Netpop Research LLC released a report "Social Networkers US: Who they are and what they mean for next generation advertising." The report's results were drawn from a projectable sample of 4,384 broadband users, in order to pinpoint the specific demographics, online behaviors, preferences and “passions” of online contributors and social networkers.
Some interesting notes from the report:
* There are 40 million active social network users in the US.
* The number of US social networkers has grown 93% since 2006.
* 76% of broadband users actively utilize social media - uploading photos, blogging, rating products, etc.
* Social networking is poised to play a vital role in the current economic downturn - much like movies did, during the Great Depression. The report also predicts a related increase in social media advertising opportunities. This is turning everyday users into natural connectors, promoters and influencers.
* US social networkers are most likely to be single, employed women, age 18-39 and living somewhere between Indiana and the Atlantic Ocean, or along the west coast.
* A typical social networker connects weekly with an average of 18 people one-to-one, and 110 people one-to-many.
* Social networkers spend an average of 36% of their online time talking and sharing. This compares with 29% for non-contributors to social networks.
* Social networkers use multiple modes to communicate and stay in touch. These include IM, texts, blogs and microblogs.
* The top two social networks in the US are Facebook and MySpace. Currently, 60% of social networkers use Facebook, 63% use MySpace and 34% use both. However, Facebook has grown 500% between 2006 and 2008, catching up to MySpace in regular users in the past year.
* Other social networking sites are popular among subsets of US users with broadband, including employed networkers (who use LinkedIn, Friendster, Plaxo); students (who use IMeem, LastFM, and Veoh) and retirees (who use reunion, Groups.Google and Classmates.com).
* Social networkers also are much more likely to shop and spend more online than their non-contributing peers. Social networkers buy a variety of products and services and spend an average of $101 online per month, the study found. This compares with non-contributors to social networks, who spend $80 per month.
* The top sources used by social networkers when making shopping decisions are search engines, brand or manufacturer sites, online-only retail sales and auction sites. Some 6% also use social networking sites to decide what to buy.
Source: SocNets Grow 93% Since 2006; Poised to Play Role in Recession, www.MarketingCharts.com, Jan 13-09