Here’s a selection of recent social media stats, taken from a range of sources, including Econsultancy’s Social Media Statistics document, which forms part of the Internet Statistics Compendium, and other reports…

Brands and social media (Cone)

  • 78% of social media users interact with companies or brands via new media sites and tools, an increase of 32% from 2008.
  • 95% of new media users also believe companies or brands should not only have social media presence, while 89% believe that they should interact with their consumers in this space. 

Social network US market share (Experian Hitwise)

  • U.S. visits to Facebook increased 194% year on year in September 2009, making it the most popular social network in the US, with 58.59% of all US visits to social network sites.
  • MySpace was second on 30.26%, a fall of 55% on September 2008. Next was Tagged on 2.38%. Twitter accounted for 1.84%, an increase of 1170% year on year.
  • Overall visits to social networks rose 62% year on year, with usage among over 55s up 77%.

Social network UK market share (Experian Hitwise)

  • Twitter now receives more web traffic than MySpace in the UK, picking up 1 in every 400 UK internet visits in August, ranking as the 27th most visited website in the UK, one position above MySpace.
  • Twitter claimed 2.21% of UK visits to social networks, though since this only measures direct visits to the Twitter website and not the various Twitter clients, it may underestimate the real numbers.
  • Facebook was number one, with 47.5%, followed by YouTube on 16.63%, and Bebo on 4.26%.

Social media and customer experience (Tealeaf via Econsultancy)

  • Customers who experience problems when shopping online
    are talking about it on social media sites; 13% this year compared with 8% in 2008.

  • 51% of respondents saying that social media has influenced their online transactions. 75% said their choice of retailer was influenced by what they read on
    social media sites, while 56% avoided a particular company after
    reading a bad review.

Social media and small businesses in the US (BIA/Kelsey)

  • 9% of small businesses use Twitter to market themselves. 32% of SMBs intend to use social media in their
    marketing in the next 12 months, while 39%  plan to include customer ratings or reviews on
    their own websites, and 31% plan to place links or ads on social sites
    or blogs.

Advertising on social networks (comScore)

  • Social networks accounted for 13.8bn display ad impressions in August 2009, which is more than 25% of all display ads viewed online.
  • The telecommunications, retail and banking sectors were the biggest advertisers on social networks, in that order.