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Women are biggest social media users, Millennials quit social due to lack of time

Women are the biggest users of social media and Baby Boomer men are the biggest non-users but the numbers of Millennials and Generation Xers leaving social media are high, a new study shows.

Pier2 Marketing’s new research report The Social Effect: Our Search to Stay Connected shows that 17% of Americans report not using any social media sites or apps at all, mostly due to security and privacy concerns, lack of time to “keep up” with them, and/or the inability to find content they feel relevant.

While most non-users are Baby Boomer men, the percentage of people leaving social media among younger generations is higher than expected (48%).

On the other hand, women lead among current social media users, and have a majority between Instagram and Facebook fans, with almost 7 out of 10 Instagram fans being women.

The study identified five subgroups among current social media users: The avid, the frequent, the butterflies, the breakups and the unknowns. The top 5 social networks among avid users, those who use these sites or apps at least once a day, are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.

YouTube and Instagram fans include a higher representation of minorities. 27% of Instagram fans are Latinos. And YouTube fans are physically more active than Facebook and Instagram fans.

Some of the characteristics that make these social networks their favourites are the simplicity and ease of use, content relevance, higher user base, frequency of use, and the ability to easily stay in touch with family and friends, Pier2 said.

Overall, social media users are more observers than participants, they prefer to watch or “take” content from these sites or apps, rather than to post or share. When they do interact, they prefer to share with close friends and family.

Yet, 45% of users spend one to three hours per day on these sites or apps, while only 4% don’t use them on daily basis.

Social media users look at the value they get from these sites or apps versus the time they invest on them. The number of hours users spend on them has a direct correlation with their engagement, increasing or reducing abandonment rates.

Most users don’t like sharing brand-generated content, however, some will share when they are incentivised to do so.

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