The majority of Americans (73%) now use a social media network of some kind, and 42% use multiple social networks, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
The survey of 1,801 respondents also found that while consumers are increasingly joining more social networks, Facebook remains the dominant platform. Nearly three quarters (71%) of online adults now use Facebook, and usage among seniors has increased significantly in the last year. Some 45% of internet users age 65 or older use the social network, up from 35% who did so in late 2012. Women are also particularly likely to use Facebook: 76% of women on are the platform compared with 66% of men.
As Adweek points out, the Pew data shows that women outnumber men on most social networks, including Twitter (18% of women/17% of men), Instagram (20%/17%), and especially Pinterest (33%/8%).
The one exception is LinkedIn, which is used by 24% of online men and 19% of women. LinkedIn usage is also especially high among people with a college degree or higher, and among those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.
Additional key findings from the Pew report include:
- Facebook and Instagram exhibit especially high levels of user engagement: a majority of users on these platforms check them on a daily basis.
- Twitter adoption levels are particularly high among younger adults and African-Americans.
- Instagram adoption by internet users ages 18-29 has increased from 28% in late 2012 to 37% in 2013, and adoption by African-American internet users has increased from 23% to 34% over the same time period.
- Pinterest users skew slightly towards the affluent side—those in the highest income bracket are more likely than those in the lowest to use the platform.
- LinkedIn is the only social media networking site for which usage among 50-64 year olds is higher than usage among those ages 18-29.
For brands, the data highlights two important points. First, social media networks are now clearly effective platforms for reaching a mass audience. Second, if you are looking to reach a particular demographic group, you should make sure to adjust not just your content but also which networks you post to.
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