To confirm anecdotal evidence and informal observations that social media is a growing trend, the content analytics firm TrackMaven has released a report presenting the varying levels of success of different social media sites. The firm, which makes it its business to study such trends, delved into the audiences commanded during 2015 by the social networks Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. An extensive analysis was carried out before the firm produced its report entitled the Social Media Inflation Index.
Based on a sample of 27,000 brands covering all relevant industries, the report quantified average growth of each individual brand on each network. The figures were used to hypothesise future growth and examine the conjecture that by the year 2018, almost one third of the world’s population may be connected to one or more social networks.
In the report, Instagram had the highest recent monthly growth in followers per brand, varying between six and eight per cent. This performance was followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest, although the latter was more prone to peaks and troughs in its monthly progress. Generally, Facebook retained growth at more modest levels, though generally steady – in the region of 1.5 percent.
The annual increase in many cases was in the region of an impressive 40 per cent, with Instagram expanding twice as fast as LinkedIn, and over three times more quickly than Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Looking at the monthly growth rate of Pinterest followers, the biggest rise on that particular network occurred during the summer months of July and August. These rises were more moderate during the autumn and then rose quite noticeably in December, perhaps during the winter holiday period. This may suggest a current prevalence of home office/small office, personal or leisure use of the relative newcomer in preference to large-scale adoption at the corporate marketing level. It will be interesting to note how this evolves.
In comparison to data from the previous year, most brands saw their follower numbers double. Part of Instagram’s success has been attributed to the effect of visual images being quickly understandable without the need to delve into the written word. This has, in turn, prompted some debate as to whether visuals are likely to supersede video, which itself has also seen some recent rise in popularity.
Looking towards possible future trends, analysts have highlighted Snapchat’s marketing success during 2016.