The TOP Social Networks According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report


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Nielsen has just released their 2012 State of Social Media Report report. The report highlights lots of interesting details about the top social networks and where we’re using social media. The report tips a 37 percent increase in the total time spent on social media in the U.S., reaching 121 billion minutes in July, compared to 88 billion in summer 2011. One in three social media users prefer contacting a company via social media vs. calling them by phone.  A term now known as ‘social care’ –customer service via social media.

The ultimate social network, Facebook, remains the most-visited in the U.S., and earned the title of most popular Web brand in the U.S. this year. It reached 152.2 million PC visitors, 78.4 million app users, and 74.3 million mobile Web surfers. That dwarfs social sites in all categories (see graphic below), beating No. 2 Blogger by more than 93.7 million PC users. In the mobile app race, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, and Pinterest carry the top five spots.

Top networks like Facebook and Twitter have profound staying power in a world where social media options are expanding every day, including breakout star Pinterest, which boasted what Nielsen reported is the largest year-over-year increase — 1,698 percent. It’s now bigger than Google+ and closing in on LinkedIn, which remained static this year. These numbers have made it clear that Pinterest can officially be considered part of the “big four” social networks.

With so many mobile options, it appears nearly a third of people ages 18 to 24 write Facebook comments, send tweets, and perhaps even blog from the comfort of their bathroom. Those ages 25 to 34 are more likely to use social networking in the office.

For all of the celebrity accounts and political usage accrued by social media, it seems that people still focus on connecting with friends and family members. More than 60 percent of people turn on Facebook to keep up with someone they know in real life, while 9 percent initiate LinkedIn contact because of a person’s physical attractiveness, Nielsen reported.

It comes as no surprise, but Nielsen has found that people are spending more and more time on the internet. The main reason for this is the increasing amount of smartphone owners, tablets, handheld music players like the iPod touch, game consoles, Internet-enabled TVs and e-readers with access to the internet 24/7. The overall unique audience using mobile apps increased 85%–7 times more than on the mobile web. PC usage dropped 4%. On top of this, the number of minutes spent on mobile apps increased 120% from 2011.

These numbers are huge. But consider this: social media use accounts for 20% of a user’s time on PCs and 30% on mobile devices. Considering these are both such large chunks of consumers’ internet time and the fact that this internet time is skyrocketing as it is,  time on social media is exploding. Want to know where your consumers are? Social media. Want to know where you should be examining your marketing strategy? Social media. Remember what life was like before social media? It’s hard for me to remember.

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If you want to see the full report, go ahead and download Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report for yourself. If you found this article helpful, be sure to follow me on Twitter, “Like” me on Facebook, follow me on Pinterest, and follow BrandLove, LLC on LinkedIn. I post many more tips and tricks on my other social channels. Thanks for reading my post and I appreciate your support!

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4 Comments

Filed under Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google+, Infographics, LinkedIn, Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, Social Media Marketing

4 responses to “The TOP Social Networks According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report

  1. Awesome stats! I knew Pinterest was way up there, but didn’t know that much. Wow!

  2. Terrific information to know. Not at all surprised about the dramatic growth in use of Pinterest.

  3. Thanks Lisa, a fantastic overview of the social media sites and their growth.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. Happy New Year!

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