107 million us adults belong to at least 2 social media networks. Of those people, 73% belong to 3 networks, 56% belong to 4 and 23% have accounts with 7 or more social networks. (I’ll bet most of you can’t even name more than 7 social networks in 30 seconds!)
Why so many accounts? 72% of users say it’s because certain platforms are simply better suited to different interests. Because of that, 60% connect with different types of people and brands on different networks.
You’ll find this data in a new whitepaper from IPG Media Labs and 140 Proof called “A Network for Every Interest: How People Actively Manage Their Social Profiles Across Multiple Platforms.”
Since I spend so much time on the internet for work and play, I can’t consider myself an average user. However, as with many of the folks in this survey, my social media boundaries are pretty clearly defined. There are less than five people that I follow on more than one network. Twitter is my clearing house for general chatter and business info. For brands, I prefer Facebook because it’s easier to skim for deals and coupons. The people I follow YouTube – I don’t bother with them on any other network because I get all the info I need from them in my daily subscription feed.
Let’s see how I stack up compared to the “average” users:
This chart from the whitepaper shows the percentage of people use a platform based on topic. Twitter only rises to the top once – for celebrity news and gossip. This makes sense because many celebs maintain public Twitter accounts but few open their personal Facebook accounts to the world.
Pinterest comes out on top, as you would expect, for home decor and fashion and beauty. Home decor is the area that has the biggest gap between Pinterest and the next most popular network – so no competition there. Business goes to LinkedIn with Instagram and Pinterest barely a blip.
Facebook claims food and dining, family and parenting, and brands. Twitter’s in the brand game, but it’s really not even close. This matches up with my usage but even I’m not really sure why.
The takeaway here is that even though the majority of your customers prefer to interact with you on a specific platform you still can’t abandon the others. Even if only a small percent follow you on Twitter, that’s a percent that you need, especially if you’re a small business where every single customer is needed to make the rent.
I suppose, for sanity’s sake, you could split this chart in the middle and forget the bottom half. So, if you’re all about B2B, skip Instagram and Pinterest. If you’re in home decor, pass on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
61% of the people in this survey said they have no problem unfollowing when a brand is no longer useful. So instead of doing a poor job keeping up 7 networks. Do an excellent job on 3 and trust that your customers will figure it out.