Nielsen social media report 2011: some synthesised statistically based insights

by Steve Seager

Nielsen just released their quarterly social media report for Q3 2011. You can download the full .pdf from here. Although it’s very nice of them to publish it, I personally find trawling through stats to extract something useful a little time consuming. Soooo, I thought I’d help. I pulled out the best of what’s there and took a swing at some synthesis. Here’s the lowdown:

Nearly everyone who is online loves social networks and blogs

Social networks and blogs account for the most internet time – by far the biggest activity at 22.5%. The nearest next use is gaming at 9.8%. A snapshot of 10 major global markets shows social networks and blogs reach over three quarters of active internet users. Key insight: you can reach most of your audience in a social network or blog alone.

Grandma and granddad no longer confused by mobile!

Close to 40% of ALL social media users access social media content from their mobile. Almost half of 55+ users surf (showing my own age there with that word) from their mobile. Twice as many oldies are accessing the interweb by mobile than last year. They are driving growth of social networking. Key insight: don’t think mobile is just for youngsters.

Women love Facebook but men like LinkedIn more

Key insight: if you are a brand, and want to engage with women aged 18-34, use video on Facebook. They engage more with brands and share more. Also, women care about quality, not length (of video). Get it right and they will share it. But men won’t. They’d rather use use LinkedIn and ‘wikia.’

UK and US young men are hip to Tumblr

Key insight: if you are a Brand targeting the male demographic 18-34 in the UK or US and have lots of great images, use Tumblr. It’s free, easy, and people are sharing it like crazy. Tumblr just tripled it’s users in a single year. PS I’m a decade older than 34 but this is my Tumblr. It’s where I collect my thoughts.

People who are social are more active shoppers

70% of active adults in social networks shop online – 12% more than the average user.

On that last stat: in the rest of the report, the findings are that the most active shoppers also access the net by mobile. Plus, scanning barcodes and sending feedback to companies are significant activities. Does that imply that when people shop they go to your Facebook page first to look for a discount before they buy something? Sounds like they might.

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