Social networking is (again) the activity that internet users spend the most time doing. It’s been this way for a few years now, and Experian’s latest report confirms it’s still the case.
Experian says that, in the U.S., 27 percent of every hour spent online is spent on social networks and forums — that’s about 16 minutes out of every hour. Entertainment sites (nine minutes per hour) and shopping (five minutes per hour) are second and third, respectively. Here’s what a typical hour of online time in the U.S. looks like:
This is actually down a bit from Experian’s similar report a year ago, when time on social media sites was about 30 percent of every hour. But that seems to be because the data only applies to how we spend time when we’re using computers; it doesn’t include activity on mobile devices.
And social networking is big on mobile devices. Facebook recently announced that it has more daily mobile users than PC/desktop users, for example. Twitter recently announced that 60 percent of its 200 million active users access Twitter via mobile devices on a monthly basis.
According to Experian, social networking is the No. 2 activity in the U.S. on mobile devices, behind only email. Facebook recently sponsored a study that similarly showed email as the top mobile activity, with web browsing second and Facebook itself as the third most-common mobile activity.
Why It Matters to Small Businesses
This data is one of the first slides that I share when I speak at Local U workshops (and obviously I need to update it now). I share it to make the point that small businesses can’t ignore social media; it’s where we spend a lot of time when we’re online, whether it be on the desktop or on mobile devices.
That’s not to say that all small businesses should dive headfirst into social media marketing; I’d never suggest that. But I do think it backs up my idea that there’s value in at least showing up on social media.
By the way, if you’re doing business in the UK or Australia, the Experian news release has similar for those areas.