In the early days of marketing on social networks, advertisers who took the plunge were likely to find a receptive and engaged audience that was enthralled with the possibilities that the new technology offered. As social networking platforms reach saturation rates, it’s natural to question how much of the audience will remain engaged and in what ways. eMarketer has published new information on this topic which is especially important for marketers who are considering their strategies.
eMarketer data indicates that the growth rate in social media adoption by consumers is leveling off. Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of online consumers using social networks grew from 52.3% to 60.1%. Between 2010 and 2011, the growth rate slowed and only 3.6% of online users started using social networks. By 2013, analysts see 67% of online users or 164.2 million U.S. consumers participating in social networks.
It’s no surprise that the highest penetration rates, currently at 83% for 18–24 year olds, will likely continue to occur in the younger demographics. By 2013, 93% of 18–24 year olds will use social networks.
From an advertiser perspective, well over ½ of consumers between the ages of 35 and 55 will participate in social networks at least through 2013. The question is, how active will they be? Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst says both media companies and marketers will need to create “compelling user experiences that make people want to stay connected to social networks so they can gain access to experiences, deals or content they may not be able to find anywhere else.”[Source: Day of Double-Digit Growth in Social Network Users are Over. Emarketer.com. 18 Mar. 2011. Web. 4 Apr. 2011]