“So this is America; they must be out of their minds.” Ringo Starr’s first words on landing in the U.S. rang truer than ever today when I perused data from a survey of 500 U.S. adults by 140 Proof and IPG Media Lab, showing that among the 52% of Americans who use multiple social networks, 23% (or 12% of the total) uses seven or more social platforms. To repeat with emphasis, they use seven or (and this is the really crazy part) more social platforms -- like the true number will never be known because the survey respondents ran out of room on the form. Could it be 30 platforms? 40? 50? At what point do you start having seizures?
Although not everyone is so prolifically promiscuous, most U.S. online adults qualify as multiplatform users, broadly speaking: as noted, over half of the online population uses two or more social networks, with 73% of these (38% of the total) using three or more, 56% (29% of the total) using four or more, 40% (21% of the total) using five or more, and 30% (15.6%) using six or more. On that note, the 140 Proof/IPG study also uncovered some interesting data about the behavior of multi-platform users.
Among the key findings for marketers, 72% of multiplatform users agreed that “different platforms are better suited to different interests of mine,” and 60% of respondents said they use different social platforms to connect with different types of people, media, and brands -- implying that users are strategically shifting between social platforms to expose different aspects of their identity on different networks. And the effects seems to be cumulative, in terms of identity, with 43% of multi-platform users surveyed agreeing that the more social platforms you connect with them on, the better you know them.
Oh, they’re also not afraid to dump your brand if the content isn’t relevant any more: among Americans who use two or more social networks, 61% said they have “un-liked” or “un-followed” a brand when its personal relevance for them decreased.
Turning to ad targeting, 58% of multi-platform users said they preferred to receive advertising based on their specific interests, as expressed in social media, compared to just 22% who said they preferred ads based on their past browsing behavior, and 20% who said they preferred ads based on their age and gender.