Marketers who closely follow social media can find some enticing statistics to justify their online strategies:
More than 10,000 websites use Facebook Connect, a service that lets Facebook users log in to affiliated sites using their Facebook account and share information from those sites with their Facebook friends.
About 30 million Facebook members access it through mobile devices.
Twitter users spend 66% more dollars on the Internet than non-Twitter users, says market researcher ComScore.
LinkedIn has more than 365,000 company profiles. More than 12 million small-business professionals are members of LinkedIn.
More than 1 million small businesses and individuals promote their goods and services on MySpace.
Smartphones power the trend
As smartphones such as iPhone and BlackBerry take off, more people are updating their Facebook and Twitter profiles while on the move.
Smartphone shipments are expected to surge to 164 million this year, up 13% from 2008, says market researcher Forward Concepts.
The mobile social-networking industry is expected to become a $3.3 billion market worldwide by 2013, ABI Research predicts.
By Jon Swartz
The article by Jon Swartz in USA Today is very well written and can be used to enlighten business owners, marketers, PRs and even your grandmother on the value of including social media in a PR and marketing campaign.