The six types of social media user: Most Brits ignore brands (infographic)


More than half of Britain’s adult population engaged in social media do little to increase brand interest and create positive associations with brands online, according to new research which has identified the six types of social media user.

The study, conducted by Kantar Media in a new social media segmentation from its TGI Clickstream study of online consumer behaviour.

Richard Keogh, Head of Kantar Media TGI UK, comments: “This new segmentation provides crucial insights into the level of engagement and influence that social media users have online.

The different segments show that clicks and connections alone will not reveal consumers’ actual engagement levels.”

Based on an analysis of the social media connections and engagement of over 50 million adults (aged 15+), TGI’s segmentation uncovered six groups of social media users:

1. 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.

2. Online Experimenters –
are potentially very valuable for brands to target given their crucial combination of purchase power and online engagement. Accounting for just 10% of the adult social media-using population, this group are more likely to be older and particularly likely to engage with brands and to buy products online.

3. Connected Engagers – have the highest level of connections and influence. They account for just 3% 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.

4. Connected Dabblers – this group represents 10% of the social media-using population 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.

5. Passive Socialites – have a high level of connections but don’t follow brands or post reviews. This means they have a low level of influence. They account for 4% of the population.

6. Credible Contributors – account for 22% of the population. 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.

View this infographic highlighting key findings from the report below:


Richard Keogh advised, “Marketers should review who they are targeting online to ensure they are directing their social media activities (and marketing budget) at the most appropriate audience. For instance, 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.

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.”

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