Could you ever imagine a world without social media? What if you couldn’t tweet the highlight of your day or share your latest photos with your family and friends on Facebook? How would you “socialize?”

In today’s age, it’s proven that social media are embedded in our everyday culture. In the last 10 years, social media have become enormously popular among consumers. In fact, they’re so popular that marketers are on the hunt for more information about how to appeal to their consumers through social media.

To keep up with the changing times, Nielsen has decided to provide leading information regarding new media. Released on Sept. 12, “State of the Media: The Social Media Report” discusses how social media plays a key role in consumers’ lives.

Here are some of the major findings from the reports:

-Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet

-Social media has grown rapidly – today nearly four in five active Internet users visit social networks and blogs

-Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website

-Close to 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone

-Social networking apps are the third most used among U.S. smartphone owners

-Smartphone users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through mobile Internet

-Although a large number of women view online video on social networks and blogs, men are the heaviest online video users overall, streaming more videos and watching them longer

-70% of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12% more likely than the average adult Internet user

-53% of the active adult social networkers follow a brand, while 32% follow a celebrity

-Across a snapshot of 10 major global markets, social networks and blogs reach over three-quarters of active Internet users

-Tumblr is an emerging player in social media, nearly tripling its audience from a year ago

So what does this mean for your company or brand?

It is important to know that consumers are heavy users of the Internet and that their use will continue to grow. According to Nielsen, “as the influence of social media — and those using social media — continues to grow, it’s crucial for traditional media, retailers, brands and advertisers to understand how different consumers segment use and share content.”

Many companies already use social media to promote their brand, but it is important to engage even more strategically in this “social space.” Reaching your consumers through social media efficiently will allow you to connect on more personal level, allowing the consumers to feel a true sense of brand connection.