The Social Habit – Answering Your Questions (And Announcing Our Winners!)

We were pleasantly surprised by both the quality and quantity of questions we received in our reader submission contest–so much so, that we decided to pick three winners instead of one. One thing that is very clear from the types of questions you sent us: we are all ready to start valuing social a little more smartly. So, without a doubt, the value of social media will be a clear focus for the first iteration of this series.

All three of the winning questions are going to be profiled and examined in more detail by Jay, Jason and Mark later this week–but for today, without further ado, here are the winning submissions:

When people research products and services they want to buy, where do they look? Facebook, Twitter (or other similar properties), blogs, user forums, reviews, [and/or] company websites? – Steve Dodd

For me, it always comes down to figuring out how to connect social media usage or activity to revenue. I guess I would ask “have you ever bought a product or service due to a social media interaction” … “have you ever recommended a product or service to others via social media”, or some variant of that. – Rhonda Hurwitz

I’d like to know which motivations are the driving force for various types of social media users, and what roles social media plays for them. Also what other activities/tools “compete” with social to fulfill those roles for each group? – Susan Baier

Great questions, all–and for posing them, our winners will not only receive a copy of our next Social Habit report for free, they’ll also get their questions answered. Now that’s a deal! Thank you, Steve, Rhonda and Susan, for your thoughtful queries–and a big thanks to everyone who contributed. You’ve helped us set a direction with our opening study, and I think you’ll like the results.

About the Author

Tom Webster is Vice President, Strategy for Edison Research - the company best known as the sole providers of all exit polling data for CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The AP and other major news providers. He is the principal author of The Social Habit. Find him on Twitter at @webby2001


  1. I’d like to see some data that delves a bit deeper…that seeks to understand WHY the demographics break the way they do. For example, I’d like to understand why Black American uses twitter at twice the rate of Whites and Hispanics as indicated here: What is driving that difference? I’ve heard some hypotheses, but never seen any data. The obvious follow on question, depending what is discovered, is whether there are demographic differences in the way that Twitter (or Facebook) is used by these various groups.

    • Susan Baier says:

      I couldn’t agree more with you, Sean. It will be fascinating to explore the attitudes driving social media usage, and see how they line up with the demographics. Most of the projects I do show little relationship between demographics and the attitudinal segmentation – I wonder if the higher minority usage of SM would be associated with a particular motivation, or even with the alternative resources for fulfilling that need among those user groups. Either way, I agree it’s the WHY that matters.

      • Tom Webster says:

        We’ve shown the Black American Twitter adoption as twice the population since we started publishing Twitter data in 2009 (as has Pew), so there’s a there there.

  2. I am very excited to have my question chosen, and even more excited to gain access to your first survey results, Tom. I agree with @seanmcginnis … more focused questions will yield more actionable insights. And from a company perspective, it is great to have a panel to tap when the need arises. Thank you again for being able to participate in this small way, in your launch!


  1. [...] winners have been chosen in The Social Habit’s call for research questions in the first of our quarterly research reports on the social media habit of Americans 12 and over. [...]

  2. [...] to see incorporated into the first run of the research. They received about 100 submissions, and selected three — and mine was [...]

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