LinkedIn Statistics: number of Users and Penetration [July 2014]

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On Socialbakers.com you can find LinkedIn Statistics from all their 292,359,048 users.

You can track and monitor the daily LinkedIn user growth and see the daily reports of this social network’s demographics.

Let’s take a look at the distribution of LinkedIn user across the world:

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US clearly dominates the scene, followed by densely-populated country such as India and Brazil. In fact, something more interesting shows up looking at the penetration data:

LinkedIn_Penetration

I’ve been surprised to see Netherlands at 30% of penetration, and Australia around 25%, not to mention Chile that is leading on developed European countries such as Spain, France and Italy.

[Source: Socialbakers]

The State of Social Marketing and Advertising 2014

Discover The State of Social Marketing 2014, as told by your fellow marketers. Where does your social media marketing strategy stand?

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they’re not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis! Imagine a lawyer who says a strong defense is important and then turns to Wikipedia to build a case. No thanks, I’ll Google the Constitution myself. Here’s what over 500 of your peers had to say about the state of social media marketing.Data Point TwoThis means nearly 70% of marketers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is! Marketers who fly blind without the support of benchmarking data are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing what your competitors are doing on social and how your brand compares is critical for setting and reaching relevant KPIs. Free analytics tools have a place in marketing, but not for those who want a true competitive advantage.Data Point One62% say customer acquisitions via social marketing is a “very important” goal for 2014, but only 29% say the same about social customer care. As brands mature on social media, so do their goals. Remember the days when “likes” seemed to be the only thing that mattered? While social ROI is a smart goal, brands must not neglect the importance of social customer support. As our Socially Devoted initiative highlights – if you don’t support customers on social, they’ll be less likely to support you with their voices or wallets.

Data Point ThreeIt’s no surprise that 80% of marketers, regardless of company size, say Facebook is a high priority. What’s surprising is that only 14% will give Google+ a high priority in 2014 and 23% will not consider the platform at all! This data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.Data Point FourFor those of us with start-up experience we know how many hats a CEO can wear, including the social media one. Support for social marketing is diversified with company growth to include other supporters such as Head of Digital, roles most likely created from said growth. While the benefits of a data-driven social media strategy seem obvious to most marketers, even some big companies struggle to create a company culture that supports social.Data Point FiveWith so many advancements in publishing tools it’s surprising that 41% exclusively publish and manage content directly to native platforms. This means zero support for reporting team performance, organized collaboration, easy scheduling, and managed post approval. This tactic waves a huge red flag for large teams looking to streamline social efforts and avoid confusing communication. We of course recommend using publishing tools.

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Supporting organic reach with paid advertising is the new normal in social media marketing. No matter how targeted or engaging your content is, the fact remains, the social party is crowded and you have to pay for a soapbox. But 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social ad budget for 2014. Their content stands alone to fight the noise and competition increasingly present in users’ News Feeds, both from personal connections and competing brands.

However, most companies who know how valuable a well-optimized social strategy can be understand that social advertising is a must. Furthermore, it’s money well spent for brands who optimize and measure their social ad performance.

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It’s not shocking that marketers say News Feed (native) ads are more effective than other placement options. But when you look closely at specified News Feed placements (desktop News Feed vs mobile News Feed vs desktop/mobile News Feed) it becomes clear that marketers aren’t able to distinguish between the three placement types. This points to the fact that marketers are still evolving and learning to fully leverage improved ad targeting provided by leading social networks. The majority have yet to discover the benefit of creating mobile specific content and CTAs.

However, if we compare similar data from a survey conducted in January 2013, we can see that marketers are getting smarter. Then, 81% of Facebook ads used “Facebook All” placement. As of December 2013, that number has been reduced to 42% and News Feed ads lead the way for effective social advertising by a landslide. Right-hand side ads were so 2009.

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The fact that brands are not flocking to Twitter’s adver­tising platform may not speak directly to the platforms’ ability to offer something of value, but rather, to marketers’ inability to effectively adapt to this new form of social advertising.

Twitter launched promoted posts and promoted tweets in March 2012 to a select number of small business and has cautiously expanded this select group to include beverages, athletic apparel, and even a certain Commander-in-chief. Despite Twitter advertisings’ unique appeal, advanced targeting, and proven ROI for a number of brands and verticals, most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube, and the Mother of Platform Monetization, Facebook.

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13.5: that’s the average number of social media pages managed by marketers in our survey. That’s more than 13 different pages (potentially of various countries, languages, and products) that all need to publish and promote content at the right time, to the right audience. But even so, the majority of marketers replied that they manage their social advertising via native platforms!

While many social networks, such as Facebook, have made leaps and bounds to improve their advertising platforms, this approach does not provide any efficiencies for managing multiple pages across multiple social networks. Using a 3rd party application for social advertising simplifies the experience giving marketers more time to do what they do best – create amazing and engaging content for their audience.

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One might conclude that along with company growth and expanded resources, something like social media – a function so close to the heart and soul of brand’s identity – would be reigned-in and managed in-house. This data, however, paints a different picture of social media outsourcing: the bigger the company, the more social media work is outsourced. But if you take a closer look at the data, something changes when it comes to post boosting. When compared to ad management and performance reporting, many brands that prefer to outsource social marketing elements chose to keep post boosting in-house. Perhaps this speaks to the holistic approach of boosting “good” content. When marketers see something going well, they know it, and want to support it with ad spend immediately.

Who Did We Ask?

When we say global, we mean global. 82 countries are represented in this survey reflecting a variety of industries including Education (13%), E-commerce (9%), Software (9%), Travel (9%), Nonprofit (9%), and Retail (7%). Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to social media presence so we asked the Davids (less than 50 employees) and the Goliaths (over 5,000 employees). We owe a great debt to the 500+ marketing professionals who contributed to this report. As a thank you, they received the complete survey results in advance of this release. So, don’t miss out next time and take part in our upcoming surveys.

 

[Source: The State of Social Marketing 2014 and The State of Social Advertising 2014 - SocialBakers]

Looking at Instagram’s Best – January 2014

By now, you know that posting on Instagram is essential for your brand. But why are you using it, and how? This year, we will be monitoring the most engaging brands of Instagram to find just what it is that makes an Instagram campaign a smash hit. Here are January’s results.

The best Instagram accounts for January all manipulated the network’s unique capability to visualize a corporate mission.

Through sharing product images, glorifying past accomplishments, or using photography or video to share captivating imagery associated with the brand or its industry, the best accounts controlled the conversation around their brand. They crafted a visual iconography that fans could associate with their name, and brought fans into the conversation about what that brand means. In order to do this, they used hashtags – relevantly – to give fans a way to input themselves into this larger vision.

And the Winners are…

Ranked purely by their number of followers, the top brands on Instagram in January were Victoria’s Secret, Nike, and Forever 21, which makes sense – it’s not inconceivable that the pictures people most wanted to see on their Instagram feed were of clothing and beautiful people. Those three brands also took on the most new followers that month.

But engagement can happen no matter what your product looks like – the key is to present the most visually engaging idea of what you are. Adidas Football averaged the month’s best engagement rate, which at around 15.3% was nearly a full 10 percentage points better than the average brand’s post’s per­formance.

Adidas’ @adidasfootball campaign is all about building up excitement for this summer’s World Cup. To do that, they have used their Instagram account to post photos of the shoes they are making for the 2014 World Cup in different locations around Brazil, where the competition will take place. In addition to using #WorldCup and #CopaMundial, they repurposed the non-brand hashtag #TBT (that’s Throwback Thursday, for the uninitiated) to get fans talking about past World Cups, and in so doing include Adidas in their conversations. The World Cup is all about national pride, so people will be talking about the event no matter what Adidas does – the challenge for Adidas is to attach their brand to that dialogue. The video they posted is all about Adidas’ colorful presence at this year’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Italian designer of girls clothing Brandy Melville had the most interactions of any brand on Instagram in January.

Each of their 115 posts features their product and the hashtag #brandyusa, forming a cohesive marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness for the opening of a NYC branch. Unlike Adidas, which was trying to intensify a conversation, Brandy Melville’s campaign was more immediate – the NYC branch was opening imminently, and more US locations were set to follow in a matter of weeks, so their aim was to create a general image defining Brandy Melville for a new market.

Best Individual Posts

Meanwhile, the best individual posts were owned by GoPro, Victoria’s Secret, and Nike. Each visualized the brand’s product or showcased a unique aspect of the product. They all used at least one hashtag to name the cohesive campaign of which the post was a part. GoPro’s post is, of course, shot from a GoPro camera, and continues a series of kayaking photographs they center with #paddle, and, more generally, #gopro.

Victoria’s Se­cret’s is from a distinct campaign, #AngelGetaways, that not only features new products and recognizable models, but through the hashtag allows fans to again mimic the visualized brand qualities, which are health and balance (literally – she is shown balancing a healthy fruit, implying the idea of balanced nutrition), beauty, and those ideas’ connections to exotic locales like St. Tropez, where the photograph was taken.

But while Victoria’s Secret is running several hashtag-driven campaigns of which #AngelGetaways is just one, Nike’s top post focuses in on one elongated campaign.

Their slogan JUST DO IT has been ubiquitous since 1988, but as a hashtag, its meaning is variable. This post is the first in a year long #justdoit campaign, which is all about encouraging people to just do one tough thing each day, 365 days of the year, and features photos from around the world embodying this ideal.

It is intrinsically engaging because fans are encouraged to mimic the behavior showcased in the ads and then submit pictures or video of themselves to potentially appear on the company’s instagram feed. The hashtag creates a forum for fans to take part in building the Nike brand, and in the process associate themselves with the company and its visualized mission.

But beware of overdoing it

Hashtags are invaluable… to a point. In fact, posts that used hashtags had an average engagement rate of 5.31%, while posts that did not averaged an engagement rate of only 2.95%. While all the best campaigns made use of hashtags, engagement rates dropped by more than 50% if there were more than 10 hashtags per post.

This does not mean that including 10, or 20, or 100 relevant hashtags would not aid a campaign – it just means that every hashtag you use should further your goal of making your campaign easy to find and engage with for fans.

Social campaigns are all about starting discussions and leading them gently, allowing fans to feel they have a hand in shaping the brand itself. Using hashtags to ground campaigns in visualized ideas, provide some guidance as to what these ideas looks like, and then allow fans to grow the reach of these ideas is the optimal way to do this.

But if you use too many irrelevant hashtags, you spread your campaign too thin and fans lose interest. It is better to be defined by several strong ideas, denoted as hashtags and made tangible by images or video, than to try to be defined by too many. It dilutes the power of the idea of your brand that you are trying to cultivate.

[Source: Socialbakers]

Photos Make Up 93% of The Most Engaging Posts on Facebook!

We found that pictures are not just worth a thousand words but also millions of Likes, Comments, and Shares on Facebook. We conducted a study, looking at a sample of pages from the brands we monitor, to see if it still holds true.

It´s been well established that, photos are one of the most engaging post types on Facebook. We looked at a sample of 5000 brand pages monitored by Socialbakers and found that people prefer to interact with photos more than with any other type of post, such as simple status updates, links, or videos. We’ve seen that many of Facebook´s layout and design changes increasingly support visual content, such as enhancing photos and increasing their size. In March, the social network went as far as calling it the best personalized newspaper in the world as it, besides other things, provides space for strong visual storytelling. In light of this, we decided to update the figures for you.

In August 2012, we reported that 85% of the most engaging posts on Facebook were photos. According to our latest results, the number has increased to a whopping 93%! Our data shows that only 2% of the most engaging content on Facebook is generated by links, another 2% by videos, and 3% by status updates. Photos are now more engaging than ever, so strike a pose and get your fans engaged with strong visual content!

Social Tip: Read how you can embrace the new layout that Facebook is planning to roll out and see how you can measure how engaging your post types are with Analytics PRO.

Take a look at the results for ELLE Magazine in the US!

[Source: Socialbakers]

Facebook Users Like More Pages

In 2009, a Facebook account holder Liked, on average, 4.5 Pages. In just four years, this number increased to an average of 40 Pages! Not only that, but brands have been expanding their use of social media in their marketing campaigns, raising the number of Facebook posts that they make from an average of five times per month to 36. This means that in 2009, Facebook users only had to keep up with a manageable 23 updates per month, whereas they are currently bombarded with around 1 440 updates per month!

Some Countries Are Noisier

Some countries Like even more Pages than the 40 Page average, making them even harder to penetrate. The US takes the lead, Liking a whopping 70 Pages! The UK and France are tied, with their Facebook users Liking 48 Pages, on average. Mexican Facebook users follow closely, Liking an average of 41 Pages.

Our figures show that FMCG brands in the US may find it especially difficult to reach their fans, as this industry has the most Liked Pages. The retail and fashion industries are also taking advantage of the social media boom by creating Facebook Pages to show off their goods – and the American fans appear to Like it. But, how can brands in these industries create posts that will engage their audiences?

Can Your Posts Reach Your Fans?

The huge increase in brands’ posts over the years makes it all the more difficult to engage your fans. With the congestion users receive in their New Feeds, brands must pay attention to the content they are posting, the frequency, and the times of day.

Remember, more posts don’t always mean higher engagement. Fans may get overwhelmed if your posts are cluttering their News Feeds and it may ultimately result in them Unliking your Page. Determine which times of day and days of the week are most effective in reaching your target audience, and post at a frequency that your fans can enjoy.

[Source: Socialbakers]