Social media trends in 2021  Get the report

As part of this week’s series on social media, yesterday we explored the rise of more “purposeful” social behaviors alongside sharing. The social usage motivation with the biggest increase since 2015 is using social to research products, so today we highlight how brands can still thrive with less personal sharing taking place on social.

Part of the reason why social engagement is shifting from personal sharing to more purposeful activities is because accessing social media is now more of a mobile app based activity.

Browsing on mobile lends itself to passive behavior, dipping into networks as-and-when.

It’s no surprise that Gen Z and Millennials, as the most mobile-first generations, are most likely to say they go on social to fill up spare time.

Yet if we look at an audience of Social Browsers, we can see that they are actually a brand-engaged group on social. Over half of them use social networks in their product research, and for younger Social Browsers, social rivals search engines as a research channel. On top of this, they are frequent engagers with brands on social platforms, whether through liking, following, sharing, or commenting.

Social Browsers may be quiet about themselves on social media, but they are brand-engaged.

They may not necessarily share content themselves, but they are receptive to the content that brands put out.

Social Browsers are internet users aged 16-64 who say they use social media to fill up spare time, and in the past month have logged in on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to see what’s going on without posting themselves.

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