Honestly, I was shocked to see in a recent blog entry by Rob Goad, research director for Experian Hitwise, discussing how social networks now receive more visits than search engines in the United Kingdom. The percentages were both just a hair under 12 percent of overall traffic, but this is huge, nonetheless. It simply reinforces the global need for corporations and marketers to embrace the social media space in spite of concerns about negative contributor engagement.
In further researching the competitive landscape, it was interesting to see the differences regarding what social sites are most popular in the United States vs. the United Kingdom. In the UK study, Facebook accounted for nearly 55 percent of the total visits, with YouTube coming in at a distant second with 16 percent. Surprisingly, Twitter was even further back at just 2 percent. In the United States, Facebook and StumbleUpon have been alternating as to who is generating the most traffic. I was stunned at StumbeUpon’s popularity — it has 10,181,774 members as of today’s post. Make that 10,181,775 …
The most important realization here is that even though we still can’t completely foresee what the future is for these social networks — or even who the biggest players may be a year from now — we have at least identified where consumers are. From a marketing standpoint, this is the best platform to research to understand consumers’ behavior and consumption habits. So, no matter your corporate marketing needs, the cat is out of the bag. You can no longer sit idly by. Whether via Facebook, StubleUpon, YouTube or Twitter, the evidence is there and the time to act is now!
Noticing any new players on the social media horizon we should be following? Let us know and we’ll check them out.