Some things about social media are hard to put into words. When you're trying to become the first degree of Kevin Bacon in your own burgeoning social network, you quickly learn all about stock-photo scavenger hunts, brand-obsessed Facebook stalkers and that weird internal struggle that happens when you've been tweeting as a cartoon bear for so long that you actually begin to think like a cartoon bear. So when you find yourself at a dinner party talking to a handsome stranger and you're asked to elaborate on what you mean when you say “the wacky world of social media marketing,” how do you explain these things?
You don't. Trust us. Something will get lost in the translation, and you'll just come across as a giggly weirdo who lives on the Internet. Don't go down that road. Stick with the facts by sharing one of these 10 surprising social media statistics instead.
1. More people own a cell phone than a toothbrush. There are over 7 billion people in the world. An estimated 4 billion of them own mobile phones, but only around 3.5 billion own toothbrushes. We urge you not to use this stat as an excuse to spend your brushing time playing Draw Something instead. (60 Second Marketer)
2. Over 5 million Facebook users are under the age of 10. This is despite the fact that the legal terms and conditions prohibit anyone under the age of 13 from using the site. So where are these kids' parents? According to Forbes, “95 percent of parents were aware their kids were using the service while 78 percent helped create the account.” Cool moms of the world, take note – helping your underage kid sign up for Facebook is the new letting your kid drink in the house. (Forbes)
3. Twitter users are 33% more likely to be Democrats. That's compared to the general U.S. population. So if you have a particularly scathing Obama joke, you might want to tell it at a cocktail party instead of on Twitter where the audience will be stacked against you. (Convince&Convert)
4. Companies ignore 70% of Facebook questions. When Facebook fans post their questions online, only 30% of them receive answers. That's a shockingly low interaction rate, but many social media marketing experts see this Facebook fact as an opportunity. If you're willing to engage customers when you're competitors aren't, separating yourself from the pack is easy. (Social Bakers)
5. 80% of Pinterest users are women. Although this statistic gives Pinterest the largest gender divide of any of the social media giants, it's not altogether surprising – have you ever seen how many “dream wedding” boards there are on Pinterest? We expect to see more male-centric brands marketing with Pinterest soon, however. Why? Because “food” is currently the fastest growing topic on the site. Who doesn't like food? (Mashable)
6. Users spent $1.85 billion on virtual Facebook credits last year. At that price, we could have bought around 50 private islands and five $100 million yachts. Or, you know, a bajillion Farmville chickens. Looks like the people have spoken. (Wired)
7. Moms are the biggest supporters of branding on Facebook. If your brand isn't tapping into the mommy market, you're missing out. When they aren't tagging you in embarrassing childhood photos or questioning your relationship status, Facebook-friendly moms are liking brands more than any other group. (Mashable)
8. Facebook's population is more than twice as big as the USA's. The population of the U.S. is nearing 314 million. Facebook boasts over 800 million users. If you've only gotten a hundred of these users to like your page, you may want to rethink your strategy for branding on Facebook. (Facebook)
9. Lady Gaga is the Queen of Twitter. Mama Monster has over 26.4 million followers – only slightly less than the entire population of Afghanistan. That's 65% more followers than Barack Obama. We think it probably has something to do with the outfits. Sorry, Mr. President.
10. Every second, more than an hour of video is added to YouTube. How many of these hours of content feature sleepy kittens? Never enough. (Socialbakers)
It pains us to admit it, but even the savviest social media marketing guru is no Don Draper – and you only have to make it through a few episodes of “Mad Men” to know that's probably a good thing. Social media geniuses don't necessarily bleed charisma and mystery, but on the other hand, they're not downing a fifth of bourbon and inhaling two packs of Luckys every day just to keep their clients happy. So the next time you're at a fundraiser and the subject of social media comes up, don't climb onto that soap box. Don't brag about how you raised your Klout score from 40 to 50 in one week. Impress your audience with one of these social media statistics instead. You never know who might be listening.