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Back to the Always On Consumer

Meet the Social Butterfly:

1) Cross-platform devices and activities
2) Online vs. traditional content consumption habits
3) Mobile
4) Shopping
5) Leisure
6) Media and advertising
7) What makes the Social Butterfly unique?
8) Demographic profile

1) Cross-platform devices and activities
Social Butterflies are always connected to the internet – this type has high usage across all internet-enabled devices. Computers, tablet, games consoles and MP3 players all index very highly with Social Butterflies – with the exception of the Working Professional, the appearance of computers in preferred devices is in contrast to other Always On Consumer types, as Social Butterflies also work hard and play hard, so can often be found connecting to the internet from the work place.

But, whatever the device, for Social Butterflies, the real draw is social networks and the need to constantly keep in touch with their friends and acquaintances. As a result, social network usage indexes highly across all devices.

Social butterflies are at least three times more likely to access social networks across every connected device.

2) Online vs. traditional content consumption habits
For Social Butterflies, any technology that makes keeping in touch with their friends simpler is popular.  There is a higher propensity to use mobile devices, but they will still use traditional internet-enabled methods – such as desktop computers – if this is more convenient at a specific time. Primary activity on such devices focuses around social networking and instant messaging.

Social Butterflies are amongst the biggest users of e-readers across the four Always On Consumer segments – their always-on-the-go behaviour often sees them consuming all types of content, even for leisure, on the device most convenient to them. 

In light of this need for real-time content on the go, traditional methods of media consumption have slipped down the priority chain for Social Butterflies. Although they are slightly more likely than average to watch TV and nine per cent more likely to read magazines, they are ten per cent less likely to have read a newspaper than the average consumer – the biggest drop amongst all of the consumer types.

3) Mobile
Social Butterflies depend on their mobiles for internet access wherever they are, and see their device as a connection to their social world. Social Butterflies are three and a half times as likely to check their emails, almost five times more likely to use social networks and almost four times more likely to consume news on their mobiles. For Social Butterflies a mobile device is an expression of who they are, not for business, and so they tend to opt for more user-friendly interfaces.

Mobile has a particularly strong influence on the decisions Social Butterflies make about certain life choices – they tend to use mobiles as a source to get information, and feel that mobiles should be a tool that allows them to get tasks done in the real world.

4) Shopping
Social Butterflies are huge advocates of social shopping, seeing social networks as their primary source of reliable retail information. They are three and a half times more likely to purchase something seen on a social network and four times more likely to purchase something recommended by peers in this environment. Advertising direct to mobiles does not hold the same sway, with social butterflies only 36 per cent more likely to opt into advertising on their devices.

Because of this, peer reviews are particularly important for Social Butterflies who take an avid interest in the opinions of others when it comes to selecting a particular brand or product. Social Butterflies are four times as likely both to post a review online,  and talk about a purchase on a social network.

When it comes to offline shopping, Social Butterflies go for a mixture of value and style. For them, clothing and fashion becomes more about what they like and what suits then, rather than what others have. Mid-range retail brands such as H&M and New Look all index highly in this group. They also tend to steer clear of department stores, preferring to shop on the high street for their specific items.

5) Leisure
Social by name and social by nature, Social Butterflies like to keep their spare time packed with activities. They are over twice as likely to have visited a bar or nightclub and 85 per cent more likely to have been to a comedy performance in the last twelve months. Social Butterflies are not huge fans of going to the cinema, but they prefer group activities such as bowling.

Physical fitness is also important to Social Butterflies – they are regular gym goers, and also likely to take part in activities such as yoga and running.

6) Media and advertising
Fast-paced media consumption is most popular with this group, reflecting their social and always-on-the-go nature. They are twice as likely to state that the internet forms their primary source of entertainment. They are regular visitors to news and gossip sites, and have a high index across social networks such as Flickr and YouTube. Twitter is also more popular with Social Butterflies than other consumers, with 22 per cent of Social Butterflies logging into the site on a regular basis.

Offline media consumption is limited for Social Butterflies; this group is over one and a half times less likely to consume media via radio, print or linear TV, preferring to consume online content such as blogs, video and music.

Social Butterflies are open to advertising; they are 28 per cent more likely to say that it helps them learn about a company’s products, 36 per cent more likely to be interested in receiving advertising on their mobile and twice as likely to say they would purchase something advertised to them in this way.

7) What makes the Social Butterfly unique?
Social is the centre of the universe for this group – more so than any of the other Always On consumer types. They are three times more likely to agree that without access to social sharing and networking sites they would feel alone in the world. There is almost a dependency on the need to be connected; they are three times more likely to access networks across multiple devices.

For Social Butterflies, internet enabled devices are for sharing and connecting – this group are at least two and a half times more likely to post on social networks, to click on links and to connect with others. It is interesting to note however that inbound connections are lower, with this group only twice as likely to receive requests to connect – they are more likely to go out and find new contacts and connections.

8) Demographic profile
Social butterflies are likely to be female, young, university graduates in well-paid jobs. Primarily aged between 18 and 34, Social Butterflies are likely to be unmarried but living with their partner, spending the majority of their spare time socialising with friends and enjoying leisure activities.
As their name suggests the Social Butterflies’ dominant online behaviour according to Experian’s Mosaic Digital Insights classification is ‘Social Connectors’, using the internet to keep in touch with friends and family via social networks.

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