Here’s What Americans Say They Most Commonly Post About on Social Media

July 28, 2016

HarrisPoll-Adults-Social-Content-Posts-July2016More than 3 in 4 American adults engage in social media in some way, finds a report from The Harris Poll. The study indicates that of those engaged in social media, passive reacting or posts and content is the most common form of engagement, with far fewer mostly creating and posting original content. Still, users typically post about some areas more than others.

Most commonly, adults post about their families, with about 1 in 3 saying they typically do so. Next up is humorous content such as memes, quizzes, lists and videos, with 3 in 10 typically posting such content. That fits with previous research indicating that humor is a key motivator of social sharing behavior.

Meanwhile, adults are about as likely to post about pets (17%) as they are about kids, travel and food (each at 18%). Even in the run-up to the election, few (11%) profess to typically posting about politics, though.

Unsurprisingly, these responses differ markedly by age and other demographic variables, as highlighted below:

  • For youth (18-34), humorous content is most commonly shared (by 43%);
  • The 35-44 bracket shares content about family the most, while also being more likely than other age groups to share about kids;
  • Affluent Americans post about travel (26%) more commonly than other income groups; and
  • Parents with kids under 18 in the household are more engaged with social media than those without kids in the household, and are equally or more likely to post about all the topics measured.

Also as expected, the 18-34 age group is the most engaged with social media, as almost 9 in 10 engage in some way. This age group is also the most likely to be exposed to multiple ads on social media and to count those ads as an influence on their purchases, per MarketingCharts study data.

Finally, a separate survey of Facebook users from Fractl indicates that men and women are equally likely to share funny videos or articles and news content. Results from the survey indicate that Millennials are the least likely to share political content and the most likely to share memes, with the opposite patterns true for Boomers.

As for the buzz-worthy employee advocacy trend? Just 7% of respondents to the Harris Poll say they typically post about work, with this most common among 35-44-year-old females (15%).

About the Data: The Harris Poll notes that its survey was “conducted online, in English, within the United States between June 7 and 9, 2016 among 2,034 adults aged 18+. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.”


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