Social Media Marketing in the UK

Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing is becoming increasingly used in the UK. Given that 85% of the UK population uses the Internet, companies approach a growing number of consumers by implementing online strategies. In fact, 33% of the advertising spent is already directed to digital marketing.

The most important consideration when using social media is transparency. Especially for governments, public information should be clear so that citizens understand what, how and why the government engages in certain activities. In doing so, citizens participate in decision making by questioning certain issues and affecting governmental actions in a positive way. In fact, social media give citizens the opportunity to be present in the conversation with the government.

UK Social Media Statistics

In 2013, UK citizens spent 4.8 hours per day (289 minutes) on the web excluding the time spent on online shopping and search engines. From these 4.8 hours, 1 hour (61 minutes) was spent on social media. Facebook leads the social media network with 1.3 billion active users and Twitter follows with 645.7 million users, McKinsey & Company reports.

In particular:

a) Facebook
Nearly 33 million people in the UK used Facebook in 2013, a 10% year-on-year increase, yet, one should also consider the duplicate or fake accounts created in 2012. On the other hand, 62.5% of the UK's online population registered with Facebook in 2013, actually more than in the US. The age groups are 26% between 25-34 years old, 23% between 18-24 years old and 18% between 35-44 years old.

b) Twitter
The UK has 34 million active Twitter accounts, which is more than 17% of total Twitter users and a 30.8% year-on-year increase (26 million users in 2012). The increase is mostly attributed to the 2012 London Olympics and the Jubilee, which were both heavily covered by Twitter as it is more direct and it immediately reaches the audience. Age groups were between 25 and 54 years old and accounted for 20% of the Twitter population. Finally, nearly 300 advertisers used the Promoted Tweet option in 2012.

c) LinkedIn
Nearly 11 million people in the UK used LinkedIn in 2012, representing 18% of the population. Considering that, unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is a strictly professional network, 18% of the population is a niche market for professionals. Demographically, 79% of LinkedIn users are 35 years old or older.

2014 UK Social Media Statistics

a) Facebook
Facebook's growth slowed down, with 31.5 million in December 2013, suggesting that Facebook's mainstream period is coming to an end. Even if more than 50% of the UK population have a Facebook account, Facebook is not the most attractive social media tool anymore, especially for the younger generation. On the other hand, it seems that Facebook remains the largest concentration of consumers and therefore businesses strongly prefer it as an effective social platform. In 2014, age groups are expected to be between 25 and 34 years old, but not younger.

b) Twitter
Unlike Facebook, Twitter demonstrates a steady growth both worldwide and in the UK. With the increase in the use of smartphones, Twitter became an effective tool for immediate social presence through the reflection of own passions, wants and preferences. People promote their ideas, get informed about new products and establish a direct, active liaison to users and companies of their interest. Nearly 80% of Twitter users are on smartphones, thus facilitating the direct presence of any business that aims to promote its products and services to a growing number of consumers.

c) LinkedIn
LinkedIn remains a well-established social media platform for professionals around the world with nearly 11 million in the UK. What is interesting is that 64% of visits to corporate sites are due to LinkedIn, e-consultancy reports. This shows that an increasing number of users in the UK view LinkedIn as an effective tool for networking and exchanging knowledge.

d) Google Plus
Although there are no confirmed user stats for Google Plus, the newly introduced social media platform is widely used. The Google UK's head suggested that stats are mind-blowing. What remains to be seen in 2014 is the actual figures, reflecting who is visiting the Google Plus site and what they are doing there.

Social Media Marketing in the UK, stats on the industry sector, major players, government and self imposed industry regulations, best practice.