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“The Modern Buyer Is Digitally Driven, Socially Connected…..”

by David Brock on May 22nd, 2015
Social networking 01

There’s no doubt digital technologies and social media are changing the way we live, engage, and do business.  Their influence is huge and the growth rate continues to accelerate.

I read all the stuff that says everything’s moved to the web.  I don’t disagree, but I don’t agree.  Some would have you believe all we need to do is spend our time on the web, leveraging social sites and tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder (oops) and others.

We’re inundated with words liked Digitally Driven, Socially Connected….

Out of curiosity, I decided to try to figure out what that really meant and to put some numbers to it.  As usual, I navigated to one of my favorite sites, Google, and started doing some queries.

I found a series of posts:  125 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics by Craig Smith.  There’s some fascinating data–with the caveats that I don’t know Mr. Smith’s research methodology and some of the data is a little old.  I did do some research and was able to corroborate a fair number of the statistics on other sites, so the data is probably not bad.  I wouldn’t take any of this as gospel, but more as rough indicators,approximations, or just food for thought.

Also, while LinkedIn usage is not totally indicative of “Digitally Driven, Socially Connected…..,” it’s probably a fair surrogate to get some understanding of what it means to be socially connected.

Read Craig’s article, but here are a few pieces of data I found interesting:

  1. Total Number of LinkedIn users:  More than 350M as of 4/30/2015.
  2. Number of LinkedIn users in the US:  107 M as of 11/9/2014.
  3. Percentage of users that check LinkedIn daily:  40% as of 7/2/2013  (this is awfully old).
  4. Average time a user spends monthly on LinkedIn:  17 minutes as of 11/28/2012  (This is very old, but even if it’s gone up 10 times, it’s still a frightening small amount of time).
  5. Average number of LinkedIn connections CEO’s have:  930 as of 9/15/2014.
  6. Percentage of Americans that use LinkedIn during work hours:  8/33% as of 10/2/2013.
  7. Percentage of millenials (15-34 year olds) that use LinkedIn:  13% as of 9/27/2013  (This is very old, but if we want to connect with millenials, we probably need to be hanging out somewhere else.).
  8. Percentage of LinkedIn members who have never worked at a company with more than 200 employees:  59% as of 10/28/2013.
  9. Percentage of LinkedIn users that use it at least once a day 13%:  13% as of 12/30/2013  (This is a little confusing when compared to #3.  In the notes, apparently there is a difference between checking and using LinkedIn.  Checking in appears to be checking InMails, Notifications.  Using appears to be actually signing on and looking at profiles, engaging in groups, reading content. But I’m not really clear about this.)
  10. LinkedIn’s Percentage of Global Social Sharing/North American/European/Asian: 4%/5%/2%/1% as of 12/11/2013  (Clearly if we want to be socially connected, we need to look way beyond LinkedIn.)
  11. Percent of US internet users that shared blog posts they enjoyed to LinkedIn:  4/5 as of 5/12/2014.
  12. Number of ling formed posts that are generated weekly on LinkedIn:  50,000 as of 2/5/2015  (My reaction, How do you sort through it or find anything?)
  13. Average number of connections for LinkedIn users that have published at least one long-form article:  1049 connections as of 8/14/2014.
  14. Average number of followers for LinkedIn users that have published at least one long-form article:  42 followers  (My reaction, lot’s of stuff being published but the average publisher struggles to build an engaged community.)
  15. Percentage of LinkedIn users that do not have a Facebook account:  13% as of 7/10/2014.
  16. Percentage of LinkedIn users that don’t visit Twitter:  59% as of 7/10/2014.
  17. Percentage of all US adult LinkedIn users that use it daily:  13% as of 9/2014.  (More current, but consistent with #9.  Shockingly low, at least in my opinion.)
  18. Percentage of all US social media users that use LinkedIn:  29% as of 1/9/2015.

There’s another interesting report, 2014 Social CEO Report.  It has more intriguing data:

  1. 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence at all.
  2. Of those, 2/3 engage on only one platform.
  3. 74% of CEO’s who participate in a single network join LinkedIn first
  4. Only 15 of those Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn have more than 5000 followers or are considered influencers.
  5. Of the CEO’s who are not influencers, 34% have 500+ connections.

You should read the reports and come to your own conclusions.  I may have been wrong about LinkedIn being a good surrogate for understanding “socially connected.”

But when we make the statement, “The modern buyer is digitally driven and socially connected,” I think it’s critical to drill down and understand what it really means.  More specifically, what it means for your customers, not someone else’s customers.

Above all, Hang out where your customers hang out!

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