We all know that YouTube has become an internet powerhouse. It’s the one place that we spend more time on than Facebook, and it’s the world’s second largest search engine.
There are many more statistics and stories to tell in this interesting infographic from Filmora. But the most interesting thing – for me at least – is that the People & Blogs category has the most number of uploads of any category. With just over 40% of total uploads, it over three times larger than the next largest category (gaming).
And with 1 billion hours of YouTube watched per day, clearly we remain curious about the people we inhabit the Earth with. What is particularly interesting about this, is that there is no end in sight – no plateauing of data. We seem ever more interested in our own humanity and our creative endeavours.
Which makes me wonder about brands and businesses. When humanity and creativity are top of the agenda, how do you join the conversation?
No doubt you’ve seen them huddling around the bottoms of buildings, near the entrances and exits. On the benches and in the cafes. Their eyes are downcast, their heads bent, shoulders hunched. A decade ago you’d be right to think that these people were spending their morning or afternoon break smoking. These days, the crowds are revolutionaries. But they are not “card carrying” – their weapon of choice is the smartphone – and every status update, share and connection is laying waste to the traditional models of business, networking, socialising and culture. In fact, these changes are impacting almost every aspect of the way we live – in what we call the 5 Cs of Digital Disruption.
The digital revolution is a different style of transformation. It is not a revolution of technology but one of behaviour. Certainly, the technology has had an impact on our lives – and will continue to do so – but the profound changes are in the the WAY that we think, act and behave. And increasingly this includes a technology component.
In Australia – the facts and figures tell the story of pervasive behaviour change. The Australian Social Media Cheat Sheet shows – as at February 2015 – just how much time (and attention) is being spent online. But it’s not just “online” – there are so many ways in which we can consume “online” content and engagement these days – from smartphones and tablets to PCs, smart TVs and Internet of Things devices.
Diving deeper into the statistics, Facebook Australia advise that there is more to the numbers (and that the numbers are larger):
- 1 out of every 3 minutes on mobile is spent with Facebook properties – messenger, Facebook and Instagram
- More than 13 million Australians use Facebook every MONTH
- More than 10 million Australians use Facebook every DAY
- On average, more than 9 million Australians access Facebook via mobile
- 32% growth in the last 12 months
Facebook shared some slides you might find useful for your next presentation:
Update: High quality image here. PLUS check out the update to the Facebook stats.
Detailed statistics and information on social media in Australia continues to be a challenge. While there are pockets of data here and there – we rarely see a side-by-side comparison of user data and benchmarking information. So it is great to see this cheat sheet available. Shared by the folks from Reinventure (over on LinkedIn), it compiles (mostly) Australian data from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter – with Pinterest data pulled from global data.
The infographic provides some great high level stats, pros and cons for each of the platforms and some useful comparison benchmark data. The data appears to be current as at February 2015 and includes sources like Social Media News, YouTube press statistics and DirectTarget.
Let’s face it, big numbers are sexy. The bigger they are, the more business leaders, marketers and yes, even economists, become excited. So any report on social media that delves into those massive network numbers is bound to cause a flurry of activity. But the big numbers are not what should be interesting us in the latest Global Web Index report on social media engagement. The first rule of the Consumerverse is:
“It’s the little numbers that matter most”.
But before I explain why, let me share the big numbers with you. According to GWI:
- Over 170,000 internet users were surveyed across 32 markets
- Data is collected in the last six weeks of every quarter, making this Q1 2015 report as up-to-date as possible
- Stratified sampling ensures that responses are representative of the internet population aged 16 to 64 in each country
- Outside of China, over 80% of internet users have a Facebook account (indicating a plateauing)
- Tumblr and Pinterest continue to show impressive growth
- The average internet user has 5.5 accounts and is active on three platforms
- More internet users now visit YouTube each month than Facebook.
Now, these are fascinating figures. But the dot point that drew me in most was the last one. In bold.
Why is this important?
It comes down to one of the basic tenets of online participation – what we call the 1% Rule:
- 90% of users are “lurkers” – read, consume and observe
- 9% of users intermittently produce content, engage in comment or discussion
- 1% of users create content.
The GWI report highlights this gap – the participation gap. The figures – on the surface – indicate that internet users have a growing preference for consumption. We visit but don’t contribute. But this has always been the way.
But what if we turned the big numbers inside-out?
- Only 18% of internet users DON’T visit YouTube
- Only 27% of internet users DON’T visit Facebook
- Both are approaching saturation points in terms of consumption
- YouTube still offers significant room for contribution growth.
In my recent presentation, experience is the currency of your brand, I talked about the importance of understanding your customer journey and overlaying that with your business’ sales cycle. This is often a challenging task. But it reveals important insights.
What we call “engagement” is the most trafficked element of the customer journey, yet is often disconnected from the complete picture. It operates in isolation from the sales cycle – from the technology (devices), spaces, channels and processes that deliver business and marketing outcomes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Start by looking closely at your own “little numbers” and find the insights they reveal. It’s the first rule of the consumerverse.
What happens when two of your social media friends get together? Well, this week Sum All, the social media dashboard and Buffer, the social media management tool, hooked up to share some salacious social data. By working together they were able to compare the the effectiveness of posting frequency. And they came up with some pretty interesting insights.
For those who are active on social media, the recommendations may come as a surprise. After all, it’s easy to schedule or post multiple updates to run WITHIN AN HOUR – not just across the course of a DAY. But it seems for the most part, that INFREQUENT posting may be the most effective route. For example:
- Twitter: probably the noisiest of the lot, Twitter can explode on a particular topic. Just look at “today’s” fascination first with llamas and then later, with #TheDress. Research suggests that the level of engagement begins to decrease after only the THIRD tweet each day – and that means #TheDress flooded most people’s quotas
- Facebook: there’s an ongoing debate over the Facebook newsfeed algorithms and the level of organic reach, but the research also indicates that two posts is the max point for “Likes” and comments
- Blogging: perhaps the most interesting of the stats – is that doubling your blogging efforts from around once a week to twice a week doubles the number of inbound leads. And here we were thinking that blogging had died a quiet death
The big question is …
As with all research, there will always be outliers – and exceptions to the rule. But for those who actively manage brands on social media, how do you find this correlates with your experience? Have you tested for post frequency? What about time of day? Or “best day” for posting? My thinking and experience suggests:
- B2C brands may need to post more frequently – especially where there is a customer experience / service angle
- Brands that are in the early stages of growth will always take effort to establish a follower base. Activity can ease off as community activity begins to increase
- Standard time of day posts still tend to work when your audience is receptive – during work breaks and in the evenings (note this can be challenging where your audience is comprised of shift workers)
- Some channels work better on weekends. And yes, that can mean email too. Be sure to test all opportunities to engage.