Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nielsen Study Shows What We Already Know- People Spend Too Much Time on Facebook

Posted by Katie Noonan

A recent study conducted by Nielsen found that in January of 2010 people spent more than seven hours on Facebook. In fact, according to Ben Parr of Mashable, the amount of time people spent on Facebook in January is more than the amount of time they spent on Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube and Wikipedia combined.

Anyone who checks their Facebook newsfeed (or is friends with that person who updates you on their every move in Farmville) knows that people spend an outrageous amount of time on the site. Depending on factors like age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and the like, the amount of time an individual spends will vary, but the findings from the study can’t come as a shock to many. In fact, I would have guessed that an individual spends as much as seven hours on Facebook a week rather than a month.

From a PR standpoint, the study shows that if you want to reach people where they are spending the majority of their Internet-browsing time, Facebook is your best bet. Whether it’s through advertisements or setting up a fan page for your business, Facebook can be an inexpensive and easy way to connect to your target audiences. There you’ll be able to grab their attention through a status update in their newsfeeds, an ad on the sidebar of their profile page, etc. The opportunities are limited only by your creativity and understanding of social media.

Just this week our client Bencardino Excavating started their own Facebook page and though it is still in the early stages, the company is already using it to share photos, videos and company news. This shows that any business can leverage Facebook to grow its business and reach its target audience.

As an aside, if you were struck like I was by the seeming lack of productivity these findings indicate, our friend and colleague Neen James has some great tips on how to use Facebook productively. We urge you to check them out!

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