They are considered one of the most difficult audiences to reach – the educated and affluent. But once a marketer connects with this group, it can tap into the influence these consumers have over their friends and families. Increasingly, marketers can reach this select consumer group through Google and Facebook. However, they need to assure these consumers that they will protect their privacy.

On average, about 60% of consumers access Google in a typical week.  And about 43% of consumers say they have a Facebook page. However, some demographic groups use these online resources more than others as the following figures show:

Google Users with Highest Access Rate:

  • Ages 18 to 29: 83%
  • Consumers with household income over $90,000: 85%
  • Postgraduates: 87%
  • Men: 63%

The Facebook user base is similar although women use the site more than men and college grads, not postgrads, have the highest use rate when statistics are filtered through the lens of education:

  • Ages 18-29: 73%
  • Consumers with household income over $90,000: 55%
  • College graduates:  58%
  • Women: 45%

Gallup pollsters rightly suggested that both Google and Facebook provide an avenue for marketers to reach elite consumers. These companies are now often competing for marketing dollars as they expand their offerings to lure even more consumers. But consumers remain concerned about their privacy when they visit these sites. The top worry for Google visitors is Internet viruses (54%). And 65% of Facebook users equally fear invasion of their privacy and Internet viruses.

For now, both sites are able to deliver an elite consumer base to marketers. As they introduce new functionality, they have an opportunity to attract  more users and marketing dollars if they take steps to protect the privacy of elite consumers.

[Source: Morales, Lymari. Google and Facebook Users Skew Young, Affluent and Educated. Gallup.com. 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2011]