Only eight per cent of internet users in the UK, or 2.3 million people, actively upload content and reviews to the internet, but these individuals enjoy a disproportionate influence over the wider web community.
A report by research firms Brand Genetics and Hall and Partners, carried out for web development company Agency.com, suggests that this small group of uploaders is informing the behaviour of millions when it comes to brands, products and services.
Although uploaders are not overly trustful of advertising, they are positive towards brands and are more likely to be brand advocates.
Some 83 per cent of uploaders actively recommend a product or service that they like, but the challenge is to make them brand advocates.
The average uploader is also socially well connected. They belong to twice the number of offline clubs, communities and societies as other internet users, and to four times the number of online communities.
Uploaders communicate to more people more often, sending three times as many text messages and having an average of 60 people in their IM buddy lists.
"It is important to look at the people driving social media and work out how to engage them, rather than just jumping on the latest MySpace or YouTube bandwagon," said James Clifton, European planning director at Agency.com.
"We believe that uploaders are a powerful force where the worlds of word-of-mouth marketing and social media collide, and this research provides interesting insights into the make-up of these uploaders."
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