News, Tech

Want Black Bucks? Use Social Media

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by Burney Simpson
Staff Writer

The buying power of African Americans has reached $1 trillion, and could grow to $1.3 trillion in the next few years, according to the The African American Consumer 2014 Report, which was recently released by Nielsen and Essence magazine at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The survey found that African Americans are early adopters of new technology and are heavy users of digital media, a finding borne out atEssence, Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications, toldThe NorthStar News & Analysis. “We have 2.8 million unique visitors to our site each month, and most visit on a Smart phone or mobile device,” said Ebanks. ”The use of Essence social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, others – has grown 200 percent in the last year.”

African-American women are twice as likely to spend more than 3 hours a day on social networking sites compared with other consumers, said Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, senior vice president at Nielsen.
“We seek to marry the buying power of African Americans with consumer buying patterns to see where we spend our time and money,” said Pearson-McNeil.

Along with a national survey of adults over 18 and an online panel, Nielsen and Essence conducted in-person interviews at the Essence Festival in New Orleans this year to gather the data.

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