Survey: Time Spent on Social Media Growing

By Andy Meek

Judging by the public opinion survey released this week by Obsidian Public Relations in partnership with Research Dynamics Inc., the digital grid in Memphis is pulsating more than ever these days as a growing number of consumers joins the ranks of the connected.

The 2013 Mid-South Digital Engagement Survey released by the two companies shows that Memphians are spending more time online, they’re more digitally engaged and they’re doing a lot of that activity on sites like Facebook.


The point of the survey was to get a snapshot of what people are doing online, and how they’re doing it. This year’s 28-question survey was conducted between late June and early July and garnered 221 completed responses.

A little more than 43 percent of respondents were between 22 and 34. Sixty-four percent of those were female, while a little more than a third were male.

Among the survey’s highlights, 76 percent of respondents claimed to be digitally engaged “more than a few times a day.” Likewise, 60 percent check in on social media sites “more than a few times a day.”

Ninety percent use Facebook regularly, while the figures were 62 percent and 60 percent for YouTube and Twitter, respectively.

For the breakdown of who uses Facebook or Twitter, respondents said they preferred Facebook by a margin of about three to one. The platforms cited as least often used by respondents were Foursquare, RSS News Feeds and Tumblr.

“There are so many gemstones of insight in this year’s survey,” said Obsidian founder Courtney Ellett. “This is such a valuable opportunity for Mid-South businesses and nonprofits to learn more about user trends and better tailor (their) social media efforts.”

The survey dates back to 2011, when Obsidian and Research Dynamics joined forces to conduct what they billed as the first quantitative survey analyzing social media usage in the Memphis area.

That first survey was based around the landline. It was repeated in 2012. This year, though, the survey was conducted online and broader in scope.

It measured several types of “digital engagement” among people in the Memphis area, including social media, app and website usage.

Hal Fogelman, president of Research Dynamics, said this year’s survey was different in the sense that organizers wanted to zero in on trends within the landscape of digital engagement. That meant digging deeper than before, he explained.

Take, for example, those respondents who expressed their preference for Facebook. There were 176 respondents who mentioned a reason they use the site.

Almost 60 percent said they use Facebook to keep up with friends. From there, it drops down to 26 percent who say they used Facebook to keep up with family, then 9 percent to share and see pictures and 9 percent who use it to keep up with news.