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Billions of reasons to use social media in business

Interesting dialogue about social media in finance.

Social media is so wide and vast today that it’s hard to cover in one blog post.

Most people think Facebook and twitter when you say social media (eight and five years old respectively), but it’s far more than that these days.

It’s Groupon, foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn and more.

Now most folks tell me that these sites are only good for PR.

Well, that may be true, but that’s not the attitude to take: these sites are good for business.  If you purely think it’s good for PR and Marketing, then you shouldn’t be in this space.

In fact, most banks are scared to get into this space anywhere above or beyond marketing and PR because it’s hard.

To truly engage with customers in an open, honest and transparent communication is tough.

It’s got to be taken seriously and to be seen as a true way of doing business, not just trying to hype the company.

And if you think that most business is done remotely via mobile internet these days, then you should take these sites seriously for business purposes, not just for PR.

Just to underscore how important social media is today, here’s a few stats nicked from a great slideshare presentation by Mile Van Opstal of Wavelab:


  • In February 2012 Facebook had 850 million users
  • Of the 850+ million Facebook users, 31% check in more than once a day
  • Facebook’s website received almost 170 million user visits in February 2012
  • 63% of Facebook users have deleted people from their friend lists (up from 56% in 2009)
  • 44% have deleted comments others have made
  • 37% have untagged themselves from photos
  • Young adults and women are more likely to unfriend people (67% women vs 58% men)


  • In February 2012 Google+ had 90 million users
  • Google’s  website received almost 19 million user visits in February 2012
  • The Google+ button is served more than 5 billion times each day
  • Just 29% of Google+ users are female
  • 44% of Google+ users are single
  • The top ten countries using Google+: USA (31%), India (14%), Brazil (5%), UK (4%), Canada (2.5%), Germany (2%), Indonesia (1.8%) and Italy, Mexico and Spain (1.7%)
  • US users spend an average of 6 minutes on the site
  • The top occupation is student (20%)
  • China and Iran block access to Google+


  • YouTube’s website received nearly 150 million user visits in February 2012
  • YouTube sees four billion video views globally every day
  • Users on YouTube spend a total of 2.9 billion hours per month (326,294 years)
  • One hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second – 
    •        that’s 24 hours of video every 24 seconds,
    •        60 hours a minute,
    •        9 months every 2 hours,
    •        a decade every single day and
    •        a century every 10 days


  • LinkedIn’s website received just over 26 million user visits in February 2012
  • Compared to January 2011, LinkedIn’s member have grown by 45% worldwide
  • LinkedIn’s members have reached 147 million, although this figure is an approximate number provided by LinkedIn
  • Every second two new users sign up
  • The average LinkedIn user is male (57.9%) and aged between 25 and 54 years (67.7%)
  • Age demographics are:
    •        21% 18-24,
    •        36% 25-34,
    •        36% 35-54,
    •        7% 55+
  • North America and Europe represent 65.7% of users with about 96.6 million
  • Over 44% of LinkedIn’s users work in companies with more than 10,000 employees, in Asia the figure rises up to 57.3%
  • 39% of the members is Manager, Director, Owner, Chief Officer or Vice President


  • Twitter’s website received over 37 million user visits in February 2012
  • In February 2012 Twitter had 500 million registered users (200 million active)
  • 1 million accounts are added to Twitter every day
  • Twitter users send roughly 175 million tweets daily
  • 36% of Twitter users tweet at least once per day
  • 64% of users access Twitter via twitter.com
  • The average interaction time is 11:50 minutes
  • Twitter’s projected ad revenue in 2012 is $259 million


  • Tumblr’s website received over 18.5 million user visits in February 2012
  • As of February 27, 2012, Tumblr had over 46.2 million blogs
  • In July 2011, the website had 13.4 million unique visitors, up 218% from July 2010
  • Half of the user base is under the age of 25
  • Visitors spend up to 3x more time on Tumblr than on WordPress or Blogspot
  • Content sharing has increased by 1299.5% in 2011


  • Flickr’s website received over 18.25 million user visits in February 2012
  • Flickr has 51 million registered members
  • On August 4, 2011 Flickr announced its 6th billionth image and, by January 19th 2012, the count was 6.7 billion; between these two dates , users uploaded 4.2 million photos per day
  • Over the last 5 years uploads have been increasing 20% year-over-year
  • Flickr members spend an average of 2.7 minutes per visit on the site
  • Members  are mostly male millennials between 18–34 and affluent


  • Pinterest’s website received over 16 million user visits in February 2012
  • In February 2012 Pinterest had 10.4 million users
  • Pinterest is retaining and engaging users 2-3 times better than Twitter was at a similar time in Twitter’s company history
  • Over 80% of Pinterest pins are ‘repins’ (content already pinned by users)
  • 80% of Pinterest’s user base are women, 50% of the users have kids
  • 30% of Pinterest users are between 25-34 years,
    25% of the users are 35-44 & 17% is between 18-24 years old
  • 21% of Pinterest users say they have purchased an item after seeing it
  • 60% have attended at least some college, 25% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the average household income is between (US) $25k – $75k


  • Foursquare’s website received over 1.8 million user visits in February 2012
  • Foursquare has 22,499,416 registered users as of March 2, 2012
  • 15 million global Foursquare users have checked in 1.5 billion times. (Dec, 2011)
  • Foursquare has at least 7.5 million domestic users (US)
  • More than 20% of the users push their check-ins to Facebook


  • Groupon’s website received over 14.5 million user visits in February 2012
  • Groupon has 115 million users  (08/2011)
  • Groupon generates $3.5 million per day on average
  • Groupon customers spend an average of 60% above the value of the Groupon
    • 77% of users are female,
    • 49% single,
    • 33% married,
    • 12% lives with a partner,
    • 6% are divorced, widowed or separated,
    • 66% read Groupon write-ups every day,
    • 66% use Groupon primarily as a guide to explore their city,
    • 70% of subscribers have a yearly income > $ 50K



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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