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Of all the metrics used to measure online success, market share is perhaps the most misleading. It provides you with little or no information on user interaction, general popularity or even what the market is worth. So with this in mind, here are the latest market share statistics for the UK social media market from Hitwise.
I don’t think anybody will be particularly surprised to see Facebook continuing to ride high; reinforcing their dominance with a commanding 51.94% share of the market. The Zuckerberg Express looked like it might be heading for complete derailment after slipping down to a lowly 48.86% in August; but thanks to the 3.08% month on month increase, things have a slightly rosier hue once again.
Facebook has suffered the most though when it comes to their yearly change. In September they were sitting pretty with 56.26% of the market, but in a turbulent 12 months, this has fallen by 4.32%. However, that’s nothing when compared to MySpace. The once imperious social has now slipped to being completely anonymous, having previously only been slightly old hat. Having lost 0.57% of its already dismal 0.96% market share, the Justin Timberlake effect hasn’t stopped it slipping below Tumblr and Moneysavingexpert to ninth.
YouTube cemented its position as the second most popular network despite a monthly drop of 1.05%. Their 22.5% share has increased by 5.33% since the same point last year, showing clear growth and setting it apart from third placed Twitter, which still only accounts for 3.4%.
So what do all these numbers mean to you and your business? Well, having a Facebook profile is almost a must now. The huge slice of the market that they now control means that your potential audience is huge. If customers aren’t coming to you, then you need to go to them.
YouTube is great marketing platform. As the leading video sharing website, you can really get some decent visibility by creating informative, entertaining or otherwise useful content and hosting it here. As you will also often appear within search engine results, the benefits pretty much speak for themselves.
LinkedIn has also seen moderate year on year growth – 0.52% in fact. This is a network that is really on the up and should be used by professionals and businesses alike to make contacts and share content. There’s even a suggestion that British PM David Cameron could be signing up for it in the not too distant future – following in the footsteps of Barack Obama.
Twitter has been a surprisingly poor performer – certainly in my eyes. They may have carved out an extra 1.11% market share since last year, but its monthly fall of 0.47% shows that it is still fluctuating and is perhaps most susceptible to Google+; a service that could see a lot of companies losing major chunks of their market share.
Marketing through social networks is big business and looks set to continue long into the future. Whether you choose to advertise openly or simply use the audience base to reach out to customers is up to you. But there are certainly opportunities available for those who are prepared to go about it in the right fashion. So if you want to sign up for Twitter, here’s our guide to setting up a Twitter account for business. Likewise, for Facebook visit our post on how to set up my business on Facebook.