Usually yelling “Fire!” in a public place is a big no-no, but in the case of Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) tweeting during last Monday’s Daytona 500, it was the beginning of social media brilliance. What happened in the next few hours illustrates just how relevant and popular social media has become. Social media is used by millions of people in all age brackets, and these people are using social media to connect with friends and brands alike.
The Daytona 500 came to a screeching halt when driver Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet-dryer truck, setting it on fire along with the track. During the standstill, Keselowski tweeted “Fire! My view,” along with a photo looking out the windshield of his car. The flames bellowing from the track are visible in the middle of the shot.
The crash and ensuing fire caused a more than two-hour delay, during which Keselowski tweeted updates and interacted with followers. His already impressive following grew by more than 150,000 people in just a few short hours. Fans tweeted everything from questions about when the race would start again to begging the Car No. 2 driver to “not tweet and drive.” (Don’t worry, he was just sitting in his car or walking around the track. He sure wasn’t going anywhere. The only danger was to his thumbs from all that tweeting.)
Numbers don’t lie
Keselowski’s more than 200,000 followers are far from being alone. Just check out these figures from comScore about the number of global unique visits to the top four social media sites in June 2011:
- Windows Live Profile-119,467
Facebook’s number of unique visits (meaning visits by different people, not just the same people logging in over and over) rose by 33 percent from the same time the previous year. Twitter showed even better gains with a 56 percent increase from the previous year.
That’s a lot of people hanging out in the same place. If people got on the proverbial band wagon over a car race, imagine what they would do for a brand that has a fun and interesting social media presence!
Not just for kids or kicks
Think that it’s just kids or young adults using social media wanting to play games or chat with friends? Think again.
- Pew Research shows that in 2011, two-thirds (65 percent) used a social media site. That’s a drastic increase from the 2005 figures, which said that eight percent used a social media site that year. This upward trend can only continue.
- The biggest user pool is females age 18-34 and the 55 and older crowd is the fastest growing demographic in social media. That’s two major target demographics that could be reached simply by using social media.
- An estimated 80 percent of polled U.S. social network users say they prefer using Facebook to connect with brands. Twitter is in second place at six percent of users preferring that social media platform to connect with brands (Edison Research and Arbitron).
- On average, 68 percent of social media users read reviews and provide product feedback using social media (NM Incite).
- Online coupons are also popular among social media users with 58 percent of polled social media users finding this feature useful.
This is the year for businesses to dive into social media. It makes sense to reach a target audience where they are spending the most time communicating and these figures prove that place is social media.
The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget and any medium. We can help any business or organization get started on social media or to boost their traffic through an existing social media presence.
Let’s connect. 479.443.9945.