Social Media: Who Uses It and Why?

by | Aug 26, 2009

Would it surprise you to learn that the biggest gains in who’s using social media are among older users? According to a report in eMarketer, “consumer internet barometer” U.S. internet users who visited a social site in the 2nd quarter of ’09 rose 16% over last year. Females still lead males in usage and 70% of users were under the age of 35. The most popular sites in order were: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter.


US Internet Users Who Visit Social Networks, by Gender and Age, Q2 2008 & Q2 2009 (% of respondents in each group)

Now that we know who uses it, we can tackle the why.

According to a post in eMarketer, marketers surveyed by Marketing Sherpa in late 2008 found that increasing brand reputation and awareness, along with improved search engines, headed up the reasons why they thought social media was an effective tool. Blog or social media advertising, online news release distribution and blogging led the way as far as tactics they thought to be useful.


Social Media Tactics that US Social Media Marketing Professionals Feel Are Measurable and Effective, December 2008 (% of respondents)

Now based on what you just read, what do you think business executives think of social media?

Sean Callahan from BtoB online reported recently on a survey conducted by Russell Herder and Ethos business law that business executives were grappling with social media. The online survey of 438 executives showed:

  • 51% fear social media and that it could be detrimental to employee productivity
  • 49% said social media could damage the company’s reputation

At the same time they said:

  • 81% can enhance relationships with customers
  • 69% can aid in recruiting
  • 64% it could function as a customer service tool

About 70% say they are going to increase their social media, however only 33% had a social media policy in place.

I don’t know about you, but I think these guys are talking out of both sides of their mouth. The only thing they should do is support a social program. They should stick to what they know and do well and let the marketing departments do their jobs.

What are your thoughts?


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