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Here's an intereresting summary of the first-ever UK Social Media Census conducted in March of this year, to coincide with the UK’s official census, which was commissioned by UK PR consultancy Lansons and carried out by Opinium Research. The study asked people how, if at all, they use social media.
Key research findings include:
Clearly with the uptake and usage by the UK Baby Boomers - and in contrary to popular belief - social media usage is high amongst older generations - who are, retiring in droves now and also the most significant demographic driving linear TV viewing up as they have more free time. Almost a third of over 70s (28%) and more than a third of over 60s (39%) represent a significant target market. So they are not only sitting behind the TV - that's clear.
This report also augments the case for integrating into existing social media when considering Social TV strategy, rather than trying to build new communities. Trying to reinvent the wheel when Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have already taken so much market share is clearly a waste of time, money and resources.
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As noted in the visual above, our research is inspired by the Social Technographics ® work by Forrester Research in which back in April 2007 Charlene Li defined a range of ‘social computing behaviours’. She identified six different levels of participation: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Spectators, Joiners and Inactives. At the start of 2010, having left Forrester, her colleague Josh Bernoff revisited the concept to add Conversationalists (to account for the rise of Twitter).
We’ve adopted some labels and adapted others and some definitions to reflect what these terms currently encompass, and the end result is that we’ve defined a total of nine social media usage types. Aided by some consonance and a crowbar we’re calling these the 9C’s.
Our two new categories serves as a reminder that social media will continue to evolve. The Commercialists are those who recognise that they are using social media for business social not just social social. They may have existed before, but I think it’s important to note and now track their growth, especially as social commerce and social CRM seem are set to further boom. Also identified are the Collaborators and again I think we will see this category to grow as cloud computing becomes ever more widely adopted.