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2010: The Social Media Year in Review for Bloggers

2010 will be remembered as the year that social media made a big splash in the lives of business owners.

If you’re someone who runs an online business, you’ll have realized that social media has joined the ranks of SEO as a must-do activity (and, for some, has started to rival the number of traffic referrals sent, too).

While many people made mistakes as they tried to cash in on the next phase of the Internet, it was those who embraced the social element of social media who forged alliances, and built audiences and sustainable businesses.

Are you participating?

If you’re not participating in social media, you’re missing out on a lot.

The New York Times reported that Americans are spending as much time online as they are in front of the television set.

People are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

Facebook served over 500 million active users, and 50% of those users log on to Facebook in any given day. The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, groups, and events. If Facebook was a country it would be the third-largest in the world. Do you have a presence there?

Let’s not forget about Twitter—the social networking platform is on track to serve 200 million users by year’s end. I’ve got to ask you the same question: do you have a presence there?

Of course, people aren’t just networking and connecting online, they’re publishing too. As of December, 2010 there are over 32 million WordPress publishers.

Personal influence and reach is easier to build than ever before, and it’s more powerful than you could imagine. People’s purchasing behaviors are changing, as are the ways they find and consume content.

An introvert who spends most of their time on a computer in a basement can influence a network of thousands. What if they visit your blog and like what they see? You’ve got ways for them to share your content with that network, don’t you?

The bottom line

The way we use the Internet has changed, and social media simply reflects this. If you aren’t taking part, you’re getting left behind.

Have you actively used and experimented with social media over the last year? How have you fared?

About Clare Lancaster

A trained designer, Clare became an accidental marketer in 2001 when she fell into the world of SEO and has worked online ever since. When she's not on Twitter or writing for women in business, Clare reviews blogs and works with passionate online business owners to overhaul their business results.

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Comments

  1. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Clare,

    Thanks a lot for finding and putting these stats together. It goes to show if you are not taking advantage of video marketing or social marketing you will be left behind.

    All business owners should take advantage of this and move their business to another level. It hasn’t been this easy to connect with your prospects today.

    Have a great day,
    Josh

    • I completely agree with Josh, but am feeling pressured to try and find time to add one more thing to my plate. Would love to hear thoughts on fitting in all these extras into an already stretched schedule.
      Thanks!!

      • Vince Skolny says:

        This might sound like a weird piece of advice, but read Tim Ferriss’ book, Four Hour Work Week. I guarantee you’ll find the time– and suspect you might reorient much of your life.

    • Jan says:

      You’re right. I have recently checked some brands what I would have never thought they will sometimes use social media, but they are there on the web.

  2. Adam says:

    I started using Twitter in 2011. I hope to use it more efficiently in 2011. Hopefully better use of it will add traffic to my blog.

  3. Sime says:

    As someone that manages social media for a couple of companies, I am always amazed at people that shake their heads and suggest that it just ‘isn’t for them’ without giving it a shot… It’s like standing in a showroom and talking to someone about a television that they might want to buy (for example) but you’re not in a showroom and neither are they… It is about good conversation, It isn’t right for everyone.

    For those of you that have not tried taking some aspect of your business social, don’t knock it until you try it… it’s great fun! (errr, but a lot of hard work!) –Sime

  4. Clare..social media is part of my daily life and I use it in a timely manner so I don’t get caught up in it. Its an great way for you to connect with the word..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • dotCOMreport says:

      @ TrafficColeman,

      I think that’s why a lot of folks shy away from social media; it can be so time consuming. The trick is to plan and have a time-frame and stick to it.

      Social media has completely changed my life and my business. It has made 2010 an incredible year!

  5. EF Cussins says:

    I get teased by some of my less than techie friends about how much time I spend on my phone checking out Facebook and Twitter. My family gets all there entertainment over the internet. This is the very reason why my business partner and I are launching KIDARadio.com come the first of the year. It is to be a commercial grade internet radio station for the people of Idaho.

  6. Yeah I think Social Media is ans should be a big part of a businesses on-line presence. THat includes the likes of YouTube.

    SO many companies are so afraid of Facebook. But I think the trick for next year is how companies are going to leverage Facebook.

    If you business relies on people then Social Media is where you should be at.

  7. papa says:

    May be a bit off-topic, but I didn’t find Facebook fun because it reflects your real social life. That means, if you don’t have many friends in real life, you won’t have many friends in Facebook, either (this is mostly because we use our own names for Facebook. So your popularity/unpopularity in real life is brutally reflected in Facebook). Whatever you say in Facebook, it gets ignored (not getting any comments, any “Like”), just as in real life…

  8. Kat Fulton says:

    This year was my first year on social media for my business, and my entire LIFE has changed. Wowsers! I’m so excited for what the future has in social media.

    I have connected with hundreds of others in my field, I’ve released my first product, I’ve exchanged ideas, and learned so much. I’m really just floored thinking about it.

    Thanks to Problogger for helping me along the way in my exciting first year!!!

  9. Bob Garrett says:

    I have to pretty much ditto what Sime has to say. I spend a great deal of my day on the various platforms but I get paid to do that. Its amazing how many folks simply dont get it or refuse to learn/accept. I cant even count the number of folks that found me vs me finding them.

    So a line from an old film classic “Build it and they will come” works for baseball and Social Media as well

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Thanks for sharing, Clare.

    Social media is soooooo powerful : I’m curious to experience the future to see what happens.

  11. Vivek Parmar says:

    looking forward to get started with social media and hope i can get something from it, some good tips needed to make most from it. hope i can get??

  12. Samuel says:

    Awesome post! Social media is a great way to connect with the world and I’m definitely taking part in social media. Thanks so much for sharing. Have fun.

  13. I adore social media and it’s allowed me to build my entire business on it and around it. I agree with Sime above, it baffles me when businesses tell me they think it’s a fad or are not yet ready to use it.

    I personally only want to work with entrepreneurs who see the huge benefit of it to their business, their personal lives, their relationships and more. It’s changed the way we communicate on line. Consumers now have the power of influence – not the large corporations.

    Feedback is instantaneous and real time. Plus you can connect with a global audience who you may never have been able to reach. I also love the challenge of keeping up with the constant changes and improvements to the key social media tools.

    That said social media is not rocket science – it’s common sense. It’s all about creating value for others and attracting the same back into your life.

    Great summary Clare. I’ve used several of these stats in past presentations to clients.

    Natalie

  14. Depending on your niche, don’t forget forums, bulletin boards and listservs — I make far more connections there and get new readers. Then, when they visit the site, they become FB fans or Twitter followers or sign up for e-mail. Interestingly, I get more comments or replies to some of my forum posts than I do on the blog itself.

    A good half of my traffic comes from forums — both from my own replies to people’s questions with links to my site for more info, and increasingly from other people posting links to my site as having good on-topic information.

    Yes, forums, bulletin boards and listservs are old school forms of “social media.” But if you’re not blogging about tech issues, they might be where your readers are.

  15. I use twitter. It’s very powerful.

  16. Tammy says:

    Trying very hard to pull my nonprofit into it! They are game, but I’m a single person with a fulltime job. Getting them involved is like pulling teeth.

  17. I have to say that my Twitter skills are nil and I’ve yet to understand it.

    That said, I’m much better with Facebook and will become more serious about video marketing.

    Thanks,

    Krizia

  18. Les Sheppard says:

    Interesting experience with Twitter this year. I have 2 accounts – one of them has several thousand followers, involves some automation, and brings me a few leads for my business on a semi-regular basis. The other has just 135 followers, no tricks, everything in it was built by-hand – and has brought me two new JV partners within 6 weeks and a whole new business enterprise that I wasn’t even aware of for 2011. Its certainly NOT about numbers in my experience!

  19. Claire,

    to answer your questions:

    Twitter: yes, definitely a must. I have several accounts, one per blog or niche. By the way, I’m a fervent fan of paper.li…

    Facebook: yes, but this is more personal. I have groups and / or fan pages for some of my blogs but I’m not very sure now how to use this.

    YouTube: yes, but no video podcast. Even if I’m not that bad at writing or speaking English, this is not my native language and I’d don’t feel good enough to bother viewers with my accent.

    What’s next? What will social media be like by the end of 2011? Hard to say, but I hope the business models will not go too much toward ads and making profit. I’m not really a supporter of promoted tweets or topics on twitter. What do you guess?

  20. I just started my blog like 100 days ago with no idea whatsoever on SEO nor internet marketing but I have manage to drive at least 10 000 page views from my friends on Facebook and twitter from a developing country with less than 10 % internet penetration. I must say, social networking is really changing Africa and how we Africans communicate with the world. Hopefully Social media will help Africans change any misconceptions the world has of Her

  21. Tristan says:

    I get far more traffic from Twitter than I do from SEO. I think it’s the single most effective (not to mention fastest) traffic strategy out there, and I love it! 15 minutes a day on Twitter will significantly drive up your traffic for sure.

    I’ve done the Facebook thing with other blogs before and never really put the requisite time in to get a return (in terms of traffic) from it. That’ll be one of my goals for the new year!

    Thanks for the great post, Clare!

  22. fit4thabo says:

    It is a time game and people need to change their mindset from seeing it as “over sharing” type broadcasts about one’s life activities and actually use it in context to the business as an additional positioning strategy. It is easier for us given the size of our business to embrace Social Media and actually be hands on with it, whereas a larger organization might find implementing their strategy tougher given the multiple agendas that could come up as the “right idea”. I definitely think Social Media is not to be viewed as something for kids or the not so serious employee/ employer! It is a serious aspect of any business.

    • Hi Clare ,

      You post has made me to reconsider the power of social networking,
      my strategy has always been focusing on SEO & back links which may not attract entire targeted audience.
      Thanks for posting such a convincing message. I’m certanly going work on social network on my Excellent Accountancy blog.

      This is Fantastic Post,

      Cheers and Merry Christmas

  23. Pete Carr says:

    Hi Clare,
    More and more people are using social media, but so many still seem to get it wrong. It should be about building relationships, not flogging stuff to people.
    I accepted a friend request the other week, I didn’t know the guy, but we had several mutual friends. Within 10 minutes he was pitching to me a product that just happened to be created by a good friend of mine.
    Needless to say we are no longer acquaintances on FB any more.
    Build relationships, not enemies.
    Pete

  24. James says:

    Social media is an excellent marketing tool. If anybody was in sales, it’s a good idea to use Tweet Deck and look at the questions.

    Social media is very resourceful for researching an online presence. Plus Tweet Deck is handy in Google Chrome too.

  25. I have built up 5,000 across the board this year (Twitter, Facebook & YouTube)… I think that this will give my website an amazing start to 2011!…

    Thanks for a great year of tips!,

    David Edwards

  26. contrarian says:

    Mark Twain said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”. Oscar Wilde said, “Everything popular is wrong”.

    History warns us about the madness of crowds. I write the Contrarian blog and am passionate about getting the oppositional thinking message out there, but I do get concerned when I consider my vehicle for spreading the message is anything but contrarian – in fact if anything could be considered a bubble – blogging and social media would be it!

    I’m not suggesting blogging or social media is dead, doomed, or going the way of the early 2000′s dot.com stocks, but it does seem like everyone has a blog, everyone is trying to attract the attention of everyone else using social media, and it certainly is a saturated and crowded field … and that does concern me.

    Clair – I know asking a social media and blogging professional what they think about social media and blogging – is allot like asking a barber if I need a haircut! That said, I would be very interested in your thoughtful and objective expert opinion on the future of this form of media.

    I’ve made a lucrative career out of “considering the alternative”– so blogging and all the social media hype does makes me “pause and reflect”.

    – Contrarian

  27. I also have a blog. But I do not know how to attract people to come to my blog. I write this blog
    because I want to find some money for expenses my hemodialysis patients with kidney. Please help me right guidance.

  28. Social Media definitely is the best. We must have backlinks and make sure that we are giving them excellent value so that they will want to return to our blog over and over again. Just like they return to their favorite restaurant.

    Lawrence Bergfeld

  29. SM is certainly a force to be reckoned with and those that can tame the beast will surely benefit from it. From my own personal experience I have yet to be the collar on that bad boy.

  30. StormDriver says:

    I totally agree, in 2010 social media and social networking emerged as important as SEO, and to be true, you can even say more important because here you are dealing with people and not with some search engine algorithms. So you cannot trick people into following you, becoming your fan or liking you. You actually have to reach out to people and maintain a presence.

  31. I have exactly the same question as Diane Gregory. I can build a relationship by answering questions via e-mail, comments & replies, or forum answers, but not sure on FB and Twitter. It really seems more one-way to me and I’d like more how-to or examples than just saying to “do it.”

  32. The massive number of WordPress users is the most surprising statistic, wow!

  33. loyd says:

    FB is certainly not one way when you let visitors write comments on your wall, thats a fast way to socialize and get readers. i have set up an FB page last week and already 175 visitors like it.

  34. Mark Develde says:

    I found this to be a great article as it has encouraged me to continue pursuing the direction I’m going. I’ve also enjoyed reading the comments as well. As for my endeavors, I started blogging this year looking for links back to my website. However, I am still trying to discover how to find followers without taking up the entire day online. I have found youtube and facebook to be quite effective although I haven’t quite mastered the twitter route … finding followers on twitter is quite confusing to me … any suggestions?