Study: Social Media Usage in the Midwest

Social Media Usage in the Midwest

Study: Social Media Usage in the Midwest

Social Media Usage in the MidwestSome time ago I was happy to participate in the Social Scene Midwest study of social media usage in the Midwest. In exchange, they promised us participants a copy of their final report, which they recently delivered.

The results were quite revealing, particularly from a regional marketer’s perspective.

First, a little background about the survey:

  • 10 Midwest states were included
  • A total of 1,339 responses were collected
  • Conducted by two firms (Brand Driven Digital and Vernon Research Group) with an interest in both individual and business usage of social media throughout the Midwest

Now, some particularly important takeaways for marketers:

  • Like Americans around the country, those in the Midwest have been bitten by the social media bug, checking their social media properties regularly throughout the day
  • People voraciously consume content via social media
  • There’s an increasing need for said content to be eye-catching and attention-holding, as people frequently multitask when checking social media
  • People in the Midwest are using social media primarily to get and stay connected (truly utilizing the “social” in social media), with a much smaller percentage of participants reporting using social media to get news and information
  • When it comes to keeping up with businesses, participants are most likely to follow companies on Linkedin and Twitter
  • Facebook and Twitter are the most frequently used social media sites
  • While people are using social media throughout the day, evening prime time sees the most activity

The study’s findings align with what integrated marketing communications experts are seeing day in day out. Content, e.g. articles, videos and photos, is still being consumed in tremendous and growing quantities across all social media networks. But it’s not the primary reason that people are visiting social media. They’re still on Facebook to share with friends, or on Twitter to tweet their favorite celebrities, or on Linkedin to professionally network. Discovering content comes as an extension of the experience. While a new mom posts a baby photo to Facebook she sees a blog post from a popular kid’s brand on her newsfeed. Or while a tween is tweeting about One Direction she sees a TMZ exclusive video on her timeline. In these examples, the content discovery could come from some prior interaction the users had with the brand (e.g. liking a page or following an account), or it could come from either site’s “sponsored content” advertising models, or even from the things their friends share. Regardless, marketers can’t ignore the power of disseminating content through social channels – because even if people are not exclusively using social media to find content, they’re finding content in significant amounts there anyway.

We also know that individuals are increasingly connected to the Internet and this trend is not going away. With the rise of smartphones, tablets and smart gadgets, people are no longer just checking their Facebook account at lunch or after work. They’re watching social media throughout the day, and the more connected the objects we interact with daily become (car dashboards can display texts, watches can show Twitter timelines, glasses can browse Google+) the more wired to the Internet we’ll be. While marketers still have only a short window of opportunity to get and hold someone’s attention, a clever viral campaign now has arguably more reach and potential impact than ever. Look no further than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: had the challenge taken place even 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have been nearly as big a hit. More widespread adoption of social media and the ability to film video and upload to YouTube or social media entirely with a smart device contributed greatly to the Ice Bucket Challenge success.

For more interesting findings from this study, see the full report, A Study of Social Media Trends in the Midwest.

Thanks to Vernon Research and Brand Driven Digital for sharing this information with us!