And then I Stumbled Upon Erik Qualman's brilliantly executed video "Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think" which deftly answers the question "Is Social Media a Fad or the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?" using statistics.
I have pared down Qualman's 37 stats to just 10 of the most compelling:
1. Years to Reach 50 millions Users:
- Radio (38 Years)
- TV (13 Years),
- Internet (4 Years)
- iPod (3 Years)
- Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months
- iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months
3. 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
4. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees…80%
5. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
Boomers - are you listening?
6. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama
7. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé… In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
Pay attention - people born after 1985 do not read e-mail
8. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
9. Facebook users translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks at a cost to Facebook of $0
10. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.
Qualman's conclusion: social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.