Why are social media trends important to business owners?

Knowledge of social media use trends will help small business operators target their marketing efforts.

The international marketing firm Mintel reports that 83 percent of U.S. citizens with Internet access visit social media sites and nearly 50 percent of those visits occur away from home and office using mobile or portable devices.

In a new report, "Social Marketing U.S. May 2012,” Mintel reports high levels of use of social media by adults, dominated by Facebook. Their research indicates that among those with Internet access, 85 percent utilize social media with Facebook visited by 75 percent. Other forms of social media are frequently used in addition to, or in conjunction with Facebook, such as those that allow sharing content such as photos and blogs.

Facebook is a favorite by adults of all ages. Young adults, ages 18-24, report using Facebook at the rate of 90 percent, versus 60 percent for senior adults. By contrast, half of these young adults use Twitter, while only 10 percent of seniors have adopted Twitter use.

Mintel shows the growing interest in accessing social media sites outside home or work. Since last year, social networking from mobile devices increased from 44 to 53 percent. Adults 18-34 years used mobile phones, tablets and laptops away from home or work 50 percent of the time, versus 10 percent for those over age 55.

Why are social media trends important to business owners? Michigan State University Product Center Innovation Counselors encourage new entrepreneurs to identify, target and connect with customers through a variety of methods. Social media is also free and effective. According to Mintel’s research, 10 percent of adults are more likely to purchase products when they are recommended by friends. You want the social media user to take note of your product or business.

To request business counseling , visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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