhere there may be a saturation point hit, but it’s not going to be any time soon.
Social media varies from place to place. A survey done by Pew Internet found that 65 percent of internet users in the U.S. used social networking sites. 61 percent of adult users under the age of 30 tap into their social networks at least once a day. Daily usage among internet users ages 50-64 have jumped in numbers. They went from 20 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2011. “The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Senior Research Specialist and report co-author Mary Madden. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”
More businesses are planning on increasing their investments in social media. Any marketing firm Los Angeles would jump at this tidbit. Advertising and promotions, PR, and customer services were listed as main benefits. Other uses such as market research and recruitment were also reported as possible social media marketing trends.
It is easier to track social media trends than to predict them. It wasn’t too long ago that MySpace was wildly popular worldwide beating Google into second place. Facebook is the top dog in social media world. It overtook MySpace in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. In a 2011 comScore report, it was revealed that there were only 7 countries worldwide that Facebook didn’t rate top billing. That number has decreased to 6 countries when Facebook overtook Orkut in Brazil. Facebook boasts of more than 845 million active users on their site. Users know that it has a true global presence with the capability of linking them to users worldwide.
TencentQZone leads the social media in China. Tencentweibo, Sinaweibo, and Renren also control significant market shares in China. Even though internet is not expected to reach a vast majority of China’s population until 2015, Qzone may even be able to rework Facebook’s active user figures without having to expand too far outside the borders of China.
Russia’s social media is headed by Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki which are expanding into other Eastern European countries. Other countries where comScore notes that Facebook is not king include: Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Poland. Even here in the U.S, Facebook shouldn’t get too comfortable. There is one social media group that is still lagging behind in the number of users, Twitter may be behind now, but is predicted to jump out in the lead. No one knows how Google+ will fare and Pinterest is showing a fast growth, posing a threat to the social media giant.