Social media is in constant flux and the only strategy for grasping its changing character lies in detailed research. The more we measure consumer behaviors, the more we can find out about how our audiences use social networks to interact with brands – and this knowledge, translated with the help of analytics tools, is increasingly valuable. Here are 10 surprising recent findings about social media you probably didn't know about – number 7 will definitely make you rethink your consumer outreach strategy.
1. Facebook loves visuals
A recent study from Social Bakers unveiled that on Facebook, visuals rule – 87% of shares on a Facebook page happen on posts that feature photos. In comparison, those with links get only 4% of attention and statuses receive 2%. If you're planning to post on Facebook, make sure to adorn your post with a captivating image and you'll instantly increase its engagement rate.
2. Marketers will focus on written content
Every year, Social Media Examiner conducts a survey among professional marketers to find out what are the leading trends in digital marketing. This year, they clearly show the growing importance of high-quality content marketing. Over a half of marketers admitted to prefer written rather than visual content on social media.
This should make you rethink your own approach towards written content – great copywriting brings a lot of value to every brand.
3. Fridays are great on Facebook
Adobe analyzed over 225 billion Facebook posts and published their amazing results in the recent Social Intelligence Report. What did they find out? Apparently, the best day in terms of engagement on Facebook is Friday. All content posted on this day will receive more likes, shares and comments than it would on any other day. Perhaps it's time to rethink your current posting schedule?
4. Twitter has 6 diverse communication models
We all thought Twitter was such a simple social network – the Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation found out that it's not the case! Together they analyzed all communication models that reign on Twitter and found out that there are as many as 6 of them.
Check out this infographic to see whether your brand's tweeting style can be categorized in one of those groups. Remember that each communication type reflects a different kind of brand-consumer relationship – maybe it's time to change yours?
5. Daily trends on Pinterest
Pinterest has over the last couple of years grown into an impressive social network that attracts many users. Their analytics team recently unveiled a fascinating finding on their company blog – clearly, there are daily trends on Pinterst. Fitness pins are popular on Monday, Wednesday is the day for inspirational quotes and Saturdays favor traveling. Take those trends into account when planning to pin your brand content on this dynamic platform.
6. When to tweet? Late evenings are the best
Research recently unveiled an interesting fact about Twitter – tweets sent from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET tend to receive most likes and retweets. Finding is based on a close analysis of over 1.7 million tweets, so there must be a ring of truth to it.
From a pragmatic perspective, it actually makes sense – late evenings usually have low share volume, so tweets in general don't compete for virality. If you're curious which day of the week is best for tweeting – surprisingly, it's Sunday!
7. 5 hours – that's how long a Facebook post lives
This is something every marketer should be aware of. Digital Insights found out that 75% of engagement on a Facebook post happens during the first 5 hours after publication. Once those 5 hours are over, the post simply disappears from public consciousness. Lesson to learn? Make the most from those first 5 hours.
8. Mature consumers are using more social networks
This is one of the most amazing recent findings about the major changes in social media audiences. One of the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is located within the 55-64 age bracket! Marketers responsible for brands for mature consumers should now be expanding their marketing strategies to cover Twitter.
9. Visuals attract young audiences
Another interesting finding is about young audiences and their preferences. Brands that address them should definitely use visuals to prompt more engagement – Digital Insights unveiled that almost 25% of teens consider Instagram their favorite social network. The platform is in itself very interesting – during the last six months Instagram gained more then 50 million new users. That's something you shouldn't ignore.
10. Responding fast is key to communication success
Finally we have proof that response speed counts a lot. Lithium Technologies reports that 53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour. If the tweet in question is a complaint, things get tricky – the figure rises to 72%! To avoid Twitter disasters, track your response time and always respond to tweets sent by your customers.
Responding to new developments is consumer-brand interactions on social media is essential to making the most from those platforms in terms of branding and engagement. Only time will tell how social networks will develop and change the ways in which consumers interact with brands – and they surely will!