It looks like September of 2009 was a pretty good month or Facebook according to Experian’s Hitwise report about social media usage. If you are a regular reader of Marketing Pilgrim you know that we report on statistics all the time and we approach them with same amount of reverence as we do skepticism. What is seen in this report though would likely be of little shock to anyone and that is that Facebook is kicking some serious social media butt.
Experian® Hitwise® announced today that Facebook accounted for 58.59 percent of all U.S. visits among a custom category of 155 social networking Web sites in September 2009. The 58 percent was the highest among all social networking sites sites, as U.S. visits to Facebook increased 194 percent in September 2009 compared with September 2008. MySpace received the second-highest market share of U.S. visits for the month, with 30 percent.
Some pretty lofty numbers indeed but not a surprise. I shouldn’t be any more but I still get surprised when I see MySpace coming in second. I am guilty of paying greater attention to and giving greater weight to only the social media outlets I use. Shame on me since in marketing of any kind you need to be where the market is and not where you think it should be.
Now I am really going to step out here and admit that the third place finisher ahead of Twitter is Tagged.com. As a result of this report I visited Tagged for the first time and they report 80 million users. I guess I am simply not part of the Tagged set or it’s just another indication of not playing with the cool kids on my part.
Now on to the demographics. While the use of Facebook has increased significantly with the 55 plus crowd there is an audible thud when looking at the 35-54 group.
So while any numbers around social media are interesting I think we are all waiting, as marketers that is, for the conversion rates of the sites. Is the less than 2 % of traffic that Twitter garners more convertible than all the Facebookers you can round up? As we move forward with the great social media experiment it’s the ones who can answer those questions that will be given the keys to the city.