On her social media and PR blog, Commentz, Sarah Evans and her staff compile a lot of stats. She cherry-picked the most relevant for marketers to share with Ad Age.
1. "Social media accounts for one out of every six minutes spent online in US." (Journalism.co.uk)
2. "Seventy-seven percent report that they use social media to share their love of a show; 65% use it as a platform to help save their favorite shows; and 35% use it to try to introduce new shows to their friends." (TVGuide.com study via TVNewsCheck.com)
3. "Facebook users are overall more trusting than non-internet others. Pew reported, 43% of survey participants were more likely than other internet users to feel that most people can be trusted." (Pew Internet via Social Media Club)
4. "22% of all grandparents in the UK are using social networks, according to Mashable. The study, which collected results from 1,341 grandparents from the UK, showed that 71% of grandparents who use a social network use Facebook, 34% are on Twitter and 9% use the business social network LinkedIn." (Mashable via Social Media Today)
6. "The 'Weinergate' scandal caused a significant drop in tweeting politicians. According to VentureBeat, after the scandal 'the number of tweets by Republican members of Congress dropped by 27 percent, while those of Democrats dropped by 29 percent.'" (VentureBeat via Marketing Pilgrim)
8. "It only takes 20 people to bring an online community to a significant level of activity and connectivity." (Ning via TheNextWeb)
9. "Nearly twice as many men (63%) as women (37%) use LinkedIn." (Pew Internet via prsarahevans.com)
10. "In the last election Google was the largest player -- the Obama campaign directed 45% of its online campaign dollars to the search site." (Advertising Age)
11. "59% of adult Facebook users had "liked" a brand as of April, up from 47% the previous September. Uptake among the oldest users appears to have been a major factor in this rise." (eMarketer)
12. "In 2010, 29.3 million readers read some 270 million pages of Post journalism each month, a record for The Washington Post. Of that, 28.1 million did so online and, while [Washington Post] brought in 4.2 million new readers on average each month compared to the previous year, [they] also lost some 35,000 print subscribers in 2010 alone." (Forbes)
16. "Mobile is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the world. With 40% of U.S. mobile subscribers regularly browsing the internet on their phone and a projected 12.5% of all e-commerce transactions going mobile by the end of the year, it's a channel that you need to be aware of. According to Google, mobile web traffic will surpass PC traffic by 2013." (60 Second Marketer)
21. "Nearly half (42%) indicated that if they've already allocated a portion of their marketing spend to social media, they would increase this spend over the course of the year. Only 8% of those surveyed indicated that they would decrease social media spend." (The Next Web)
22. "13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device." (Pew Internet)
23. "According to HubSpot, small businesses plan to spend 19 percent of budgets on social media vs. only 6 percent in larger businesses. A similar gap is shown for blogging with 10 percent of budgets for small business vs. just 3 percent for large." (Hubspot via ClickZ)
24. "33 percent of its worldwide traffic is inside the United States." (Problogger)
26. "In early March, Google removed from its Android Market more than 60 applications carrying malicious software. Some of the malware was designed to reveal the user's private information to a third party, replicate itself on other devices, destroy user data or even impersonate the device owner." (Network World)
27. "Groupon is on track to bring in between $3 billion and $4 billion in revenue this year alone. Facebook's 2010 sales were reported to be only around $2 billion in its sixth year of existence." (Knowledge@Wharton via
28. "A study of 24,000 consumers across the 16 largest countries found that those who are most connected, living on the cutting edge of social media tend to be more 'prosocial' than average, being more likely to do volunteer work, offer their seats in crowded places, lend possessions to others and give directions." (TheNextWeb)
29. "99 percent of Android devices are vulnerable to password theft." (MobileCrunch)
30. "Recent estimates put less than 10% of the population using Twitter, far less than other social sites." (Advertising Age)
31. "More than 3.34 million mentions were recorded over a one-month period of people making social asks." (PRsarahevans.com)
32. "David Poltrack, CBS Corp., announced that, based on a new research study, 'age and sex don't matter when it comes to increasing TV ad effectiveness.'" (Forbes)
33. "An average of 40 percent of the traffic to the top 25 news sites comes from outside referrals, the study found, with Google Search and, to a lesser extent, Google News the single biggest traffic driver." (via AFP)
34. "Almost one-in-four South Africans use social media as a tool to look for work, but are concerned about the potential career fallout from personal content on social networking sites." (Kelly Group via BusinessReport)
35. "The percentage of US parents who allow their children between ages 10 and 12 to use Facebook or MySpace more than doubled from 8 percent a year ago to 17 percent now." (via NY Post)
41. "Twitter reported that the network saw more than 4,000 tweets per second (TPS) at the beginning and end of Obama's speech [re: death of Osama Bin Laden]" (AllTwitter)
42. "65% of all social media related to the royal wedding has come from the U.S. in the past month [April]. The U.K. has been responsible for just 20%." (USA Today)
43. Re: the Royal Wedding: "911,000 wedding-related tweets were tracked in the past 30 days. That's about 30,000 per day and accounts for 71% of all social media." (USA Today)
44. "According to NPR's internal usage data covering January 1 through mid-April, users who request audio — maybe a station stream, a national newscast, or NPR Music content — view twice as many pages as those who only read the apps' content. On average, audio streamers rack up 4.2 pageviews per visit versus 2.4 for the text-only crowd." (Nieman Journalism Lab)
46. "Traffic from social media has highest bounce rate. [...] If you're looking for 'hyper-engaged' readers, those that click through five or more pages on your site, forget the guy who came from Twitter. A link from another content site is three times more likely to be engaged, and someone coming in from search, is also above average." (Marketing Pilgrim)
47. ""Digital services accounted for an estimated $8.5 billion (28%) of the $30.4 billion in 2010 U.S. revenue generated by the 900-plus advertising and marketing-services agencies that Ad Age analyzed." (Advertising Age)
48. "Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2010: $41,390. Total Facebook spent on lobbying, Q1 2011: $230,000" (Huffington Post)
49. "Nearly seven in 10 tablet owners reported spending at least 1 hour per day using the device, including 38% who spent over 2 hours on it. And while just 28% consider it their primary computer, 77% are spending less time on desktop or laptop PCs since they got a tablet." (eMarketer)
50. "According to a Network Solutions survey, the use of social media among SMBs has grown over the years, rising from 12 percent in 2009, to 24 percent in 2010 to 31 percent currently." (Search Engine Watch)
LinkedIn, what a powerful tool that is. Only recently I found a few other ways you can use LinkedIn in your favour and boost your traffic. It has had some amazing results in terms of traffic and engagement.
1. Get the LinkedIn Plugins
Sharing, it is nearly the new way of charity. Everyone is talking about sharing via the various platforms. There are a few options you can use for your WordPress blog to make sure you have the latest share facilities in place. If you are a WordPress user, I would have a look at the sharebar plugin. A great and neat tool to showcase the various share options.
I did have it on this blog but with the re-design of the website this plugin is causing some issues but I will get this back up and running shortly.
But LinkedIn has created a large range of plugins which you can use on your website so you connect every way known to man. To see the complete list of icons visit the LinkedIn Plugin website
2. Find relevant groups
LinkedIn is all about connections and one of the way you get connected is by finding the people who share you interest. One way is to find groups about your interest or topic. Use the search function on the top right of the LinkedIn website (make sure you set the search parameters on “groups”) and type what you are looking for.
3. Share directly in Groups
Now this is where power of LinkedIn really comes into play, here’s why. As you sign up / become a member of each group, the default settings of you subscribing are as follows.
By sharing your website post / article within LinkedIn groups, you create a new discussion within that group. So that means that everyone in that group get an email notification of your article promoting your website and an discussion. A lot of traffic from one of my websites is via LinkedIn and not only it has given me traffic but a few guest posts as well.
So make sure you follow up on anyone commenting and who is commenting as these people can really help your site and become regular visitors and contributors.
4. Comment within groups – but add value!
Blog commenting is know to be a valuable source of traffic. The word on the street is that this is becoming less and less powerful but nevertheless it is a great way to make yourself stand out and provide your value and insights to another blog. Commenting on LinkedIn works in a similar way. Since the people within groups have a similar interest, providing valuable comment may get you into contact with potential business partners or clients but also gets your word out there to everyone that is subscribed to your article.
If it is not your article, you can still comment and share your knowledge and your website. For instance if someone asks a question within the group or a discussion, and you have written a blogpost about that topic you can share that blogpost within the group. If nobody has given a valuable answer, then this is a great opportunity for you to write that blogpost and provide your expert advice on an unanswered question.
If you see discussions that have many contributions / reply’s than this is a great way to get your name out there. You have to make sure you provide a good and solid argument or solution in order to get the traffic. Everyone who has participated in that discussion will get an email (unless their settings say otherwise) so you better make it count.
This was one of my personal tactics when starting my running blog in order to get some good solid and relevant traffic.
5. Update your profile the right way
I thought my LinkedIn profile was pretty good and up to date but then I saw a webinar by Lewis Howes and within that 15 minute webinar he showed two minor tweaks which made my rank number 1 and number 3 within LinkedIn in a matter of minutes.
However, some basic things you need to have for a decent LinkedIn profile which can capture leads, show who you are and what type of work you do and what people say about you. If you haven’t got a LinkedIn account yet, then head over to LinkedIn straight away and create an account.
The LinkedIn basics:
Profile picture; If you want an online presence don’t do it half ass. You either are or aren’t online so make up your mind. If you aren’t you are losing out so better hop on that online bandwagon and create a headstart agains the people who aren’t online and still think its a hype or the people who are there but aren’t really paying attention to it. They probably think this “online marketing” and “social media” thing is going to blow over and everyone will convert back to using cassette tapes….
Work experience; List the business where you have worked and with a short description of what your were working on and involved in. If you know any, list some achievements you have made possible or projects you helped build. LinkedIn is also an online resume so be expect future employers / partners / clients to have a look on your LinkedIn profile.
Websites; List the various websites you have and make sure you select “other” as this allows you to actually name your website in your profile instead of just saying “blog / business / personal” which are the standard options you are give. (This was another trick by Lewis Howes btw.)
6. Connect LinkedIn with Twitter
A lot of people are connecting with each other via various social networks and a lot of the times they connect with all their social media profiles and one of them is twitter, which you can integrate directly in your LinkedIn profile. A great way to share your blogpost on your LinkedIn profile and your twitter stream simultaneously is by using an application such as HootSuite (my personal preference). This allows you to select the tweets which you want visible on your twitter profile and on your LinkedIn profile. Hootsuite also allows you to post directly on Facebook, including thumbnail, and a few other social networks. Hootsuite is also an iPhone application so you have your twitter friends on the go.
7. Download the LinkedIn App
Apps, the world seems to run on Apps these days as there is nearly an App for everything. If you do own a phone which can run Apps, then I suggest you download the LinkedIn App. It is really a handy tool to have your LinkedIn connections available when you want as you may have forgotten a name but you do know the company he works for then within a few seconds you can search the company and the application will also show you the name.
Another lifesaver is the “In Person” feature. This handy feature lets you connect you and the other person just by tapping iPhones. It really can save you lots of time looking up everyone you have met during a networking event or even worse, you forgot to bring business cards!
You can check your inbox, invitations, news, updates and via the “Reconnect” feature it even suggests connections to you. This is great for looking who you may know without wasting time to find out if they are on LinkedIn or not.
8. Use LinkedIn Apps to enhance your profile
Just like Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, LinkedIn also has many application to enhance your LinkedIn profile. You can have downloadable presentations via SlideShare, Show testimonials via an online video (another Lewis Howes trick), promote your latest blogpost via the WordPress application. There are many other applications out there which will suit your need to showcase who you are and what you keeps you motivated and what your interests are.
If you are a frequent traveller, you could share your travels by installing the TripIt application. This is more a fun way of enhancing your LinkedIn profile, or if you are a very frequent traveller to show off your frequent flyer status. But a more business purpose for this is to have your colleagues and clients know you are away or on their way to see them and what time you are arriving.
9. Invite, Invite, Invite
Having a LinkedIn profile without people linking to you or you link to some other people then this is the time to make a change. There are a few ways to get more connections and its best to start off with the people who you already know.
You can search your current address book (this is done automatically via LinkedIn) and it searches the email addresses which are already in the LinkedIn system and connects them with a contact. The same can be done with Twitter, so you have everyone who you already interact with also on LinkedIn.
Once you have done this, LinkedIn will start showing you connections as they recommend. This could be connections you and a few friends share, so chances are that you know that person already but that person signed up with another email address than you currently have of him. (A business email address instead of his firstname.lastname@example.org. The reason why he might do that is pretty obvious :) .
10. Recommend and get recommended
LinkedIn is a business style social network. Social in the means of give before you receive attitude. If you miss some colleagues from your previous work environment, than a great way to show that is to recommend their work. This helps them in their career as this stays on their profile and the chances are they would be happy to give you a recommendation.
If you are working on a project that is nearly done of have completed projects in the past, then don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation about your work. Many people don’t seem to mind giving a recommendation if they feel you deserved it. All you need to do is ask, and the worst thing they can say or do is not give you one. Which you didn’t have in the fist place so your situation can only improve.
This year I lost 40 lbs, and at 45 years old I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since college (photo to the right is an “after” picture… of someone else). The kicker is, it really wasn’t that difficult. And though you might find it a stretch — pun intended — there are direct corollaries between getting/keeping your body in shape and getting/keeping your business in shape.
My physical transformation hasn’t been that difficult because it only took two things: common sense and sticking to fundamentals. I didn’t read a single book, buy a DVD, hire a trainer, or follow the weight loss fad du jour. Finding your way to personal or business fitness shouldn’t require you to buy anything; that just makes someone else’s business healthier.
Here are a few basic rules that will strengthen your core or your corporation:
There’s no secret formula: Does anyone really need to tell you that eating less, eating better foods, and exercising are all most people need to do to lose weight? Of course not. And your business runs, and will succeed or fail, on a set of similarly basic fundamentals and rules that never, ever change. Don’t fall into the “diet book trap” of thinking there is any road to true, permanent, fiscal fitness that isn’t paved with these building blocks.
Simplest is best: If you follow my blog you know I am a huge proponent of a simplicity theory called Occam’s Razor. If there are 100 ingredients you can’t pronounce or identify on the side of a food box, odds are it’s something that won’t be good for you. Seek out foods with the fewest ingredients, and business practices and decisions with the fewest “moving parts.” If it’s too complicated (in context, of course), chances are it’s a bad choice.
Be disciplined and execute consistently: If you want to get and stay fit, you have to make commitments and stick to them. You may not want to wake up at 5:30 am and exercise, but if you want results, you can’t hit the snooze button. In business, you can never stop executing on the plan you’ve put in place. Progress comes with relentless persistence and consistency.
Cut fat, not muscle: All weight loss is not created equal. The key is to build lean muscle, and this applies to your business in a very real way. Spend money and other resources on the things that are most productive and it will yield optimal results. If you want to shape up your bottom line, target fat (like travel and entertainment) and not muscle (like advertising and promotion).
Measure yourself: As the saying goes, “anything you measure will improve.” You measure your personal fitness by what the scale says, your clothing size, the distance you can run, or the weight you can lift. Without those things you know little to nothing about your progress or what changes you need to make. In business, you have a wealth of data at your disposal. Use the most important information to guide you, but don’t suffer analysis paralysis… that’s as counterproductive as weighing yourself five times a day.
Don’t forego enjoyment: Any diet that forces you to stop eating things you love is guaranteed to fail in the long run. Any job or business you don’t enjoy at some level will wear you down. Work isn’t always fun — that’s why they call it work — but it shouldn’t be as miserable as, say, never having pizza again.
Just as there are no get-fit-quick shortcuts, there are no get-rich-quick shortcuts. Long-term fitness — for your body or your business — is a permanent lifestyle, not a short-term program or periodic “tune-up.”
If you think all of this is a silly analogy, or “duh, business 101″ advice, think of all of the companies that have floundered, failed, or flamed out in spectacular fashion because they thought the rules didn’t apply to them. The ones who shot steroids and wound up sterile, with asterisks next to their names in the history books (for you sports fans).
Please share your thoughts about philosophies and practices that have helped your business get and/or stay in shape.
As a business owner it’s easy to get that “Same Stuff, Different Day” feeling: Every day you face the same frustrations, same roadblocks, same employee headaches, same problems with vendors and suppliers and, yes, even customers.
And before you know it you’re in an SSDD rut.
How do you get out? It’s not easy, but it can be done.
While you can’t change what you do — you still have to deal with employees and vendors and suppliers and customers — you can change your approach.
Here are six ways to break out of your SSDD rut:
Get back in the trenches. Most business owners start a business based on a passion. As the business grows, though, they spend more time working on the business than in the business. (Which is usually a good thing, but not in this case.) The more successful your business, the less time you get to spend actually doing what you love. If you’re a florist with three shops, you probably spend the bulk of your time organizing and managing and firefighting and very little time creating beautiful arrangements. Take a step back and “work” for a few hours or better yet a full day. You’ll start the next day recharged… and you’ll remember why you love your business.
Change how you measure. We all have internal measures for how we work. Some people work based on time: “I’ll work on (this) for two hours.” Others work based on tasks: “I’ll work on this until it’s finished.” Others dip in and out of various tasks all day. Think about how you normally approach your day, and switch it up. If you tend to be time-based, switch to task mode: Don’t stop working on a task until it’s complete. If you’re task-oriented, set a time limit for a task instead. Either way you’ll be more productive. If you like to finish projects, setting a time limit will cause you to work smarter and harder to make sure you get done within the time allowed. If you like to work for a set period of time, forcing yourself to finish a task will make you more productive for the same reasons. And no matter what, you’ll look at how you work differently.
Eliminate five things. Everyone does things they don’t have to. Do you really review every report employees create? (More to the point, do employees really review and act on every report you create?) Some processes no longer make sense. Some guidelines no longer make sense. Look around and find five things you can eliminate: Reports, tasks, processes… anything that falls into the category of, “Well, that’s how we’ve always done things…” The more “stuff” you eliminate the more your day changes and the more time you free up to focus on what really matters.
Delegate five things. Face it: You hang on to too much. We all do. We’re convinced that some things only we can do. No one else has the skills, or the experience… or simply cares enough. Not true. Your employees can perform many tasks just as well as you can, often even better. One of your employees has outstanding interpersonal skills; let him work with a few key customers. One of your employees is so organized she makes Stephen Covey look sloppy; turn more processes over to her. Explain, train, follow up, then let go — and give employees a chance to grow.
Work with your best. I know. Twenty percent of your employees take 80% of your time. It’s natural to spend more time with struggling or poor performers. It’s also draining. Switch it up: Spend a few hours with your best employees. They’ll appreciate the attention — and you’ll be inspired.
Fire the worst. One of your employees probably needs to go: He’s not just a poor performer, he’s a morale killer. Or maybe one of your customers needs to go: The margins are too low and the effort is too high. Or maybe a product line needs to be cut: Doesn’t sell anymore (if it ever did), takes up valuable shelf space and a big chunk of operating capital, and trying to make it a winner drains resources from every part of your business. Nagging, long-term problems lie at the heart of the SSDD syndrome. Whatever your “worst” is, let it go. It may be painful at first, but in time you’ll wonder why it took you so long.