Research from YouGov’s Media Consulting team reveals that though uptake and usage of social media services remains very high, the restless British public are now demanding more from these kinds of services. Two in five (41 per cent) of the UK online population claim to be getting bored of social media.
Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of the UK online population have used Facebook within the last month, making it the social media site with the highest percentage of active users. Perhaps unsurprisingly, usage of Facebook amongst younger generations is practically ubiquitous, with a 95 per cent of 16-20 year olds and 74 per cent of 21-24 year olds accessing the social networking site within the last month. YouTube is the closest social media site behind Facebook with half (50 per cent) of all UK Internet users using the site within the last month. The other big hitters in terms of active users are Twitter (23 per cent), Windows Live (14 per cent), LinkedIn (13 per cent), Google + (12 per cent) and Spotify (10 per cent).
Facebook’s usage, though still leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, might finally be starting to plateau. Just under a quarter (23 per cent) of the British online population, who actively use Facebook, state that they now use the networking site less compared with 12 months ago. Furthermore, 19 per cent expect to use Facebook less in one year’s time.
However, over half (53 per cent) of the British online population, who actively use LinkedIn, claim to now use the site more compared with 12 months ago. Further good news for LinkedIn is that 30 per cent expect to use it more in one year’s time.
Though social media services can provide a wealth of engagement opportunities for brand marketers, it seems that there is less benefit for brands than was originally thought. For example, under half (44 per cent) of the British online population would not be more positive about a product their friends have followed and/or liked and 43 per cent are unlikely to talk about a brand on a social media site even if they heard something positive about it.
In addition, brand marketeers and media owners need to be mindful of new targeting models with just under half (47 per cent) of the UK online population, who use social media services, stating that they positively do mind seeing ads on social media services that are based on their profile activities.
Dan Brilot, Media Consulting Director says, “it appears that whilst social media can be a key tool in the brand marketer’s armoury, in particular to maximise commitment amongst those already highly engaged with the brand, it has not quite reached the effectiveness necessary to be considered as a truly mass media marketing tool.”
He continues,“with the ability to share, tweet and interact on any kind of site, almost a given, social media services increasingly need to have an extra raison d’etre beyond merely being ‘social’ to make an impact in today’s crowded market.”