social media research Are you managing social media for your business?

Do you pay attention to the trends happening across the social web?

If so, you already know how the rules and landscape of social media marketing are always changing.

But what you don’t know may not only surprise you, but also may make you think twice about your social media strategy.

Here are four surprising social media research findings you should leverage for your social media strategy.

#1: Users ‘Like’ Facebook for Social Logins

When logging onto sites with a social network ID, research by eMarketer shows that a majority of users (51%) prefer to log in using their Facebook credentials.

In fact, professionals across all industries favored Facebook. Only 28% of users log in with Google+. Facebook is also the preferred social login network ID for 63% of global mobile users.

social logins by industry, social media facts

Facebook login trumps all other social logins or registration requiring username and password.

Key Takeaways:

If you have a website that requires users to register, you should understand the concept of password fatigue. 92% of shoppers abandon a website rather than go through the process of recovering a lost or forgotten password. But if a website has a social login option, 65% of shoppers are more likely to return.

So if you have an ecommerce site and you let folks use Facebook to log in, then you already know their likes and interests. Use that information to personalize their experience:

  • When they log into your website, offer them products that they actually like or have shown interest in to improve the chances of purchasing. In fact, one of the benefits of social login is that it limits the incidence of mistargeted ads.
  • While they’re logged onto your site, they’re simultaneously logged onto Facebook, which means they can share a useful post or comment on a cool product. Make sure they find fresh, interesting, and shareworthy content every time they log in.
  • Users want value in exchange for giving up their personal information on your site. So offer them premium content such as training videos, SlideShare presentations, free ebooks and how-to guides.
  • To enhance brand interaction and social visibility, offer a community message board on your website that is only accessible to members who are logged in.

#2: Social Customer Care Demand Is Growing on Twitter

When it comes to social customer service (or social customer care), Twitter is becoming the place to be for consumers who want to reach out to brands. Research by Socialbakers indicates that 59.3% of customer questions are asked on Twitter, compared to 40.7% on Facebook.

facebook vs twitter

Use Twitter rather than Facebook to address your customers’ concerns.

Key Takeaways:

Social media has conditioned consumers to get feedback fast. As a marketer, the risk of failing to meet this expectation can result in losing customers, getting a bad reputation or both.

  • Twitter is especially fast-paced, so here are some tips to providing customer care on that platform:
  • Train and empower your staff to respond promptly and directly to customers. If you can’t trust them to respond appropriately on behalf of the company, then you either have the wrong team or the wrong strategy.
  • Don’t let customer complaints or questions go unanswered for over an hour. If you wait too long, the customer (or prospect) may decide to move on to a more responsive vendor.
  • If you have to use your brand’s logo, try to personalize each response by signing each tweet with your name or Twitter handle.
  • Don’t just monitor mentions of your brand’s name. Try to evaluate sentiments attached to those mentions. Tweets that include words like “not working,” “fail” or “poor experience” should be resolved immediately, and to the customer’s full satisfaction.
  • Know when to jump into a conversation. Sometimes customers are just talking about your brand and don’t actually need your help or input.
  • Decide how to prioritize inquiries. Should influencers get priority over urgent customer needs or will you use a first-come, first-served approach?

#3: Younger Audiences Are NOT Unfriending Facebook

There’s been a lot of talk lately about teens unfriending Facebook. Turns out it’s not quite true.

Facebook has indeed lost its exclusive grip on teens. Young audiences are flocking to more visual platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Vine; however, these stats from eMarketer speak for themselves:

facebook teenage use

Teens and young audiences are still the largest demographic using Facebook.

Key Takeaways:

Like everybody else, teens and younger audiences have become multiple-platform users. That doesn’t mean they’re done with Facebook, it just means that their social interests are broadening.

Consider this: teens are particularly interested in image and video sharing. Sure, they can share images on Facebook, but they’re more comfortable on Snapchat and Instagram where there’s less drama—and parents are not present. So if your target audience includes teens and young audiences, don’t panic. Instead, try to enhance their experience by following these tips:

  • Be everywhere. If teens are important to your business, follow them wherever they go. Create and distribute content across multiple platforms (see #3 in this article). Your brand will be more memorable for young audiences when they see your content across the board on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Be relevant. Teens live in an “egosystem,” so the only opinions that matter are their own and their friends’ opinions. So whether on or off of Facebook, engage them with stories and visuals that show how other teens like them are interacting with your brand.
  • Make it about them. Be very subtle when promoting your product. Instead, focus on what THEY can get out of it. Sweet Frog of Catonsville, MD does this well:
    sweet frog

    When reaching out to teens on Facebook, make it about them, not you.

  • Above everything else, make sure ALL of your content is mobile-friendly.

#4: Instagram Is the Fastest-Growing Site Globally

Facebook-owned Instagram may be the platform to watch closely, according to new research published on TechCrunch in January.

Active user base grew by 26% in the last six months of 2013. In addition, available data shows that Instagram had 90 million active users in January 2013. By January 2014, that number had doubled to 180 million active users.

instagram growth

Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most interesting places to be online.

Key Takeaways:

Users love Instagram because images are super-creative and interesting since users can choose filters after the photo has already been taken. But of course the best part is being able to instantly share those photos with a community of like-minded people.

In a previous post, we talked about how marketers can leverage Instagram to promote their brands. Some other tips I would add are:

  • Make your followers famous on Instagram by acknowledging their photos and sharing them with your Facebook fans. Starbucks does this well! They even go as far as updating their Facebook cover with Instagram photos created by their fans.
    starbucks instagram

    Nobody does it better than Starbucks when it comes to showing off their Instagram followers.

  • Make videos. Instagram now has short video capability, which means you can create 15-second videos that capture the mood and lifestyle of your brand. For example, if you’re launching a new product, take a video of your staff members behind the scenes preparing for launch, or show the actual launch with excited customers waiting for the move that bus moment!
  • Partner with other brands on Instagram. Whether you’re a small business or a big brand, you can leverage the relationships you have with other businesses by partnering to showcase each other’s photos. This works even better if your products are complementary.
  • Ask questions about lifestyles. For example, if you’re a shoe store, ask followers what kind of outfit and accessories they would wear with a new line of boots.

What do you think? Have these facts helped you identify trends that could change your social media strategy? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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  • The insights that have been provided are absolutely amazing, especially the point that users like to login with their Facebook social profiles.

    For marketers, this is very encouraging news because the more people using this feature, the better insights you are able to gather for your marketing efforts.

  • Chris Alphen

    As a marketer, I’d want to gain the insights available from my audience logging in with Facebook. However, I never use Facebook to log in. I don’t trust them. I have no problem using Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google but FB changes the rules every 10 seconds. Even though I’m careful I still find stuff in my newsfeed I’d rather not share with my FB audience.

  • I think the third point, the status of teens and Facebook, certainly deserves more study.

    First, as you rightly pointed out, Facebook has lost the dominant position among the teen demographic, losing mindshare and running the risk of becoming at best a utility.

    And those of us who grew up in the 90s already lived through the descent into utility with email. Rushing home from school to dial into email – whether it was Juno or AOL – were pretty exciting occurrences once. But email became a utility and lost it’s charm.

    Now personal email is something I have, and work email is something I put up with.

    That’s something Facebook does not want to become.

    Unfortunately, the presented data doesn’t show the kind of trend information needed – such as whether the teen population of social network users is shrinking, or whether more teens are moving from Daily to Monthly facebook users.

  • My teens have long left Facebook. And I have been seeing Instagram growing over the last few years. There are a ton of kids on there. I love these insights. It all comes full circle and makes a lot of since. I just change my blog to use Facebook logins for comments (along with other social networks) and think it was the best move I could have done

  • Agree – the stats only cover US usage, too, whilst over 1bn FB active users reside outside the US.

  • predsicker

    I know exactly what you mean Chris. I too don’t use Facebook to log in if I have an option like Twitter. However as you point out, there’s so much you can learn about customers who login with Facebook. Maybe, it’s because as marketers we’re too exposed to Facebook’s ‘soft underbelly’, but consumers don’t necessarily keep up with these things 🙂

  • predsicker

    Hey Bradley, thanks for reading. You’re right about the data not being clear whether teens are moving from daily to monthly. But if you put together all research you’ve read on this site and other places, it’s clear that teens are not engaging on Facebook on a DAILY basis. They’re engaging more on Snapchat and Instagram. So you’re right, Facebook has lost its charm for them. But – and this is my main point – they’re still checking in from time to time and overall, teen user base continues to grow. So I think the issue is engagement is down, but enrollment is still up.

  • predsicker

    Hi Jessica, Good for you for switching to Facebook logins for comments. I’d be interested to hear what your experience is a couple of months down the line. Please keep us posted!

  • predsicker

    Agreed! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  • Belle

    While Facebook is still being used, it’s just not that popular anymore. It’s already lost it’s unique charm. I think twitter and Instagram are better for this purpose, mostly because it can uses a lot visuals and only allows a few characters. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It gives the message a lot quicker than a whole paragraph, or even a few sentences.

  • @predsicker:disqus How valuable is Facebook when it’s only used occasionally? Can the instant appeal of Facebook work if it’s delayed and relegated to a second-class information source?

  • Great research Patricia! The points you’ve given here really pack a punch – they’re filled with tons of great ideas for how to manage our social media platforms more effectively. Thank you!

  • jmharper

    Fyi, there was a spelling error. In the intro, in the line “Here are four surprising social media research finindgs you should leverage for your social media strategy.”, finindgs should be “findings”

  • I will always sign up/in with my email vs a social platform. If the only way is via FB, I will abandon the process and find another product or service. If forced, I will use Twitter but that is it. I don’t trust FB at all and if I have “authorize” a service to connect to yours, I will avoid it.

    In fact, posting here has me perplexed. I hate Discus and won’t sign in with D or FB. TW maybe. So I guess since I am logged into gmail, I will select G+ – But I still dislike Discus so it’s a no win situation. I’d rather use Gravatar to sign in like a normal WP site.

  • Daniela Platt

    Hi Patricia, great article. Very grateful if you could clarify further: would I be able to get my audience to login through Facebook for my Opt-in offer? If yes, What are the benefits & disadvantages for my business in terms of data I get from my customers? Many thanks.

  • Great tips, thank you very much for this. We are just getting ready new ecomerce website and the tip with Facebook login helped me to make a few decision.

  • Brooke

    Great information! It’s nice to see actual data to back up the general observations floating around the Internet. This is just another kick in the pants that I needed to work more on our company’s Instagram account. If only I could switch between the company account and my personal one as easily as I can with Twitter!

    Also, I can personally attest that customer care demand is growing on Twitter. I used it myself the other day when I was ordering something online and kept getting an error message when I tried to proceed to checkout. I mentioned the company in a tweet letting them know about the problem, and in less than five minutes they responded with a tweet and an email inviting me to chat with a customer service rep. It’s crazy how connected we all are these days.

  • A lot of the advice you cited for teens are very relevant to all ages.

  • Social Media is all about enhancing your brand by showing off a brand personality. Putting faces to a name is key- no one wants to engage with a faceless corporation. Best of all, it’s a great way to connect with your followers.Knowing that Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform,marketers should think of ways on how to use it correctly to reach its full potential.

  • Hey Mitch – while I agree that I hate signing into services using my FB ID and other social logins, I do see the point of doing it. It’s much easier, first of all, than putting in an e-mail address, setting up an account with a username, then verifying the e-mail address, then logging in, forgetting my password – etc and so on and so forth. It makes sense to me.

    Not sure why you don’t like Disqus. I like it a lot, and I think not allowing people to hide behind the shroud of anonymity on a professional website/blog is a good practice.

  • Great article Patricia. I noticed more and more sites offering social logins. As much as I hate email logins, I hate Facecook logins even more. These things are good for marketers though, and insight the statistics that come from social logins is invaluable. A person can always opt out or remove the specific social login if they want to through Facebook Apps options in their account settings.

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great post!

    My concern is saturating social media networks with the same content. For example, I received an email about signing up with Instagram, but I’m on Pinterest. Both are image driven networks. How do you balance your content in a way that you don’t bore your audience? Anyone have any tips. Thanks!

  • Jitendra Padmashali

    Thanks Patricia , Twitter and Facebook tend to drive purchases of products people
    are already considering, Pinterest is more likely to drive spontaneous

  • This was a great read, Patricia – I never would’ve imagined social care demand would rise on Twitter and fall on Facebook. Must be the whole “instant gratification” playing in. 🙂

    Thanks for your wonderful post!

  • Whirlwind Girl

    Thank you. Great article. I have recently moved from being a retailer to marketing for retailers. Wonderful to have facts and figures to back up what my instincts were telling me.

  • predsicker

    Thanks so much for reading. All the best with your exciting move to marketing for retail 🙂

  • predsicker

    I think you’re right about that John. Thank you for reading.

  • predsicker

    I think you’re assuming the same people on Pinterest are hanging out on Instagram. That may or may not be the case. #1. Find out who your audience is in each platform and figure out what their needs are. #2. You can tailor/customize content to fit more comfortably with the platform. Check out this blog for tips to leverage content on Instagram and Pinterest. But as a whole, I’d be more concerned about staying ‘top of mind’ rather than ‘boring your audience.’ #beaggressive

  • predsicker


  • predsicker

    Thanks for sharing your experience Brooke. I think that sense of urgency on Twitter is what makes it such a compelling social customer care platform for marketers.

  • predsicker

    Glad to hear Villas, and thank you for reading. All the best with your new ecommerce website 🙂

  • predsicker

    Thanks for reading John!

  • Léon

    If this information comes as a surprise to you, you’ve been asleep at the wheel.

  • Pete Austin

    The main problem with Disqus, and any non-anonymous system, occurs for people who are sometimes online in a personal capacity and sometimes representing their employer. You have to maintain separate accounts and login to the right one to avoid your opinions being misunderstood as those of your company when they are actually personal and visa-versa, which is a hassle and sometimes leads to mistakes. Facebook goes further and insists on one logon per person, which is why I – and perhaps Mich – never use a Facebook logon for any other site.

  • Davaris Mathis

    Everything in this article is so very true! I’m a teenager and I really can agree with this. Gonna use this website for a long period of time!!!

  • K.Ashe

    Yep, Instagram is where it is at. ..For now. I not only prefer Instagram as a user for visuals…but because my feed shows everything that people I follow post, and in order. There is no edge rank system that decides I can’t see my BFFs flicks or favorite Cafe’s flicks that day in my newsfeed, or that keeps shoving popular posts on me. Out of all my social media, I am on IG most of the time as both user and PR person, and just on the others so do my “social media work.”

    I have also noticed that conversations on IG posts have picked up quite a bit in the past couple months…And

    I suspect that FB will soon change IG tho and ruin it.

  • Jeane

    Love this articles! But how to apply that key takeaways for insurance products?

  • Great article thank you I learnt a lot

  • Great article – I love Instagram – glad to see it’s growing! Starbucks is always on top of it!

  • To sum it up, make it easy for customers… and use my two word marketing plan. LISTEN and LOVE. It’s as simple as that.

  • Akash Agarwal

    Really very useful information about social media research.I definitely apply this to change strategy, thanks for sharing.

  • predsicker

    Hey Davaris. Thanks for stopping by, nice to have you here. So glad this stuff resonates with you 🙂

  • predsicker

    You’re welcome Luke!

  • predsicker

    Aren’t they? Love me some Starbucks 🙂

  • predsicker


  • predsicker

    Thank YOU for reading Akash.

  • Kam

    I usually prefer Twitter OAuth as it gives away less personal information, but as a developer Twitter is more difficult to work with as it does not provide an email address so there is usually an extra validation step involved.

  • deb

    I am a newbe about to embark on a social media campaign to encourage bone marrow donor program registration in honour of my brother who needs a transplant to fight cancer. Do you have any suggestions on how I can approach this?

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  • Robert Hirsh

    Patricia, our company, And Update My Website, liked your article so much we Scooped It for our blog. But, as I read it, I noticed a couple of editing oversights you might want to correct: 1) in #2, bullet 1, the sentence “Don’t let customer complaints or questions go answered for over an hour., Should read “Don’t let customer complaints or questions go unanswered for over an hour.”; 2) in #3, bullet 1, you say, “Create and distribute content across multiple platforms (see #3 in this article). But since this is #3, you should delete the parenthesized note. Thanks again for a very useful article. Robert Hirsh, AUMW Editorial Director.

  • Thank you for the feedback, Robert! I’ve corrected the first point you mention, but the second one has a link and refers to the #3 in this article:

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