(Note that I write about the internet and PR experiences of government, associations and nonprofits).
Pew states that 65 percent of Americans are involved in social media but what do we mean by “involved?”
The research below from Pew suggests that power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users. Only 5 percent of Facebook users were power users on all actions measured, 9 percent on three and 11 percent on two.
There seems to be continuous research that indicates an active 20 to 25 percent of web users who dominate internet activity. They are the ones who stay on your site, they are the ones who comment or like something or interact in some way.
Lots of people in website creation and marketing struggle with time on site and people who hit and run. They ask about the relevance of websites as a social media or sales platform.
It’s a matter of context and quality over quantity.
The quality web:
I wrote “Is Social Media Really Social?” The premise is that there is a “Quality Web” made up of power users who seek out information and interact.
But it’s been my experience that the Quality Web is exactly the kind of people you want to reach.
Throughout my 30 year social media, public relations and clearinghouse career I responded to thousands of people who wanted conversations. I’ve had over a hundred comments on some social platforms on one topic.
These inquiries included Congressional staffers, mayors, community leaders, agency heads and everyday citizens. Many were decision makers important to our issues and priorities.
My organizations learned lessons from the unique perspectives of users; we became better agencies and improved operations. We responded to their problems and issues in a personalized way. We learned from them and they learned from us. It was social in every meaning of the word.
The bottom-line is that a minority of website or social media users will dominate the space. As sales people know, the majority of sales come from a minority of customers.
We (unless you’re in advertising) need to stop fretting about the bounce rates (one page only visitors) or the short time spent on websites by the majority of visitors.
The internet, clearinghouses and business all have one thing in common; people important to our issues stick around and that will constitute approximately 25 percent of visitors.
Summary of research from Pew:
“It turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user. Most Facebook users are moderately active over a one-month time period, so highly active power users skew the average.”
“Power users constitute about 20%-30% of Facebook users, but the striking thing is that there are different power users depending on the activity in question.”
Source for Pew: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Facebook-users/Summary.aspx
Source for “Is Social Media Really Social?” http://leonardsipes.com/is-social-media-really-social/