Social media is not a fad–it continues (and will continue) to grow as a habit capturing the attention of young and old, men and women, local and global. As a business, it is becoming more and more important to put time and effort into your social media strategy.

If you weren’t already serious about social media, it is time to get involved and manage a social media strategy. To manage social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some surprising social media statistics from the past year so you can have a successful year to come.

Here are 10 statistics and a few social media market strategies that might make you rethink the way your business is approaching social media.

10 Shocking Social Media Statistics of 2013

  1. 55–64 Year Olds are the Fastest Growing Demographic on Twitter.
  2. 189 Million Facebook Users are “Mobile Only”
  3. YouTube Reaches More 18–34 Year Old Americans than any Cable Network
  4. Social Media Use Overtakes Pornography as the No. 1 Activity on the Internet
  5. 2 New Members Join LinkedIn Every Second
  6. But LinkedIn has a Lower Percentage of Active Users Than Facebook, Google+, Twitter and even Pinterest
  7. 93% of Marketers Use Social Media for Business
  8. 63% of smartphone owners (age 18–44) have their Phone Nearby for all but 1 Hour of their Waking Day
  9. 62% of Marketers Blog or Plan to Blog, Only 9% of US Marketing Companies Employ a Full-Time Blogger
  10. 25% of Facebook Users Don’t Utilize Privacy Settings

Making Sense of Social Media Marketing Strategies for 2014

Targeting Key Demographics

Social media outlets are no longer dominated by teenagers and young adults. Baby boomers are the fastest growing demographic on most platforms. Not only did Twitter see a jump in participation of 55–64 year olds, but Facebook and Google+ also experienced growing participation from 45–54 year olds.

For a solid social media strategy, businesses and marketers need to have a clear idea of their target audience. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so keep older users in mind when using social media platforms and choosing the content you post. Don’t miss out on key demographics.

Taking Advantage of Mobile Users

It is pretty clear that mobile is the growing space businesses need to pay attention to. Millions of users are accessing Facebook exclusively from their mobile devices–smartphones, smartwatches and tablets (Facebooks is generating 30% of their ad revenue exclusively from mobile ads). And throughout the day users are near their phones, giving businesses and friends the opportunity to connect with them anytime and anywhere.

Invest in the mobile responsive design of your content displays before posting it to ensure ease of use on small screen devices. Stay on top of your content and post regularly for more chances to connect with users. And if your business targets mobile users, make sharing to social media from mobile is a straightforward, hassle-free process.

More Affordable Video Advertising with YouTube

Did you think TV ads are the best way to reach large audiences? Well if your business is targeting the 18–34 year old demographic in the U.S., you will have more luck reaching them on YouTube. Of course, one video may not reach more viewers than a cable network could, however, with the popularity of mobile devices, utilizing a platform such as YouTube can help you reach a wide user base for much less cost.

It is time to add video to your marketing strategy if you haven’t already. Start small with simple videos (five minutes or less) explaining what your company does. If you want to get creative, coming up with a good viral video ad to reach a wide audience and build interest quickly.

Participate in All Relevant Social Media Platforms, But Know Where to Prioritize Your Time and Money

LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals and job searchers, continues to grow every second. This platform is a rich source of information and connectivity for professionals who want to communicate with others in their industry, find or fill a job listing, and present their professional resume(C.V.).

As a free platform it is definitely worth signing up and paying attention to LinkedIn, however, few users are actively participating on LinkedIn. This means you are probably not going to reap much benefit from participatory content, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter. If your business relies on participation from the audience to share and comment on content, then your money and time may be better spent on cultivating content for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter audiences.

Blog Regularly to Take Advantage of Social Media and Content Marketing

Publishing content on your businesses blog has lots of advantages: you can set the tone for the business culture and communication style; you can educate and inform your target audience about company news or relevant, interesting information; and you can use it to market your product or services.

Even when a business understand the importance of blogging, many still struggle with producing high-quality content consistently, writing enticing headlines for articles, knowing when is the best time to publish and many other details. If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time writer to blog on behalf of your business, understand that maintain a consistent volume of content and maximizing interest in your content will be a lot of hard work (and time) for your marketing team. It is possible to manage yourself, but investing in a full-time content manager can strengthen your strategy.

Don’t Forget About Privacy, Security and Protecting Your Business

In the past year, a number of social media companies have been targeted by hackers looking to slow down traffic and demonstrate the lack of security and privacy when using the internet. Despite these attacks, a number of users still don’t use the security controls the social media companies do offer.

Don’t assume you or your users are protected from cyber threats. Use your privacy settings and when necessary, seek protection through insurers so your business doesn’t become liable for security threats you cannot control.

Set Goals and Re-adjust Your Social Media Strategy As Often as Needed

Your social media strategy really comes down to your industry, your target audience(s) and what your goals are for maximizing marketing dollars. Take time to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly so that your business can be a social media success in 2014.