The Average Social Media User: Part 2

This post is a continuation of our quest to define the average social media user, and this week we’re focusing on engagement. Essentially, we’re looking to find out how people interact with social networking sites, both on their own and with other users.

Facebook: As the most widely used social network, we wanted to see who was updating their status most frequently, using the ‘like’ button, and commenting on photos. This infographic from Jess3 provides a great overview of an average user’s day on Facebook.  Looking at this and a study from Pew Research, we found many insights on Facebook engagement. To begin, 52-percent of Facebook users log onto the site daily – that’s approximately 440 million people. On an average day, 15% of users update their own status, 22% comment on a friend’s post or status, 20% comment on a photo, 26% ‘like’ a friend’s content, and 10% send a private message. So, it turns out that the feature people like the most is the ‘like’ button itself! In fact, an article in Psychology Today says that ‘likes’ are a self-esteem booster, since they make people like themselves more. As you can see from the data below, females ages 18 to 22 are the most likely “likers.”


Females also update their status more than males, and users ages 18 – 22 update their status the most frequently. Most Facebook users interact with people they know on the site. For the average user, 22-percent of their friends are from high school, followed by family, co-workers, and college friends, accounting for 12, 10, and 9-percent of friends respectively.

Twitter: 33-percent of twitter users are engaging with the site daily, which amounts to about 33 million users. Users engage with Facebook and twitter much more frequently than they do other networks, as only 7% of MySpace users and 6% of LinkedIn users log on daily. More than half of all twitter users (55-percent) access the site from their mobile device, according to a TechCrunch article. What’s more, twitter engagement is becoming increasingly international. While the U.S. has the largest number of users, the Netherlands has the most active users, followed by Japan and Spain. According to the Pew study, twitter users have the largest social networks with an average of 838 social ties, compared to 786 on LinkedIn, 694 on MySpace and 648 on Facebook.

What are users doing on twitter? Adam Bain, twitter’s President of Global Revenue, reports that “80-percent of twitter engagement is link clicking.” The remaining 20-percent of twitter activity is tweeting or retweeting. So, the majority of twitter users are reading tweets rather than posting their own. Bain also said that “20 to 40-percent of all users follow some sort of brand, and for all new users, one of their first 10 ‘Follows’ is a brand.” That means there is enormous potential for marketing on twitter.

Overall: The Pew study also asked users about their experiences using social networking sites as a whole. Social media use has been seen to boost self-esteem, as 68-percent of respondents said they had an experience on a social networking site that made them feel good about themselves, and 61-percent had an experience that made them feel closer to another person. On the other end of the spectrum, 26-percent of adults and 41-percent of teens reported having at least one negative experience on a social media site. The study had an interesting finding about the type of relationships social media use promotes. It found that social media users have more close ties and are less isolated than the average American. Social media users have an average of 2.27 close confidants, compared with 1.75 for non-social media users.

Article by Sara

Hi, I'm Sara! I'm an intern for Lab42, working on PR, marketing and social media. As a contributor for the Lab42 blog, I get really excited whenever I come across a story about market research in the news. I also love to read about out-of-the-box social media campaigns. I'm currently a senior at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts majoring in Business and International Studies, and I spent last semester studying abroad in Copenhagen. Fun fact: In high school I was a coxswain on my school's rowing team.

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