Joe Meloni

A report from the Coca-Cola Research Council and the Integer Group segmented social media users into creators, bonders, professionals or sharers. Each group, the study suggests, has found an increasingly large role for the channel in their daily lives with the causes reaching from career development to interaction with brands using social media marketing. Marketers should take note that “sharers,” who are likely to become brand advocates, spend multiple hours on networks each day, necessitating frequent social content updates.

At least 20 percent of the users in each group spend three or more hours on social networks every day, but this jumps to 23 percent among sharers. Another 40 percent of this segment spend up to three hours on social media daily. Only the professionals category had a substantial portion of those included in the study saying they do not use social every day, with 18 percent reporting they access networks “every other day or so.”

Aside from differing demographics, the four categories also have distinct appeal for companies using social media marketing. Each is likely to follow different kinds of businesses with similarly dynamic motivations.

The organizations found that bonders, for example, skew female and follow companies on social networks to get offers and provide their content friends who may also be interest in these products or services. Food and grocery companies were followed by 41 percent of those users, followed by electronics and technology companies (31 percent) and fashion and apparel brands (18 percent).

In terms of the marketing platforms that best reach bonders, the study suggests they are most likely to access a brand’s Facebook Page.

The valuable sharer follows similar types of businesses, however, these users are more likely to advocate for companies they enjoy shopping and buying from. Moreover, sharers are more likely access content marketing campaigns, with websites being more popular than social pages among the sharing crowd. However, many of them access websites through social networks.

Both the professional and creator groups skew male and are more focused on research and potential offers than sharing social media content with their own followers. Similarly, both of these personas are more likely to convert after reading a brand’s website content, but they follow social paths to get there very frequently.

As the study noted, “All personas are quite active across a wide variety of online activities such as blogging, watching videos, researching/purchasing products… uploading and viewing pictures and reading the news.”

Social media marketing‘s growing value applies to companies in all sectors and industries. Brafton recently reported that increased social access has led to more businesses opting to expand their investments in social in 2012.