An international study into the use of social networks by Experian®, the global information services company, reveals just how much time people living in different countries spend on Facebook. Singaporeans emerge from the study as those who spend the longest on the social network site, with an average of 38 minutes and 46 seconds per session, while people living in Brazil spend less than half that with an average of 18 minutes and 19 seconds per Facebook session.
According to the analysis by Experian Hitwise, the average session time on Facebook in August 2011 across the eight countries varied significantly as highlighted in table 1 below:
|Market||Average time spent on Facebook in August 2011 per session|
|Singapore||38 mins 46 sec|
|New Zealand||30 mins 31 sec|
|Australia||26 mins 27 sec|
|UK||25 mins 33 sec|
|US||20 mins 46 sec|
|France||21 mins 53 sec|
|India||20 mins 21 sec|
|Brazil||18 mins 19 sec|
Understanding average time spent on Facebook, the world’s most widely used social network, illustrates the importance of brands needing to be on social networks. By knowing that an average social network user in Singapore, will for example, spend an average of 38 minutes on Facebook means that a brand can increase the likelihood of capturing an individual’s attention by running digital marketing campaigns through Facebook. Content and advertising which is compelling will ultimately lead to greater engagement in social networks and consequently greater sales, whether on the brand’s own website or indeed within Facebook.
Ankur Shah, CEO and co-founder, Techlightenment, an Experian company, commented: “The power of social networks like Facebook is that in some respects they don’t have any boundaries and make the world a much smaller place. Knowing the market share social networks have in each country and the level of usage is key to social networking success. However, our research shows that the way individuals use social media can and does change according to cultural and personal backgrounds – therefore ‘one size definitely doesn’t fit all’ when it comes to digital. For any international brands to be successful in their digital campaigns, they must understand the local, digital and personal nuances that exist.”
Social networks compared to total Internet usage: the local story
Social networking is now one of the biggest online pastimes across the globe. In each country there are thousands of social networks, varying from 3,245 in Brazil to 9,000 in the UK. Despite being one of the most mature social markets, the UK has the lowest market share of visits going to social networks and forums (12.2%). Brazil has the highest percentage of Internet visits going to social sites (18.9% of Internet usage) with 43% of all social networking visits in Brazil going to Orkut, the most visited social network in Brazil.
Table two shows market share for social networks and forums in August 2011 the eight countries surveyed:
|Market||Market share for social networks and forums|
Jim Hodgkins, EVP, Global Marketing Services, Experian commented: “Understanding how long people spend on Facebook in different countries is vital for any brand on the social network. With Facebook still finding its feet in the emerging markets of India and Brazil, lower session times are to be expected – users won’t have as many friends or groups that they have signed up to. However that doesn’t mean brands should ignore Facebook in those countries – with market share for Facebook in India increasing by 88% year on year and 16% in Brazil year on year, its influence and dominance is only set to grow.”
Using social to drive website traffic
Further analysis of the data reveals how different industries attract website traffic as a direct result of social networks. Social network users in Brazil, India and Singapore rarely go on to visit retail websites after being on a social network highlighting that retailers in these markets have a significant opportunity to increase their presence on social networks, ultimately driving website traffic and sales. This contrasts with countries such as New Zealand, where nine per cent of retailers receive web traffic directly from social media.
Entertainment topped the list of the sites visited after social networks in the nine countries polled by Experian, with well-known sites such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Sky Sports featuring prominently.
Other key findings from the survey revealed:
- In Brazil the number one social network is Orkut.com with 43% market share. This has fallen year on year by 18% with Facebook experiencing an increase in market share August 2010 to August 2011 by 16%
- The country to experience the fastest growth in Facebook use over the past year is India, with the social network accounting for an increase in market share of 88% in August 2011 compared to August 2010.
- The US also experienced a market share increase from Facebook of 5% year on year.
- Approximately 1 in 4 Singaporeans (18%) jump from one social network directly to another, demonstrating their love of social networks.