73% of European Internet users use social network sites. In total this is about 347 million people. Facebook is the most popular site with 62% users. 16% of European Internet users use Twitter. The Eastern-European Vkontakte is in third place with a 12% adoption. LinkedIn is 4th with 11% penetration amongst European Internet users. Within Europe it is mainly Eastern and Southern Europe who obtain good scores with a higher adoption than the European average. Western Europe’s score is lower at 66% adoption. These are some remarkable conclusions from an InSites Consulting survey amongst more than 9,000 consumers in 35 countries.
These numbers show that social network sites have penetrated all layers of society. 16% of Facebook users are 55+. An analysis of the users shows everyone is there: young, older, employed or unemployed.
Twitter, the exception
The InSites Consulting survey shows that Twitter is the exception among social networks. 80% of all Europeans know Twitter, but only 16% uses it. The intention of shortly starting to use Twitter is large: 28% of non-users are planning to start using it soon.
Twitter is an exceptional social network. Twitter users are more often men than women, the average age is lower than on Facebook and they mainly come from the active population. The direct effect may seem limited since the number of people is limited. The type of people active on Twitter however creates a major indirect effect. Journalists follow Twitter messages closely and publish them in their paper, thus creating a link to and an impact on traditional media which is greater than Facebook.
51% of European social network users follow a brand
5 Europeans out of 10 who have a social network site profile follow at least one brand. Four sectors are very popular: media, fashion, food and retail chains. The InSites Consulting survey shows that people become a fan of a product after having used it. Their own experience is much more important than advertising campaigns, to quote an example. People expect the companies to give them extra promotions and information. 58% of fans expect extra promotions of the brand on social media, 57% want to receive invites to events and 58% are looking forward to reading more product information.
Consumers wish to be a part of a company’s management
Some consumers are keen to be involved in their favourite brand’s management. 53% of all European social network users would love to share ideas with a company; 44% would love nothing more than to co-create new products and services with a fun brand.
Consumers have a very tight connection with certain brands. Involving these people in your company’s management via social media is a new way of approaching your company and the market. Social media help consumers to better understand how marketing works and therefore also help them to play a determining part in a company’s management.
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