The Winners and Losers of Social Media in 2012

2012 was a year of social media shake-ups platforms, and a tighter integration of social media into existing business processes. As the dust of the 2012 social media scuffle settles, now is a perfect time to look back at how each social network performed. The Nielsen Group measured the performance of the major networks and we have compiled the statistics into a series of report cards. Take a look at each network’s growth, monthly visitors and estimated marketing ROI.

Growth: A+
Users: B-
Best for: Mobile and Visual
Growth of monthly visitors: 1,047%
Monthly visitors: 27.2 million
Pinterest exploded onto the social scene in 2012 with over 1000% growth in monthly visitors. With a focus on visual content and a massive mobile audience, Pinterest could prove to be a huge marketing asset in 2013.

Growth: C-
Users: A+
Best for Sharing and Connecting
Growth of monthly visitors: -4%
Monthly visitors: 1.5 billion
Despite an increase in total registered users, Facebook’s monthly visitor count is down 4%. With recent changes to distribution and targeting options, Facebook continues to evolve and keep brands on their toes.

Growth: B+
Users: A-
Best for sharing and customer inter
Growth of monthly visitors: 13%
Monthly visitors: 37 million
With a steady increase in visitors, Twitter remains the go-to social channel for marketers looking to monitor conversations, learn about customers, distribute content, and build relationships.

Growth: B+
Users: B-
Best for SEO and Segmentation
Growth of monthly visitors: 80%
Monthly visitors: 26 million
Still on the outskirts of the social media fray, Google+ spent the majority of 2012 quietly adding features, building a user base, and integrating with Google’s search engine to set itself up as a major player in 2013.

Growth: C
Users: B-
Best for networking and finding leads
Growth of monthly visitors: 0%
Monthly visitors: 28 million
With consistent traffic and a strong business focus, LinkedIn remains a major social workhorse of marketing and sales teams everywhere. After a needed face lift and added analytics for business, LinkedIn is not going away soon.