Demographic Segmentation and Social Media

A recent study of social networks (n=5,000) from Anderson Analytics probes usage and loyalty to the top social networking sites. (Data are US only.) The company estimates roughly 110 million social networks users out of an online population of roughly 190 million, or about 57% penetration of the online population.

Which network is the most valuable:

  • Facebook — 75%
  • MySpace — 65%
  • LinkedIn — 30%
  • Twitter — 12%

Which network could you “probably do without”:

  • Twitter — 43%
  • MySpace — 35%
  • Facebook — 29%
  • LinkedIn — 29%

Usage overlap:

Picture 13

These data are ominous news for MySpace in my view. Accordingly, users could abandon MySpace for FB with minimal “switching costs” because lots of people are using both. This is what largely happened to Friendster. As that site stumbled, people switched to MySpace. However MySpace is used by younger audiences than Facebook overall.

Average age of users:

  • MySpace — 29
  • Twitter — 33
  • Facebook — 34
  • LinkedIn — 36

Gender differences: “By a margin of 55% to 45%, there are more women than men using social networking sites regularly.” LinkedIn apparently skews male, while FB skews female:

  • Facebook: Males (44%) vs. Females (56%)
  • LinkedIn: Males (57%) vs. Females (43%)

Here is eMarketer’s compiliation of the Anderson data:

Picture 14

And here are the asserted reasons why people are using these sites:

Picture 15

As the chart immediately above suggests, there’s limited commercial intent among users. It’s not surprising then that social networks have a mixed track record as ad vehicles (as other data show). Still Anderson found that half of users have “followed a commercial service, product, or brand”:

  • 50% of participants said they have followed a commercial service, product, or brand on a social networking site
  • 46% report saying something positive about a brand on a social networking site
  • 23% have said something negative about a brand
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5 Responses to “Demographic Segmentation and Social Media”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    If “there‚Äôs limited commercial intent among users” how are usage and loyalty converted into network “value”?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    “Value” here is the value that the users place on the different social networks. How important they are in their daily lives –not $$ value generated or commercial potential

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