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PHUKET: This has been a big year for social media, so I thought it worthwhile to review some of the interesting facts and figures.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the United States were the leading platforms, and the amount of time, effort and money spent in social media marketing has risen rapidly. Social media are now well and truly established, and starting to eclipse areas like television and some print media.

For the first time Facebook had one billion users log in during a single 24 period, showing that the size of this giant medium and the growth in popularity from its early days are being maintained. Seeing a product on Facebook greatly increases the chance of its sale.

People are far more likely to follow a brand on Twitter however. And for all things related to employment, LinkedIn is the chosen platform, although it does not seem to do as well for clients using it to advertise as do Facebook and Twitter.

‘Periscope’ has grown faster than any other social media platform in the same time-frame, having launched in March 2015. It will no doubt be a platform to watch in 2016.

Smartphones are continuing their growth in popularity, with the majority of users being female. A huge 73 per cent of all users admitted they would have a panic attack if they lost their mobile device.

It was also confirmed that Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is going to give away 99 per cent of his shares for philanthropic purposes, worth about $45 billion.

So one thing is clear, social media is growing and for a business owner it is becoming a ‘must have’ tool in the marketing arsenal.

Simon Wetherell is a social media expert and lawyer. He trains businesses and individuals on how to profit from the social media industry. For more information: Visit PhuketOnlineMarketingSchool.com or call 095-085 3355.

— Simon Wetherell