A new report out from Strategy Analytics estimates that social media could be touching an enormous amount of people worldwide, very soon: about 1 in 6 people, according to the report, will be using social media around the world by 2012 (that is just five years!).

“It is clear that user generated media will increasingly compete with professional media when it comes to the attention and free time of users,” comments Martin Olausson, Director of Digital Media Research at Strategy Analytics. “However, if professional media companies choose to embrace social media applications it will enable a more direct and positive relationship with consumers, which will in turn drive increased engagement and loyalty.”

Mack Collier suggest some interesting questions to consider given the reports estimates and what they would mean for everyone.

Some additional things to consider with this news, especially for nonprofits:

  • How are you using social media tools now? (Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, NetworkForGood, Change.org, Wikis, RSS, Podcasts, YouTube, etc.)
  • How will you engage with new audiences and more people as the online community continues to grow? (Does your social media strategy account for engagement now?)
  • How will you adapt to new tools as they emerge? (With more people using the current tools, the need for additional, different, and evolving tools grows.)
  • How can you do your work and serve your community better with more tools and users? (At the end of the day, you still want to be saving the world and not just connecting, right?)

What are your answers? Or, what other questions do you have?

Social media, only a matter of time?
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