Social Networking Usage Is Growing

According to a recent report issued by the Conference Board, almost half Internet users in the U.S. now take part in online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.  This is almost twice the rate measured just one year ago via the Conference Board’s quarterly Consumer Internet Barometer.  The survey tracks about 10,000 Internet-equipped households nationwide.

Some highlights from the survey. 

  • 43 percent use a social networking Web site, up from 27 percent last year
  • Seniors age 55 and older are quickly increasing their use of social networks, up from 6 percent last year to 19 percent this year.
  • Women are more likely than men to use social-network sites (48 percent versus 38 percent).
  • The majority of users log on at home.   However, 25% log in at work and 10 percent are now connecting to networks via a mobile phone.
  • More than half say they log on at least once a day.
  • The most popular site is Facebook, used by 78 percent of social network participants, followed by MySpace (42 percent), LinkedIn (17 percent) and Twitter (10 percent).
  • Facebook is equally popular among men and women, while women are more likely than men (47 percent versus 35 percent) to use MySpace and more men than women (21 percent versus 15 percent) use LinkedIn.
  • Users of Twitter said their top reasons for "tweeting" are to connect with friends (42 percent), update their status (29 percent), look for news (26 percent) and for work-related reasons (22 percent)

The results from this survey confirm the trends I am observing in the social networks and on Twitter.  These tools are moving into the mainstream.  As the mainstream adoption picks up, businesses will also be adopting these tools as a way to become more productive, find new sources of revenue, and reduce costs.  My advice to businesses is to understand how these new tools can be used to improve your processes and workflows, including CRM/Customer Service, Product Development, and Marketing.

For more information on the latest Consumer Internet Barometer report, check out the press release here