There was a time when businesses and organizations had a choice about getting involved in social media.

According to recent reports, that time may have well passed.

In fact, having a social media presence may be critical to your survival.

That’s just one story we were discussing this week. We were also buzzing about the role mobile plays with 18- to 24-year-old consumers and the best ways for marketers to reach them effectively.

And believe it or not some businesses don’t want a boost in website traffic from Pinterest.

Read on for this week’s hot topics …

1. Going Social Is Basic Survival

Still on the fence about social media? Maybe this new infographic from will help you to see its value. Check out some of these stats:

  • Over 2 billion people are on the internet worldwide
  • Over 245 million Americans use at least one social network
  • 53% of those active users follow a particular brand
  • Facebook users share over 4 billion items per day

Bottom line: Whether you’re on social media or not, your customers, clients, members, and supporters probably are. If you sit on the sidelines, then you miss a huge opportunity to connect with new and existing customers in the easiest, cheapest, fastest way possible. Need help getting started? Check out our Social Media Quickstarter to get up and running.

2. Marketers: What Mobile Users Will and Won’t Put Up With

Mobile marketing is another hot topic these days, and if you’re thinking about reaching your customers, particularly those in the 18- to 24-year-old age range, on their tiny screens, here’s some info you may want to look at first:

  • 54% say it’s extremely important to be able to opt out of promotional messages
  • 40% only want deals that are relevant to them
  • 89% spend between 1 and 5 hours on their devices
  • 1 in 3 of all consumers would consider purchasing from their mobile device
  • 56% are worried about their credit card details being stolen

Bottom line: As always, regardless of the platform, permission-based, relevant messages rule the day. And when it comes to making purchases through mobile devices, security is still a major obstacle that needs to be overcome.

3. Site Owners Can Now Prevent Content from Appearing on Pinterest

Even though Pinterest has been driving more traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined, some businesses don’t want their images shared on the site due to copyright concerns. To help ease these concerns, Pinterest is offering code that owners can add to their site, which will prevent images from being pinned.

Bottom line: It’s great that Pinterest is showing support for copyright holders, but it seems like a misstep on the business side of things. A major driving force behind any successful online business is traffic, since pins include a link back to the original source these businesses could be missing out. Especially if Pinterest continues to grow at the rate it’s been going.

4. Twitter Reaches 500 Million Users

According to, Twitter hit its 500 millionth user shortly after 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Although it should be noted that some people are skeptical of this number as many of the accounts have been suspended, closed, or are inactive.

Bottom line: Twitter continues to grow strong. It may not have the 845 million users that Facebook does, but it’s still significantly more than Google+’s reported 90 million. Twitter offers a great way to engage with your current customers, clients, and supporters, connect with potential ones, and network with potential business partners. Are you using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy?

5. Your Facebook Profile Can Predict Your Job Performance

In a new study to be published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers spent 10 minutes evaluating individuals’ Facebook profiles. They were then asked some personality-based questions about their subjects. These results were later compared with their on-the-job performance reviews. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a high correlation between the perceptions drawn from the Facebook profiles and the performance reviews. In fact, the Facebook conclusions proved more accurate. This calls into question the personality testing many companies have been using for years. Why bother when you could just spend 10 minutes looking at a Facebook profile?

Bottom line: What do you think? Would you let someone’s Facebook profile be a determining factor when hiring? And if you did what type of legal issues could that bring?

What are your thoughts on these stories? Are there any others that caught your attention? Tell us in the comments below.