Digital analyst and sociologist Brian Solis steps from the virtual world into the real world to teach companies how best to exploit social media to engage consumers, build brand equity and compete. Solis backs up his comprehensive, detailed report with exhaustive research. He does occasionally fall prey to indecipherable phrasing such as, “Inward focus now must include outward contribution.” Despite these minor problems, getAbstract recommends this definitive social media guide to executives who want to stake their firms’ claim in the web’s vast territory.
Social Media Worldwide
As of late 2009, Facebook had 350 million registered users, 67 million people were members of Google’s Orkut social network, 90 million used Friendster and 35 million used Bebo. Seven billion YouTube videos streamed monthly, and Technorati tracked 100 million blogs. Twitter had upward of 30 million users, and projections estimate that it will have one billion by 2013. YouTube is now the second-most-popular web search engine, and Twitter has become an accepted alternative.
The social web explosion is global: China’s QQ social network already has 300 million users, and Vkontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, has 38 million users. New people are piling onto Japan’s Mixi, Germany’s Studiverzeichnis, Taiwan’s Wretch and South Korea’s Cyworld.
This wave of activity affects every business. Already, more than 50% of business-to-business companies plan to increase their social media investment, and for good reason: Some 70% of consumers use social networks as their primary source of brand information. And, by 2014, spending on social media will hit $3.1 billion compared to $716 million in 2009.
Given this traffic, sensible companies want ...