There were 190 million adults online in the USA in 2008. Out of those, 80 million spent on average 14 hours a week in online social networks.
There were 11 million social network users in 2005, expected to grow to 115 million in 2013.
For businesses and social media marketers, this is a massive pool of consumers that appeared almost overnight. One can argue that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Where did they come from and how are they growing – looking at the graph, the growth is coming primarily coming from the left with kids getting older and from the bottom where the older (35+) generations have began to use Social Networking.
An important thing to note about the younger generation is that they no longer want to use email. “I use email with my parents, with my teachers and with my employers. When I talk to my friends, I use Social Networking.” For a business, that means that if you market to younger generations, you need to be on Social Networks because that is where your customers are.
Well, 80 million social network users at 14 hours a week is more than 1.1 billion social networking hours per week… so what are they doing there?
- 90% keep up with friends
- 57% making plans with friends
- 50% making new friends
- 43% organizing new events
Bottom line is that Social Networking is a social movement – and as a businesses and an individual, you need to engage, join and participate.
Numbers are from Harris Interactive (Dec, 2008), eMarketer (Feb, 2009) and Pew Research (Jan, 2009).
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