In our report, Sharing is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy, we revealed that sharers in the collaborative economy are more likely to participate in online activities.
As you can see in the infographic below, people who participate in the collaborative economy are more likely to engage in many different kinds of online activities. From social networking to sharing photos online, re-sharers (those who have shared on used product sites like eBay and Craigslist) are more online than non-sharers; neo-sharers (sharers who have used next-gen sharing apps and websites, in addition to used product websites) are also more online than re-sharers.
At SXSW Interactive 2014, we took a closer look at sharers' online activity by combining survey responses with social media profile data. As explained by our research partner, Crowd Companies' Jeremiah Owyang, neo-sharers have more Twitter followers and more Facebook friends. They also post more often on Facebook and like more Facebook pages.
When Jeremiah first identified the emergence of the collaborative economy, he pointed out that this is the next phase of social business. While it makes intuitive sense that neo-sharers are more likely to be active online (since you need to be online to use sharing services), our findings support Jeremiah's claim that the people that have pushed social media into the mainstream are now fueling the growth of the collaborative economy.
Given that sharers are active online, what do companies need to do to reach this group? For one, companies should look into using social media sites aggressively, not just to engage sharers but also to build their capacity to collaborate with customers and get to know the people in this economy.