Visitors to social media networks and services such as Facebook and Twitter shop more online than those who don’t go to such sites, according to comScore’s latest quarterly overview of the online retail economy, as reported by eMarketer. And in the case of Facebook, comScore’s figures show that the more frequently a user visits the social network, the more he or she spends online — $67 on average for heavy users of Facebook vs. $50 for a “light” user of the network and just $27 on average for a non-visitor (comScore defined a heavy user as anyone in the top 20 percent of visitors to the social network, as measured by time spent on the site).
The correlation between active visitors and spending habits online wasn’t as obvious for Twitter, however. While on one hand, comScore’s numbers showed that Twitter users tended to spend more than users of Facebook, heavy visitors to Twitter’s website — also defined as the top 20 percent in terms of time on the site — spent less on average than medium users or light users: $63 vs. $75 and $73, respectively (one factor that might affect these numbers is that a majority of interaction with Twitter comes through the company’s API, via third-party services and mobile apps).
Although $60-$70 may not seem like a huge amount for retailers to base their hopes on, the fact that visitors to social networking sites and services shop and spend more online than non-visitors is likely to increase their interest in the value of social media — and it could help explain why Facebook in particular has seen a rush of interest from advertisers: The network said recently it more than quadrupled the number of advertisers since the beginning of last year.
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