No. Not us. We’re talking about your customers.

New research shows that large numbers of your customers are under the influence, most of them every day… and many, multiple times per day! In fact, they’re averaging almost a quarter of their time under the influence, even when they’re out and about.

No, you can’t help them. You don’t WANT to help them, so get the idea of a mass intervention right out of your head. Instead, if you aren’t already an enabler you need to make the effort to become one.

Now… before you fire off an angry email… let us make our point.

We aren’t suggesting your customers are stumbling around intoxicated. (Well, that’s not our general point. As with anything, we’re sure there are exceptions.) We’re saying – and we can prove it, with fancy graphs and everything – that they are under the influence of social media… and, by extension, each other.

A new Nielsen study has found that not only are nearly four out of five active internet users on social media and blogs, but active social network users are more influential than the average adult internet user.

And keep in mind, active social networkers are also consumers. On average, they’re 75% more likely to be heavy spenders on music, and 47% more likely to be heavy spenders on clothing and accessories. What’s more, a full 70% of them shop online – 12% more than average.

And, they consult social media when they spend money.

…60 percent of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site. Forty-eight percent of these consumers responded to a retailer’s offer posted on Facebook or Twitter.

But it doesn’t stop there.

What’s that old saying about opinions and how everybody’s got one? Yeah… that’s the one. Well social networkers not only have opinions, they’re more likely to share them.

The study found active social media users 26% more likely to give their opinion on politics and current events, and 33% more likely to give their opinion on television programs. More importantly, 60% of social media users create reviews of products and services.

Consumers frequently trust the recommendations of their peers, making social media an ideal platform for influencers to spread their ideas and purchase power.

Now consider that social media mobile applications are third most-used type of app in America, with Facebook ranking as the most popular across all operating systems.

As the influence of social media – and those using social media – continues to grow, it’s crucial for traditional media, retailers, brands and advertisers to understand how different consumer segments use and share content.

We couldn’t agree more.

Now you see how many of your customers – and potential customers – are under the influence. If you haven’t joined them, now’s the time. (Consider this our version of peer pressure.)

C’mon… all the cool kids are doing it.