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 The importance of social media is clear for businesses worldwide. However, it is still necessary to look into the different factors that contribute to its influence. Understanding and monitoring changes in consumer sharing behaviours is an important step in implementing a social media strategy.  In line with this, WebHostingBuzz shared some numbers identifying the state of social sharing in 2013, particularly highlighting who is sharing what, and where.

Social Media Channels

Consumers worldwide share content on a daily basis, and increasingly so, making use of a wide range of online communities and apps. The top eight of these channels in terms of their popularity are: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram.

Thus far, Facebook has been the most popular social sharing site in 2013, with more than one billion active monthly users. Around 300 million photos are uploaded onto the network daily, adding to the over 219 billion images that have already been uploaded. This illustrates the importance of getting Facebook right; for destinations, as well as other businesses, it is a critical platform for social media sharing.

Another impressive and influential network is Twitter, with more than 200 million active users. 55% of users access Twitter via mobile, emphasising its importance as a real time social site. Google+ is another network that has a high social standing; it is the second biggest social network worldwide, with its ‘+1’ share button used five billion times per day.

The Social Factor

For destinations and tourism organisations still not completely aware, the social factor is central to marketing efforts. This is reflected by the statistic that 90% of businesses with 100 or more employees currently have social media within their marketing mix.

Over a half of Internet users are either creating shareable content, or curating content that they discover online, while many do both. The extent of this social media sharing is a very important metric, as indicated by the fact that it is now the second most important factor in determining search engine rankings, second only to strong content. Whilst content is therefore still king, social sharing can be considered queen.

Going forward, the social factor needs to be a key component in any businesses’ marketing strategy, and social sharing should be a number one priority for 2013.

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