Quick Hit: How Valuable Are Heavy Social Media Users, Anyway?

I just read this article from Forbes that had some interesting data about heavy social media users versus medium and light social media users:

http://news.yahoo.com/valuable-heavy-social-media-users-anyway-235927759.html

In the article, the author classifies these users as breaking down like this:

  1. Heavy Social Media Users: people who spend an average of 26% of their online time on Social Media
  2. Medium Social Media Users: people who spend an average of 4.1% of their online time on Social Media
  3. Light Social Media Users: people who spend an average of 0.42% on Social Media users

The basic outcome of the article questions whether investing heavily in social media is really worth it considering that people who are not heavy users spend more online and spend more per online purchase:

Dollars ($) spent per social media user by usage

Dollars ($) spent per social media user by usage

This is a very interesting question. But I think we need a couple more data points. It would be really interesting to see this data plotted against age. My guess is that far more heavy users are age 25 or less. This group probably has far less disposable income resulting in fewer and smaller purchases. Normalizing this data along those lines might provide us with some other interesting conclusions. The other thing this data does not provide is whether any of the information compels someone to purchase offline. Some people will obviously be more comfortable talking to someone in a store, even after doing research online, especially with product with which they are somewhat inexperienced or unfamiliar.

About Scott

Scott Barnard is the founder of The Usability Review and RememberStuff.com. After earning 2 degrees from MIT, he transplanted to the San Francisco Bay Area where he had a front row seat to the dot com boom and bust and the subsequent growth in importance of web, mobile and desktop application designs to the everyday activities of businesses and consumers alike. Get in touch with Scott if you'd like to hire him to consult on web, mobile app, or desktop application design at sbarnard@theusabilityreview.com.
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