Senior executives frequently follow links recommended by friends on Facebook, but at present the majority don’t feel the brands on the site are relevant to them, according to a Facebook survey to understand social media attitudes among affluent users.
The research, which was conducted by Sparkler, identified five wealthy social network user types:
* The ‘business elite’ (13%) are the most wealthy of the groups and tend to use Facebook for personal interests.
* The ‘social network hungry’ (16%) are most likely in their 30s and tend to be early adopters.
* The ‘Facebook residents’ (21%) have the lowest income of the top tier surveyed, but live out their whole lives on Facebook.
* The ‘Facebook observers’ (35%) are an older segment and are more family orientated. They are likely to be newer entrants to social networks and slightly more reserved.
* The fifth group is the ‘unsocials’ which don’t incorporate Facebook or any other social network into their lives.
The research was conducted to see how online consumer behaviour has changed among the more wealthy and how relevant social networks are for luxury brands.
Looking at the ‘business elite’ the research showed that Facebook is their personal outlet and a break from work, whereas Twitter and LinkedIn remain more professional. Only 8% of business people will connect with those they don’t know on Facebook, compared to a third on LinkedIn.
As such they would be more receptive to brand messages and recommendations from friends, as they have carefully selected their news feed. The business elite also have the highest privacy settings.
Recommendations from friends are important to the group though. One 42 year old male respondent said, “I do notice what friends like too. I wonder why they like it and I can ask them. There will always be a reason why they like it. Recommendations definitely play a role.”
The ‘Facebook residents’ are also an affluent group and less than one in five is on any other social network. They often let friends know about products and services and are very conscious of what friends and family think of them as a result of Facebook.
The are happy to connect with brands, but expect to see high quality brands on Facebook.
One 32 year old male respondent said, “The news feed is all about you. If I’ve seen a friend of mine has liked a brand and it’s something that I’m also interested in of course I’ll check it out.”
The ‘social network hungry’ use social networks in general as a path to purchase and on Facebook in particular are most likely to leave messages and receive special offers from brands.
They are also the creators and pushers of content and see it as an essential tool for getting information.
The ‘Facebook observers’ are the largest group among the affluent consumers surveyed and their social networking mirrors their offline behaviour with 100% of respondents stating the main benefit of Facebook is to connect with friends and family, which are also their biggest influencers.
The research covered the UK, France and Germany and focused specifically on the top 20% of earners in each market, breadwinners and decision makers.
Top earners were based on the Ipsos EMS media survey of affluent people, which found there are 26.8m Facebook users per month among the top tier. Two thirds (68%) are young, affluent metropolitans under the age of 44 and seven out of ten have used Facebook in the past 30 days.
The EMS survey also discovered that 53% of C-suite professionals have used Facebook in the past month as have 55% of decision makers.
James Chadwick, Facebook head of pan-Euro accounts, said the social network has also worked with Nielsen to quantify its targeted data, which found that in general when targeting a group of 18-34 year old women only 35% of them actually fit the bill, whereas on Facebook it is 90%.
He pointed to a number of examples such as MGM Resorts which looked to reach guests with custom audience data and achieved an ROI of between three and 12 times.