Study: Who's On Which Social Nets
The study suggests that Twitter has become more popular than LinkedIn, more than half of U.S. consumers who tap social networks belong to more than one, and that those who belong to a social net are four times more vocal about products and services than those who don't.
Anderson Analytics CEO Tom Anderson says the biggest surprise from the study reveals that Twitter has become more popular than LinkedIn among social network users in the United States.
Aside from posting tweets, Twitter users tend to blog frequently. In fact, more than 20% have their own blog, many of which trumpet social causes. These consumers make good evangelists for brands, he says.
Anderson's study aims to help marketers understand the type of people who frequent each social network. For example, it debunks the myth that Facebook attracts only kids. In fact, the Anderson study suggests that the ideal age group for Facebook spans from 15 to 34, but 44% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 30% of 45- to-54-year-olds say they have profiles, too.
And while more people are experimenting on social networks, only 10% of users report having ever created a duplicate or experimental profile. More than half of social network users have associated their profiles with a brand, company or product. While much has been written about negative nature of Web 2.0 and blog posts, social network users are more likely to say positive things about brands, companies or products.
The average user logs into a social network account about four times daily, five days a week, and spends about one hour per day on the network. About 31.8% are business users; followed by 26.3%, fun seekers; 21.8%, social media mavens; and 10.1%, leisure followers.
"Baby Boomers and the World War II generation are getting on Facebook, mostly prompted by their kids or younger relatives," Anderson says. "These folks tend to buy things online more often, as well."
About 90% of those surveyed from the WWII generation on a social network say they use Facebook; compared with 23% on MySpace; 17%, Twitter; and 4%, LinkedIn. Females comprise 63%, compared with 37% men.
The study suggests that advertisers looking to connect through social networks will likely find consumers ages 15 to 24 on MySpace, versus 18 to 34 on Facebook, 15 to 34 on Twitter, and 18 to 44 on LinkedIn, according to Anderson.
The Anderson Analytics study tracked U.S. user behavior for 11 months. In May, the firm surveyed 5,000 users, and then conducted a 15-minute survey of more than 1,000 users and 250 non-users, age 13 and older. Users were defined as signing on to a social network within the past 30 days.