In less than a decade, social media has evolved from an innovative, albeit fairly casual digital connection between friends to an all-consuming business and marketing powerhouse that can quickly overwhelm with the sheer number of options and data available to both the end user and brands of all shapes and sizes.

Did you know, for example, that in any given minute more than half a million comments are posted to Facebook, 347,000 tweets are submitted on Twitter and 3,600 photos are shared on Instagram? For businesses looking to embrace all aspects of social media this can quickly lead to an information overload… and it’s the customer who suffers the consequences.

The numbers are quickly adding up. Less than half (44 percent) of customer questions on Twitter are answered within 24 hours (which in and of itself feels like an eternity in the fast-paced world of social media). Two-fifths of companies (39 percent) do not track social media responses at all, and less than one-quarter (24 percent) of SMBs say that they use social media to “engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way”.

So what is a brand to do? One solution is to make better use of filters, allowing that social media firehose to be broken down and better digested in bite-sized chunks. For retailers, one workable solution is to monitor social content by relevant location, responding accordingly, but brands across all industries should proactively filter by other key consumer demographics, tracking important keywords and relevant searches.

This infographic from mobile app Evzdrop takes a closer look at why businesses must strive to stay afloat in the sea of social media data.

(Source: Evzdrop. Social media image via Shutterstock.)