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6 Ways to Find Data to Support Your Content

Need some data to backup your next blog post, pitch, or proposal? Try out these six ways to find it.

Are you trying to convince your boss, your clients, or your audience about the power of content, search, and social media? Or maybe you’re just trying to create an awesome infographic for link bait? If so, then you’ll need some data to back you up. So where can you find great data to support your pitches, proposals, and content? Here are some great sources.

Official Websites

If you’re looking for the number of people using a social network at any given time or the number of visits they receive, you can find them in the official about, statistics, or press pages. Here are a few good ones to start with the next time you’re curious about the number of active Facebook users, the number of tweets sent per day, the number of registered members on LinkedIn, or the number of hours of video viewed monthly on YouTube.

  • Facebook – The key facts page shares the year Facebook was founded (2004), number of employees (5,299), monthly active users (1.15 billion), daily active users (699 million), and monthly active users that have used Facebook mobile products (819 million) as of June 2013. You’ll also find the board members’ names and list of cities where offices are located internationally.
  • Twitter – The who’s on Twitter page shares the number of active users (230 million), average number of tweets per day (500 million), and percentage that accesses Twitter on a mobile device (76%).
  • LinkedIn – The press page shares the launch date of LinkedIn (May 5, 2003), number of employees (4,200), number of registered members (238 million), percent of users outside the United States (65%), and additional product and financial metrics.
  • YouTube – The statistics page shares the number of unique monthly users on YouTube (1 billion), number of hours of videos watched each month (6 billion), number of hours of video uploaded each minute (100), and the percentage of traffic that comes from outside the US (70%).

To find more pages like these, do a Google search for the network name plus statistics, press, about, or facts.

Alexa

Want to see a trending traffic comparison of particular websites? Try Alexa’s pro toolset. For $9.99 per month, you can use Alexa Pro to compare several websites to see how their rankings have changed over the past six months.

Are Alexa rankings perfect? Not hardly. But they can help you if you are trying to prove a point about whether one website is more popular than another and whether the trend of popularity is growing or declining.

Marketing Charts

According to the Fair Use Policy, you can’t use MarketingCharts graphs without contacting them for a price quote, due to the fact that their source data is from a third party partner. You can, however, use their site as a source for getting data from the charts, such as saying Facebook and Pinterest are the leading social media sites driving referral traffic using this chart as a source. You can also look through charts and find the data provider beneath them.

Then use Google to see if you can find the main article from the data source or contact them directly for more information.

Statistic Brain

Statistic Brain is a site that compiles tons of data from various data sources and organizes them by category. Each set of statistics include the research date and source.

Trusted publications such as Forbes, CNN, ABC News, Wikipedia, and many others refer to data using their site. According to their FAQ, sharing of the data found on their website is encouraged.

comScore

comScore is a widely used and trusted source of insights. You can find very interesting data by searching for comScore reports to discover things such as the August 2013 U.S. Search Engine Rankings, Online Video Rankings, and Smartphone Subscriber Market Share reports. You can also search through their collection of presentations and whitepapers for even more data.

People on the Inside

If all else fails, or you want more in-depth stats that you can find using the above resources, then look towards the people within an organization to help you pull some data. Finding the people behind a popular search engine or social network is not as tricky as it sounds. Let’s take Pinterest as an example. First, you can see if they have a press page with information on how to contact them about writing a story. Next, you can start by looking at their team page to see the network of people behind the scenes.

Of course, these pages may not necessarily have contact information for each individual, or in this case, even the last names. So you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Another great place to try is LinkedIn. If you look on their LinkedIn company page, you will find that they have 297 employees. As an added bonus, you’ll see which employees are within your network that you can reach out to.

If this doesn’t help, you can look for public profiles about the company. On their CrunchBase profile, you will find about 30 of the top people in the company, ranging from the cofounders to software engineers. Many of these people will have personal profiles on CrunchBase that include, at the very least, their Twitter handle.

What methods do you use to find data to backup your content? Please share in the comments!