Social Media: The New Industrial Revolution

Bill Gates once instructed a key player at Microsoft, or so the story goes, to research the invention of the airplane and to determine retroactively how its rise to prominence changed transportation.  The marching orders were to analyze the opportunities that presented themselves at the time, to study those who capitalized on them, and to chart a strategy to take maximum advantage of the next revolutionary idea.  If another invention was poised to change the world as we knew it, Microsoft would be leading the parade.

Instead, the founders of Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter would seem to be the new beneficiaries, as Social Media is creating the next paradigm shift.

Experts increasingly agree that Social Media is the Internet reincarnation of the Industrial Revolution.  It is not a fad, as some have suggested, it is a Juggernaut … a massive, inexorable force that is going to crush whatever is in its path, carrying in its wake the forward-thinking businesses that seize the opportunity.

The video below, and the accompanying statistical evidence, should be a clarion call to all of us.

(To get the full impact of this video, and to use it as a presentation, switch on the HD button and the Full Screen button on the player)

  • By 2010, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers — 96 percent of them have joined a social network.
  • Social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity on the Web.
  • One out of eight couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
  • Years to reach 50 millions users: Radio, 38 years; TV, 13 years; Internet, 4 years; iPod, 3 years. Facebook added 100 million users in less than nine months; iPhone applications hit 1 billion in nine months.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest, between the United States and Indonesia.
  • Yet, some sources say China’s QZone is larger, with more than 300 million using their services (Facebook’s ban in China plays into this).
  • ComScore indicates that Russia has the most engaged social media audience, with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month — is the number one social network.
  • A 2009 U.S. Department of Education study revealed that, on average, online students outperformed those receiving face-to-face instruction.
  • One in six higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum.
  • Eighty percent of companies use LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55- to 65-year-old females.
  • Ashton Kutcher and Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway, and Panama.
  • Eighty percent of Twitter usage is on mobile devices. People update anywhere, anytime. Imagine what that means for bad customer experiences!
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé. Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen in 2009.
  • What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • Wikipedia has more than 13 million articles. Some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopædia Britannica. Seventy-eight percent of these articles are non-English.
  • There are more than 200,000,000 blogs.
  • Fifty-four percent of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
  • Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth.
  • If you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.
  • Facebook users translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than two weeks and cost Facebook $0.
  • Twenty-five percent of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
  • Thirty-four percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
  • People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them.
  • Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust peer recommendations.
  • Only 14 percent trust advertisements.
  • Only 18 percent of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI.
  • Ninety percent of TiVo users skip ads.
  • Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009.
  • Twenty-five percent of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video on their phone.
  • According to Jeff Bezos, 35 percent of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available.
  • Twenty-four of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news — the news finds us.
  • In the near future, we won’t search for products and services; they will find us via social media.
  • More than 1.5 million pieces of content (Web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook daily.
  • Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy — listening first, selling second.
  • Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertisers.

The above statistics and “Social Media Revolution” video tell the story. Social media isn’t a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. Please feel free to share with any non-believers!

Erik Qualman’s new book “Socialnomics” from Wiley Publishing will be in stores and available online August 26.

About Michael R.H. Stewart
"Give me faith, freedom, resources, and a little time ... and I will make things happen that matter." Michael R.H. Stewart is a respected Internet executive with broad experience in all aspects of online business, with an emphasis given to social networking development, and company management. He has over 131,000 engaged Twitter followers. He enjoys 22 years of direct experience with corporate, entrepreneurial, governmental and non-profit clients, having advised them on all aspects of their online initiatives. Prior to his Internet career, he served as a Senior Vice President of AIG Marketing, doing business in 135 foreign countries as well as the United States. Stewart is an experienced public speaker and communicator, with worldwide experience; an expert on corporate branding; an accomplished writer, a creative thinker and problem solver.


One Response to “Social Media: The New Industrial Revolution”
  1. Baric says:

    Yahoo groups are by far the best social site, virtually everyone who have yahoo mail is a member of yahoo groups, I get between two and three thousand visits a week.
    Computer revolution

  2. WP Themes says:

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