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Social Networking - US - June 2013

“The bridge to greater efficacy in social network ads and the road to greater ad sales for networks are intertwined around a single segmentation that rises above industry verticals—how the networker feels about brand interactions on ‘her’ page or feed in general.”

– Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Do we care what brands or products our friends like?
  • Are the opinions of friends more valuable than those of strangers?
  • Mobile social: One step forward or two steps back?

The scope of corporate involvement in social networking is rising rapidly. Above the line, social ad sales are estimated at $6.1 billion, and are expected to grow to $11 billion by 2017. Even so, ads on social networks may be less critical to brand engagement than below-the-line social marketing, including company profile pages, tweets, and news feeds. Per Facebook , each of the world’s 100 largest advertisers participates on the site.

This report examines how brands can best engage networkers both above the line and below, with subjects including how networkers respond to both forms of marketing, including responses segmented by those with 200 or more friends, as well as by the number of companies or brands liked or followed by networkers.

Other subjects covered include frequency of usage, on-the-go usage, use of check-in services, attitudes toward sharing and receiving links and content, the role of native, local, and mobile ads in propelling sales, the extent to which networkers have fatigue from excessive brand feeds, the extent to which networkers desire brand interactions, and, perhaps most importantly, the role of likes and the recommendations of friends and family in driving purchases.


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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Native, SoLoMo driving gains
                            • Figure 1: U.S. social network ad sales, 2009-17
                          • Social carries one in seven online ad dollars
                            • Figure 2: Social network share of total online ad sales, 2009-13
                          • The networker
                            • Penetration on pause, frequency on rise
                              • Figure 3: Any use of social networks, January 2012 vs. March 2013
                            • Ads need to aim young
                              • Figure 4: Positive response to ads on social networks, by age, March 2013
                            • Brand interactions ramping up
                              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward brands and products on social networks, by age, January-August 2012
                            • Moms get viral
                              • Figure 6: Use of social networks, by parental status, March 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues in the Market

                                • Do we care what brands or products our friends like?
                                  • Figure 7: Impact of friends’ likes on purchasing habits, by age, January-August 2012
                                • Are the opinions of friends more valuable than those of strangers?
                                  • Mobile social: One step forward or two steps back?
                                    • Figure 8: Use of social networks away from home and work, March 2013
                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                  • More viral potential among young, affluent, moms
                                    • Figure 9: Number of friends on most heavily used social network, by age, March 2013
                                    • Figure 10: Number of friends on most heavily used social network, by household income, March 2013
                                  • Youngest adults most viral
                                    • Figure 11: Attitudes toward sharing content, by age, March 2013
                                    • Figure 12: Viral behavior on social networks, by age, January-August 2012
                                  • Moms talking about networking
                                    • Figure 13: Viral behavior on social networks, by parental status and gender by age, January-August 2012
                                  • Digital privacy preferences as segmentation
                                    • Steering clear of indifference
                                        • Figure 14: Attitudes limiting value of social networks to brands, by age, March 2013
                                        • Figure 15: Creating vs. browsing comments, by age, January-August 2012
                                      • Partnering with check-in services
                                        • Figure 16: Frequency of use of check-in services, by age, March 2013
                                    • Trend Application

                                        • Inspire Trend: Locavore
                                            • Figure 17: Use of social networks away from home and work, by age, March 2013
                                            • Figure 18: Trends related to mobile use of social networks, by age, March 2013
                                          • Inspire Trend: Attention Economy
                                            • Figure 19: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by number of friends, March 2013
                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by number of properties followed or liked, March 2013
                                          • Mintel Futures: Generation Next
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Key points
                                              • Social goes native
                                                • SoLoMo to drive sales
                                                  • Sales and forecast
                                                    • Figure 21: U.S. social network ad sales, at current dollars, 2009-17
                                                    • Figure 22: U.S. social network ad sales, at inflation-adjusted dollars, 2009-17
                                                • Competitive Context

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Reaching young, affluent difficult offline
                                                      • Figure 23: Shift from traditional media to online media, by age, January-August 2012
                                                      • Figure 24: Shift from traditional media to online media, by household income, January-August 2012
                                                    • Share of online ad sales doubles from 2009-13
                                                        • Figure 25: Social network ads share of total online ad sales, 2009-13
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Majority of teens and adults own a smartphone
                                                            • The rise of phablets
                                                              • Rollout of 4G
                                                                • Figure 26: Attitudes toward cellular internet speed, by cellular service provider, September 2012
                                                              • Data allotments largely limited on mobile web
                                                                • Figure 27: Monthly cellular data allotment, by age, September 2012
                                                              • Wi-Fi offers free access to mobile web
                                                                • Figure 28: Devices used to access the internet at home, February 2010-August 2012
                                                            • Leading Companies

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Facebook: Four times the daily usage of any competitor
                                                                  • Figure 29: Frequency of visits to social networks, March 2013
                                                                • Frequency of visits to Facebook still climbing
                                                                  • Figure 30: Number of visits to Facebook in past 30 days, February 2009-August 2012
                                                                • LinkedIn makes gains
                                                                  • Figure 31: Use of social networks, January 2012 vs. March 2013
                                                              • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                • Ryan Holmes is watching these social networks
                                                                  • Medium
                                                                    • Figure 32: Medium homepage, May 2013
                                                                  • Pheed
                                                                    • Figure 33: Pheed homepage, May 2013
                                                                  • Flayvr
                                                                    • Figure 34: Flayvr album screenshot, May 2013
                                                                  • Thumb
                                                                    • Figure 35: Thumb homepage, May 2013
                                                                  • Chirpify
                                                                    • Chirp
                                                                      • Figure 36: Chirp homepage, May 2013
                                                                    • Facebook developments
                                                                      • Graph Search
                                                                        • Voice
                                                                          • Facebook Home
                                                                            • Custom Audiences
                                                                              • Lookalike Audiences
                                                                                • Facebook Exchange
                                                                                  • Gifts
                                                                                  • Social Network Usage

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Age and gender primary segments
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Use of social networks, by age, March 2013
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Frequency of visits to social networks, by age, January-August 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Use of social networks, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Frequency of visits to social networks, by parental status and gender by age, January-August 2012
                                                                                      • Mombook
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Number of visits to Facebook in past 30 days, by parents with children in household, January-August 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Use of social networks, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                      • Mobile social
                                                                                        • Figure 43: Use of social networks away from home and work, by age, March 2013
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Use of social networks away from home and work, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                      • Young men like checking in
                                                                                        • Figure 45: Use of check-in services, by gender and age, March 2013
                                                                                    • Brand Interaction

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Interest in following brands on the rise
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Attitudes toward following brands and sharing interest in brands, January 2011-August 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward following brands and sharing interest in brands, by age, January-August 2012
                                                                                          • Figure 48: Number of properties followed or liked, companies/brands vs. entertainment, March 2013
                                                                                          • Figure 49: Number of properties followed or liked, by age, March 2013
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Media followed on social networking sites, by age, January-August 2012
                                                                                        • Segmenting networkers by attitudes toward brand interactions
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by age, March 2013
                                                                                        • Response to Ads

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Social ads primarily for 18-44s
                                                                                              • Figure 52: Responses to ads, by age, March 2013
                                                                                            • Above for guys, below for gals
                                                                                              • Figure 53: Responses to ads, by gender and age, March 2013
                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Hispanics stand out
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Frequency of visits to social networks, by race and Hispanic origin, January-August 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Media followed on social networks, by race and Hispanic origin, January-August 2012
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Number of visits to Facebook in past 30 days, by languages spoken in home, January-August 2012
                                                                                              • Social network ads of greater interest to multicultural groups
                                                                                                • Figure 57: Attitudes toward social networking sites, by race and Hispanic origin, January-August 2012
                                                                                            • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                              • Gender and age
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Response to ads, by gender, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 59: Attitudes toward social networking, by gender and age, March 2013
                                                                                              • Parental status
                                                                                                • Figure 60: Any use of social networks away from home and work, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 61: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 62: Response to ads, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 63: Number of friends, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 64: Number of properties followed or liked, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 65: Attitudes toward social networking, by parental status, March 2013
                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic origin
                                                                                                • Figure 66: Use of social networks, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 67: Use of social networks away from home and work, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 68: Number of properties followed or liked, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 69: Attitudes toward social networking, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 70: Responses to ads, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 71: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2013
                                                                                              • Household income
                                                                                                • Figure 72: Use of social networks, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 73: Use of social networks away from home and work, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 74: Attitudes toward social networking, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 75: Attitudes toward interacting with brands on social networks, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 76: Responses to ads, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 77: Use of social networks, by household income, March 2013
                                                                                              • Social network usage
                                                                                                • Figure 78: Attitudes toward social networking, by use of social networks away from home and work, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 79: Responses to ads by properties followed or liked, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 80: Responses to ads, by number of friends, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 81: Attitudes toward social networking, by number of friends, March 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 82: Attitudes toward social networking, by number of properties followed or liked, March 2013
                                                                                            • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                              • Foursquare
                                                                                              • Google, Inc.
                                                                                              • LinkedIn
                                                                                              • MSN (USA)
                                                                                              • MySpace.com
                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                              • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                              Social Networking - US - June 2013

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