Kantar study segments social media brand engagement

More than half of Britain's adult population engaged in social media are 'social spectators' who do little to increase their brand interest or create positive associations with brands online, according to a study by Kantar Media.

Kantar Media: social media followers do not equate to brand engagement
Kantar Media: social media followers do not equate to brand engagement

The research company has categorised social media users into six different segments based on the analysis of the behaviour of 50 million adults online.

Richard Keogh, head of Kantar Media TGI UK, said: "Marketers need to look beyond widely accepted metrics to specific evidence of engaged online activity to determine how valuable consumers are. Now is a good time for brands to review who they’re really speaking to online."

He said: "The different segments show that clicks and connections alone will not reveal consumers’ actual engagement levels."

Social Spectators 

A disengaged group with a respectable number of connections, but the least likely of all social media users to buy goods online, or to read or update their social media accounts. Neither do they post product reviews or follow brands online. They tend to be older and, because they don’t carry high economic or cultural capital, are unlikely to have much clout or spending power for brands.

Online Experimenters

Potentially a very valuable group for brands to target given their crucial combination of purchase power and online engagement. Accounting for just ten per cent of adult social media users, this group are more likely to be older and particularly likely to engage with brands and to buy products online.

Connected Engagers

Those in this group have the highest level of connections and influence. They account for just three per cent of all social media users but, because they lack economic and cultural clout, may not be the big spenders. They are, however, most likely to spread the corporate word online.

Connected Dabblers

This group represents ten per cent of social media users and has a high level of connections. They follow brands on social media but are less likely to post reviews about products/brands. They are engaged but less influential than Connected Engagers. 

Passive Socialites

A group with a high level of connections, but they don’t follow brands or post reviews. This means they have a low level of influence. They account for four per cent of social media users.

Credible Contributors  This group has an average level of connections and engagement, being highly likely to follow brands and post reviews online. They are active and engaged with medium amounts of influence, and account for 22 per cent of social media users.

Keogh said: "Social Spectators display very little online engagement in spite of having a moderate number of connections. 

"Connected Engagers however, who are most active online, have minimal economic or cultural clout.

"Comparatively, our Online Experimenters, who have relatively few connections online, could prove particularly influential in driving sales and growth for brands. What they lack in connections they make up for in the way they embrace social media and online purchasing."

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