It’s hard to believe that we still need to make the case for social. Perhaps since we live it and breathe it every day, we just assume that our clients and prospects are all on the same page.

Not necessarily.

Just this morning, a client put me on the spot and asked, “Why do you keep badgering me about our social marketing plan? Everything is working fine.”

I’m happy the client is happy, believe me. And, we continue to have a very successful traditional media program. But, I noted, are we reaching the people that matter the most to us when they are in their blue jeans?

That intrigued him. So I hit him with a quote from one of my favorite social gurus Brian Solis, “Social is the new normal. It is pervasive and transforming how people find and share information and how they connect and collaborate with one another.”

I assume he was impressed that I didn’t quote myself (or take credit for Brian’s perspective). I then shared some of the interesting insights from Nielsen’s State of the Media: The Social Media Report Q3 2011.

· Facebook isn’t just for Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters. A surprising 53% of adults follow specific brands online, while only 32% of them follow celebrities. What’s more, Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website.

· Despite the lyrics from “Avenue Q,” the Internet is not just for porn. Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet.

· Email is so passé. We now spend three times as much time on social media as on email.

· There may be an app for that, but the mobile Web is alive and well. In fact, the unique number of mobile Internet users in the U.S. is up 47% over last year, as is the audience to social networking sites (up 62%). Also interesting is that over twice as many people aged 55+ visit social networking sites on their wireless device.

· Because I said so. While we all want a thumbs up from Roger Ebert, personal reviews are more persuasive than endorsements from traditional media. 60% of social networkers are writing reviews and sharing them with friends. And, consumer-centric reviews and ratings are the preferred source for information about product/service value, price and quality.

· I’ll tumblr for you. Tumblr, which combines elements of blogging and Twitter by letting users post and customize everything from pictures and videos to links and quotes, has become the eighth largest site in the U.S. Social Networks and Blogs category. It’s also one of the most buzzed about topics—generating a whopping average of 21,280 messages and links per day to the site (personally, I prefer Posterous).

It’s certainly amazing that social media has gone from zero to hero in just a few short years. My client was impressed too and promised to share these insights with his executive team so we can move along the integration of social into next year’s marketing efforts.

Inquiring minds want to know: How do you influence the decision makers to go social?

Peter Duckler

Peter Duckler