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8 in 10 British internet users are active on social media, with 68% on Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media site in the UK, with 68 per cent of internet users being active on the site, followed by Twitter (28 per cent) and LinkedIn (26 per cent).

The study conducted by InSites Consulting found that the increasing number of smartphones worldwide is leading to an increase in social media use; with 66 per cent of smartphone users are active on social media on a daily basis, as opposed to 48 per cent of people without a smartphone.

Professor Steven Van Belleghem said: "The results of our study clearly illustrate the importance of mobile internet. Apart from entertainment, consumers also use their smartphone for a broad range of practical online applications. Navigation and weather monitoring applications are especially popular. The fast-paced mobile evolution has given fresh momentum to the use of social media.

"So many companies out there are wasting a golden opportunity. Most of them only worry about likes and the number of fans, while forgetting about customer co-creation. Social networks provide the perfect platform to involve consumers in the development of corporate strategy. Consumers are able and willing to provide added value in this respect, but unfortunately most companies have yet to recognise these opportunities.”

The study, which surveyed 7,827 people from 19 countries, shows that the average consumer is a member of two social network sites, with 95 per cent of these having no intention of abandoning their regular sites, while 60 per cent are unwilling to create a new account.

It was found that Pinterest and Instagram seem to be attempting to buck this trend, with each site reaching 5 per cent of surfers in the UK.

Van Belleghem suggested: “Consumers are clearly satisfied with the currently-available range of social network sites. A small group of consumers is constantly on the lookout for the latest thing, but the vast majority prefer a status quo. Only sites that bring something new to the mix are able to arouse the consumer’s interest, which explains the success and potential of Instagram and Pinterest. Both sites offer something that neither Facebook, Twitter nor LinkedIn have, and that’s why consumers are interested”.

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