While it’s not a surprise that social media is growing it can often be a bit stunning to hear some ‘actual’ numbers to back up the assertions and assumptions that the industry itself can be prone to making. The latest data that tells us about who is involved in social media comes from Arbitron and Edison Research via MediaPost.
What it shows is that the young crowd has greater saturation in who has profiles but the older age groups are seeing large percentage increases in social networking profiles. This should make marketers happy because the older the person the more money (supposedly) there is to buy stuff. Overall, though, about half of the people in the US aged 12 and older have at least one social network. Here’s a picture for you.
You can get a copy of the Arbitron presentation here.
Another point of interest in the study, which was done in January on the phone with 1,753 participants includes the following insight into the importance of TV vs. the Internet. While the percentage growth of use in social networks is on the climb in older Americans it is obvious that if faced with a choice between the Internet or TV, the older you are the more tied to TV you are.
With so many people tied more and more to their social networks online there is plenty of work for marketers to do. What will be the most important task is to make sure that marketing programs are never weighted too heavily toward one medium or another. It is not likely that an online only approach will yield optimal results and the same holds in the reverse.
So while the numbers may be interesting what will be most interesting is the response by those trying to reach consumers through these channels. How do you see this playing out between the Internet and TV in this decade? When we look back in 2020 will the Internet be the king or will there still be a balance? We would love to hear your thoughts.