Social Media Advocacy: Facts and Statistics

I’ve become tired of the “How are advocates different from influencers, and who is more valuable?” social media debate. Anyone else?

However, advocacy in social media fascinates me, including understanding the behavior and the business value of advocates. Chad Bryant, a colleague at Engauge, and I are in the process of compiling a point of view “Skinny Paper” for Engauge on the power of user-generated content and advocacy. Below are some facts and stats, which are sneak peek excerpts of the working version. 

The Behavior of Advocates As Differentiated from the General Web Population

Who are advocates? They are a very different breed than the typical web user. They are:

  • Content creators: They produce and curate more than more than 2x as many online communications about brands as the average web user. 75% more likely to share a great product experience. 3x more likely to share product opinions with someone they don’t know [BzzAgent].
  • Native social media users: 2.5 more likely to use social media as a means to expand their friend network [BzzAgent].
  • Likely to recommend brands: Recommend brands about 26 times annually. 83% more likely to share information about a product than typical web users [BzzAgent].
  • Influencers within their communities: 50% more likely to influence a purchase [BzzAgent].

Advocacy Cultivation Links to Business Results

Brand customers/consumers are sharing, regardless of whether that brand is part of the conversation.

  • 54% of internet users have posted original photos or videos to websites [Pew 2013]. These individuals are called “content creators.”
  • 18% of cell phone owners use Instagram. 43% of 18-29 year olds use the app [Pew 2013]. 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram [Business Insider].
  • Millennials and women: Among internet users, young adults ages 18-29 are particularly likely to post pictures they take online. women are more likely to do so than men. More than half of women do so, along with more than three-quarters of young adults (ages 18-29) [Pew 2013].

And, people are listening. Brand advocates are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by people around them [University of Rhode Island].

And, changing their behavior because of the content advocates share. 25% of people choose to engage with brands because they want to join the community of brand fans [Lithium]

Which impacts a business’s bottom line.

  • Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than 2x the sales of paid advertising [McKinsey]
  • A 12% increase in brand advocacy, on average, generates a 2x increase in revenue and growth rate and boosts market share [HBS Press]

Stay tuned for a “Social Skinny” on the power of user-generated content and advocacy within the next few months.

Thanks to a few interweb publishers, in particular to BzzAgent and Andrew Reid (@reidandrew), for collecting and curating some of this fantastic research. 

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