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Social is even bigger than we thought says Neilsen study

Social media is a major force not only amongst marketers and their peers who find the topic fascinating but amongst our actual audiences too. Nielsen’s Q1 2010 Consumer Confidence Survey, Q1 2010 @Plan reports and Audience Measurement tools are citing some striking facts that paint an even more dramatic picture of our immersion into social media than we might have thought.  I was particularly surprised by stats such as 21% of U.S. adults own or publish a blog or that 2/3 of global consumers refer to online product reviews when making a purchasing decision.  The complete excerpt is below:

• More than two-thirds of global consumers seek online product reviews, recommendations from discussion forums or social media sites when making a purchase decision.
• 40% of global consumers would not buy Consumer Electronics, 22% would not buy Telecommunications Services and 19% would not buy Gaming Devices without consulting online reviews.
• 21% of U.S. adults online publish or own a blog.
• 55% of U.S. adults online have 1 or more social networking profiles.
• 75% of the active U.S. Internet households visit a social networking site (May 2010). Globally, it’s 74% (April 2010).
• Social media websites had a unique audience in the U.S. of 148.2 million visitors (May 2010).
• U.S. consumers spent an average of 6 hours, 13 minutes a month using social networking websites (May 2010). Globally consumers spend an average of almost 6 hours (April 2010).
• Facebook is the #1 social networking site in the U.S., with a unique audience of 125.2 million visitors (May 2010).
• The average U.S. worker spends nearly 5.5 hours a month visiting social networking sites at the office (May 2010) and much of that time is spent visiting Facebook.
• Twitter has a unique U.S. audience of 19.1 million visitors (May 2010), growing more than 1,520% in the last two years (May 2010 v. May 2008).

Consumers are contributing and sharing online:

• 20% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Movies
• 18% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Television Programs
• 16% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Music
• 14% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Books
• 13% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Websites / Internet Content & Services
• 12% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Household Products (food and beverage)
• 12% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Restaurants or Bars
• 11% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Computer Hardware/Software
• 11% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Electronics
• 9% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Online Shopping
• 8% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Video Games
• 8% of U.S. adults online provide frequent advice on Household Products (non-food)

I am most surprised by the propensity of our consuming audience to contribute to and create content online.  I did not think the numbers would have climbed this substantially over the last time I had seen a similar report.  Which of these observations do you find most interesting?

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