Almost every day I talk with business owners who think social media is a fad, and if they just hold out long enough that it will go away. Or others that think social media is only used for sharing pictures of grandchildren and telling the world what you made for dinner.

In a time where people are using their Blackberry to check-in at a client meeting, their iphone to record a video from a seminar and post it on Facebook, or CEO’s reaching out to connections on LinkedIn to find a new employee – social media is now more business than ever. Businesses are using social media to educate consumers, create brand awareness, connect with like-minded others, be more transparent, and yes, even be social. This new way of communicating with prospects and customers has shifted the way companies think of marketing, opening new doors and options of reaching more people.

If you aren’t using social media to connect with your audience, you can bet your competition is. If you need proof in the pudding or know someone who needs it, take a look at the following infographic illustrating the reach of social media.

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Comments (14)

  1. I agree that it’s here to stay and the growth in user numbers are impressive. There are indeed many ways in which social media can be used to strike up conversations with clients and prospective business partners alike.

    But to be honest, the over-hyping of stats like these are dangerous. They don’t measure the quality of interactions on these networks, and with people increasingly bombarded with DMs, like requests and marketing noise – standing out is becoming more and more difficult.

    Should social media be ignored? Probably not – on this we agree. But simply quoting user numbers doesn’t settle the matter in the minds of many business owners who – quite correctly – try to assess whether dedicating resources to social media will deliver a good return on the time and money invested.

  2. Angela’s Infograph (and many others) may be right, but the complete lack of contexts and references will add nothing but hype to the phenomena they should enlighten. Nice gfx though.

  3. […] infographic from Angela Nielsen on The Lily Pad Blog speaks simply about the numbers behind the fad. The growth is still evident, and adoption by […]

  4. […] Amen, sister. ‘Nuff said. Check out Angela’s full post here. […]

  5. […] Amen, sister. ‘Nuff said. Check out Angela’s full post here. […]

  6. Great infographic! Shared it at a conference yesterday and got lots of push back on the under 30 number of people online. Which of the websites did you get that stat from?

  7. Gretchen says:

    That “world’s population” stat is really, really bad data. Where is that statistic from? According to this site: less than 29% of the world’s population has internet access, so saying that 96% of the world’s population under 30 (which, also, insinuates birth-30) is connected to a social network (and in this graphic it’s implied it’s one online, not a general human social network) is just really, really bad data, and it makes me question all other statistics on the graphic. It’s pretty, but one bad number makes me doubt the rest.

  8. Gretchen says:

    Also wanted to add that actual deep links to the data would be good, too. Sourcing them as being from “” reminds me of when students try to say their source is google. Show me the actual source! 🙂

  9. Hi Mark and Gretchen – thanks for the comments. The stat about the under 30 I got from the video produced by (, of which on the same page they quoted their sources as well.

    As for full urls Gretchen – thanks for pointing that out. I had originally put in the long urls to the specific pages, but at completion removed them as I didn’t think people would want to type that much data. In addition, so many times pages get moved within a domain, or renamed, that I didn’t want to make people think they were bad pages if that happened. But it’s still certainly a great point and I’ll keep that in mind for future infographics.

  10. Gretchen says:

    Thanks for the link — the video source has misrepresented the statistic — yes, 50% of the world’s population is under 30, but the 96% stat was based on a national survey of 1227 US kids between 9-17, and that was in October 2006, so the juxtaposition here and in the video is really, really apples vs oranges. (When I talk about deep links, the video site is providing what I like to see when people are using stats to back their point )

    Social media is awesome, it’s not a fad, but any critical thinker should immediately question that “96% of the world” stat. “50% of the world’s population is under 30! 100% of them claim ice cream is their favorite food!”
    (Oh, but for ‘them’ I meant the people that live in my house…..) 🙂

  11. […] Nielsen, of One Lily Creative Agency, a full-service web and print design company blogs, “Almost every day I talk with business owners who think social media is a fad, and if they […]

  12. […] is a fad, and if they just hold out long enough that it will go away,” she explained in a recent blog post. This infographic should convince them – and anyone else holding that view – of how wrong they […]