Consumers Expanding Their Use of Social Networks

Facebook may have been the first social network to achieve significant reach with U.S. consumers, but this site is not the only game in town.  Facebook still rules with marketers and a majority of consumers have a presence on the site based on the latest Pew Internet statistics. However, other networks are rapidly gaining commentsground and will prove to be fertile ground for marketers seeking to connect with specific types of consumers.

In 2013, Facebook continued to climb in popularity with 71% of online consumers following the site. But other sites are capturing consumer interest as the following percentages show.

  • LinkedIn 22%
  • Pinterest 21%
  • Twitter 18%
  • Instagram 17%

Pew Research notes that 42% of online consumers are now active on more than one social network. In addition, for consumers who only follow one such network, a small number are not using Facebook at all, but instead turn to LinkedIn 8%, Pinterest 4%, Instagram 2%, or Twitter 2%.

Marketers seeking to reach unique audiences may be interested in the demographics associated with sites others than Facebook:

  • Twitter:  About 18% of U.S. online adults use Twitter with women doing so at a slightly higher rate than men. In terms of ethnicity, about 29% of online Blacks use the site, a much higher than average number. Also, about 31% of 18–29 year-​olds are Twitter users.
  • Instagram: This site has quickly attracted about 17% of all online adults with a gender split of 20% women and 15% men. This site does particularly well with Blacks, 39%,  and younger consumers, 37% of 18–29 year-olds.
  • Pinterest: With 21% of all online adults accessing Pinterest, this site is the most likely to attract women. About 33% of women and 8% of men say they are Pinterest users. While 27% of 18–29 year-​olds like Pinterest, so do 24% of 30–49 year olds.
  • LinkedIn: 24% of online men are LinkedIn users compared to 19% of online women.  The site has successfully drawn in 30% of online Blacks yet only 22% of online whites. Other than Facebook, the LinkedIn audience skews older. Only 15% of 18–29 year-​olds are on LinkedIn while about 25% of online adults between the ages of 30 and 64 use LinkedIn.

The Pew numbers show that consumers are most likely (63%) to check with Facebook every day. But Instagram (57%) and Twitter are (46%) are not far behind with respect to daily activity. The increasing presence of social media in consumers’ lives is opening new opportunities for marketers.

To learn more about these specific audiences, such as Instagram Users, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.