"Oh Shit" Statistics: Social Media Driving Consumer Behavioral Changes

MediaPost notes: According to a recent report from ROI Research Inc., sponsored by Performics, “S-Net The Impact of Social Media,” social media permeates consumers’ lives and affects communication, shopping and other activities, driving changes in consumer behavior online.
The study of 3,000 U.S. social network users delved deeper into how social sites affect family and friend relationships and consumer attitudes towards brands and products:

  • 80% of respondents have an active Facebook account, and 23% of those without an active Facebook account plan to join in the next month
  • 67% of respondents have reconnected with people through social networking sites that they never would have otherwise
  • 39% of Twitter users respond to other people’s tweets once a week or more
  • 30% of respondents access Facebook and/or Twitter from their mobile phone (through a browser or application) once a day or more
Active Social Networking Account Holders (% of Respondents)
Social Account October 2009 April 2010 % Change
Facebook 71% 80% +13%
MySpace 44% 37% -16%
You Tube 39% 37% -5%
Windows Live 33% 19% -42%
Classmates.com 26% 20% -23%
Twitter 22% 19% -14%
In 11% 10% -9%
Source: ROI Research, June 2010

Daina Middleton, CEO of Performics, says “Social networks have made… substantial changes in the lives of their users… (as they) more actively participate with brands and each other… More than a third of all respondents reported using a search engine to further learn after seeing an ad on a social networking site… more than a third think social networking sites are good sources of information about companies and products…”

Consumers reported a desire to connect with brands throughout the study:

  • 50% of Facebook users click on Facebook ads to “like” a brand
  • 37% learned about a new product or service from a social networking site
  • 32% of respondents have recommended a product/service/brand to friends via a social networking site
  • 32% of Twitter users re-tweet content provided by a company or product
Access Via Mobile Once a Day or More (April 2010)
Social Network % Accessing Change From Oct, 2009
Facebook 32% +23%
Twitter 30 +15
You Tube 22 +22
Source: ROI Research, June 2010

Middleton added that “… it’s a groundswell of technology-enabled word of mouth…  shifting from strict consumerism to… two-way participation between brands and everyday customers…”

Frequency of Activities on Facebook (% of Respondents)
Social Activity Facebook Respondents (Once a week or more) Twitter Respondents (At least once a week)
Make comments about other people’s post 54%
Visit company or product pages 25%
Login to other sites using Facebook 25%
Share an opinion about a company 22% 33%
Click on an ad on Facebook 22%
Make a recommendation 20% 32%
Re-post content 19%
Ask for a product or service 17% 30%
Source: ROI Research, June 2010

Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research, concludes that “… users are not only satisfied, they want more… respondents expressed a strong desire to get:

  • More printable coupons [49%]
  • Notifications of sales and special deals [46%]
  • Information about new products [35%]

And, eCommerce predicts that by end of 2010, almost 9 out of 10 corporate businesses will engage through social networking portals. On Facebook, says research from ComScore, the visitors who spend the most time on the site also spend the most dollars on online shopping, with an average of $67 in spending for the top 20% of visitors.

Average Online Spending by Time Spent on Facebook & Twitter ($ in Q1, 2010)
Type of User Facebook Spenders Twitter Spenders
Heavy $67 $43
Medium 61 75
Light 50 73
Non-visitor 27 43
Source: ComScore, May 2010 (User: Heavy, top 20% of visitors by time spent on site; Medium, next 30%, Light, lowest 50%)

The comScore research report says that people using Twitter are more likely to purchase Online than people using Facebook, who tend to communicate or play games. Twitter users are more interested in updates from brands, and the amount of information about products and services are more available through Twitter than Facebook, notes the comScore study.

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