New research from Interpublic Group media agency UM finds that 56% of global consumers agree that social networking is an “integral part of their social lives” with about one-third of Americans claiming to be “always on.”
The findings, released during an Advertising Week presentation, also showed huge growth for micro-blogging sites with China, where 71% of Internet users claim to be active micro-bloggers, leading the way.
Within the US, multicultural consumers say they find social media effective at giving them a voice and meeting their needs. Hispanic Americans are 26% more likely to say that social media helps them earn respect, per the research, while 30% of African Americans are more likely to agree that it enhances their career growth.
And emerging markets such as Brazil and India are increasingly seeing social media as essential to improving social status, with 30% and 15% respectively, agreeing it helps build career and financial opportunities.
On the privacy front, nearly 70% of global consumers registered concern about the amount of personal data online. However, over 43% are supportive of brands using online behavioral data for marketing if it improves their online experience. UM concludes that “This value-exchange has resulted in a 10% spike in consumer membership in brand communities, proving that a greater understanding of consumer needs can lead to a more strategic approach to engagement.”
The research, part of UM’s series of Wave reports, is based on surveys of nearly 49,000 active Internet users in 65 countries. More on the study can be found here.