The rise of the super socials

superman-shieldSocial media strategist Jay Baer has come up with an interesting label for social media power users that I hope will stick. He calls them “super socials,” and as far as labels go, I think it’s a pretty good one.

Baer uses the term in his post 9 Surprising New Facts About Social Media in America, in which he shares a quick review of a new report about social media use. Baer reviewed Social Habit II, a new report from Edison Research and Arbitron that should be available soon.

Some of Baer’s conclusions weren’t all that shocking. The fact that the majority of Americans now use one or more social networks is no surprise. Nor was the news that Twitter, my social network of choice, is a thin sliver of the social media pie.

But the interesting thing to me was Baer’s fourth point, “The Emergence of the Super Socials.”

One-third of Americans with a profile on a social network, use those sites several times per day or more. This group of “super socials” (my label, not Edison’s) numbers 46 million, and increase of almost 20% in one year.

At least one table from the Social Habit II report calls super socials “Habitual Social Networkers,” so you can see why I prefer Baer’s term. It makes my use of social media sound less pathological.

Baer further defines super socials as:

  • In love with Twitter. They’re three times more active on Twitter than the total population.
  • In love with their smart phones. Fifty-six percent of super socials use smart phones, as opposed to 31 percent of the total population surveyed in this study.
  • More connected to brands via social media than the general population.

I think I fit the definition pretty well, although I’m not as connected to brands via social media than other super socials I know.

Based on this data, are you a super social?


Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

7 thoughts on “The rise of the super socials”

  1. Yeah, that sounds like me. And a lot of people I know. But I wonder how many of those people are in the communication field in some way vs. how many do so recreationally. Interesting!

  2. Yeah, I think I fall into the super social category. I like the title you gave it – because I was “super social” in college, without access to any social networks. Now I have less time to just hang out with folks, so my super social tendencies manifest online much more than they do in real life.

    I’d love to see someone explore Tim’s hunch about super socials being concentrated in the communication discipline.

  3. Tim – Good question. If my occupation didn’t require me to be so connected and I didn’t have a university-issued smart phone, would I be a super social? Maybe. But modern marketing/PR/communications disciplines tend to require a high level of connectivity that may not exist in other disciplines (Likewise, IT and web development require similar levels of connectivity.)

    Liz – You bring up an interesting point about how personalities may come into play with online social media preferences. Since I tend toward introversion on the Myers-Briggs scale, I tend to prefer smaller circles of friends in my offline world, but I do have a much broader extension via social networks, primarily with people whom I connect with around interests (whether higher ed, marketing, music, etc.). I think certain social media tools might actually encourage introverts like myself to get more connected online than we might be in real life.

  4. Super socials–love that label. Now the trick is (if you’re in marketing or PR), do you know who your super socials are, and are you listening to them? Thanks for info! Looking forward to seeing report if it becomes available to general public.

  5. Chris – Indeed, that is the next step. To drill down a little deeper, for those of us in higher ed marketing/PR: Who are the super socials in our traditional audience groups of prospective students, alumni, etc., and are we connecting with them in their preferred modes? There should be some good data to mine in terms of the preferences, affluence, etc., of super socials. Calling institutional research…

  6. I think I fit the profile of a super social myself. Although if I were being honest, a more apt description would be “super-addicted-to-computer-and-phone”.

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