July 09, 2009

What Your Favorite Social Network Says About You

Advertising Age has an interesting article about a study that was conducted about the users of various social networks.

The survey was conducted by Anderson Analytics this past June. It covered a variety of areas and breaks down a number of the social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.

There were a number of things that I thought were interesting, such as the information about people who do not use the networks:
Contrary to what some might think, people who spurn social media aren't tech haters. In fact, they spend as much time as social-media fans surfing the web. But they say they don't use social media for three basic reasons: They don't have the time, they don't think it's secure or they think it's stupid. While the first two groups -- which Anderson labels "time-starved" and "concerned" -- may be swayed to join eventually, don't hold out much hope for the last group: 94% said they will never use social media.

About 22% of time-starved people said they'll be using social media within three months, and another 27% said they probably will within a year -- when they get the time that is; they're more interested than all others in pursuits such as exercise, entertaining, music and movies.

The concerned non-users are an older demographic (one-third are retired) who don't use social networks because they're worried about their privacy. However, they do recognize value in social media and may join as they become more comfortable with it.

That makes sense to me. It fits with what I have been told and what I have observed. That is not to say that my experience is going to be applicable in all situations, but...

I avoided using Twitter for a long time because I didn't see the value proposition, but I have long since changed my mind. I thought that the information on that was interesting as well.
This is the super-user group. Twitterers are more interested than the others in many subjects but skew particularly high in all news categories, restaurants, sports, politics, personal finance and religion. They also especially like pop culture, with music, movies, TV and reading, ranking higher than average. And their buying habits mirror that. They're more likely to buy books, movies, shoes and cosmetics online than the other groups.

Twitterers are also entrepreneurial. They are more likely than others to use the service to promote their blogs or businesses. How do they keep going? Coffee, apparently. Some 31% buy coffee online, far above the average 21% of other social networkers.

They're more likely to be employed part-time (16% vs. 11% average), have an average income of $58,000, and average 28 followers and 32 other Twitterers they're following. They're not particularly attached to the site, though -- 43% said they could live without Twitter.

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