In January 2012, a report called ‘Global Social Media Adoption In 2011’ was published by Forrester. This report uses Forrester’s Social Technographics groupings to show how people around the world use social media. Technographic segmentation is a market research analysis tool used to identify and profile the characteristics and behaviors of consumers through the process of market segmentation. Further, companies can make use of this information for making their strategies, when operating in different parts of world.
The report is based on Consumer Technographics data in 18 countries across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia in order to examine social media behaviors around the world.
Having read through the report I thought it would be interesting to draw out different statistics to trace social media behavior of people around the globe and present some data to make companies understand the differences in social media adoption and behavior across different regions.
Regional social media adoption patterns:
Here are some brief take-aways from the report. Some interesting social media adoption trends that have been noticed, based on data collected from Consumer Technographics data in 18 countries across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia in order to examine social media behaviors around the world:
- Emerging markets like India, China, Mexico, and Brazil are in love with social media. Although overall Internet penetration in these countries is low, the consumers who are online show a high level of social media engagement.
- Social media users in the West prefer to consume rather than create. Online users in North America and Western Europe have the longest history with social media, and it shows: They have a much more passive attitude toward it.
- There’s no single picture of a European social media user. Users in different part of Europe have different social media content sharing and content creation habits.
- Japan doesn’t follow typical emerging Asian social media patterns: Some aspects of Japanese culture carry through to social media preferences: Japanese consumers have, for example, a preference for online anonymity.
The above mentioned facts are represented in form of this chart: (click to enlarge)
A look at countries that show distinct social media behaviour: (click to enlarge)
What does this latest set of Social Technographics data mean for you?
Personally, I believe that combined with statistics, these suggestions can be quite useful for adding value to businesses. Here is a quick look:
- Move your social spending where it will have the greatest impact: Emerging markets (and some surprising Western markets) lead the world in social media adoption, while the UK and other traditionally social markets have fallen behind. If you’ve been putting all of your social efforts into the US and the UK, it’s time to shift your focus — and your budget — to the countries where users are more social.
- Don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to social media:Regional differences in social behavior require regionalized social media strategies.
- Don’t expect too much interaction from Western consumers: If you’re targeting users in Western markets, focus on giving them social content they can simply read or watch. Don’t focus your strategies — or your measurement — on interaction with your audience.
- Get ready for social on the go: Mobility and location data are starting to play a bigger role in how people use social tools. In 2011, one-third of US online users access social networking sites from their mobile phone at least monthly — and globally, more than 40% of Facebook’s users access the site through mobile devices.
From this report it becomes evident that social media has gone global, but usage patterns vary widely by country and regions, which is quite evident and well supported with data. It is a perfect read if you are looking to start working with social media at places across oceans or even within your region. Though the document is not available for individual purchase, you can contact the team for the purchase by clicking here.