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Twitter Catches Up With Facebook in Awareness

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The number of US consumers who say they are aware of Twitter has surged to 87% in 2010, up from 26% a year earlier; but despite that near-ubiquitous awareness, just 7% of the population—approximately 17 million Americans—use Twitter, according to a survey from Edison Research and Arbitron.

By comparison, 88% of surveyed consumers age 12+ say they are aware of Facebook, and 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook, roughly six times more than those who use Twitter; however, active Twitter users—those who access the site at least once a month—are over three times as likely as other social network users to follow brands: 51% vs. 16%, Edison and Arbitron found.

Below, other findings from the study, Twitter Usage In America: 2010, derived from the Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series.

Social networks have become mainstream for Americans: 48% of consumers age 12+ say they maintain a profile on a least one social networking site, compared with 34% a year earlier.

Some 42% of active Twitter users say they use Twitter to learn about products and services, and 41% say they contribute opinions about products and services.


One-third (33%) of those who use Twitter say they access the site at least once a day, while 15% visit less than once a month.

The Twitter Demographic

Active Twitter users are split nearly evenly between women (53%) and men (47%).

Other demographic-related findings:

  • The largest active user group (33%) is adults age 24-34, followed by adults age 35-44 (19%), teens age 12-17 (18%), adults age 45-54 (12%), younger adults age 18-24 (11%), and those age 55+ (7%).
  • 24% of active Twitter users are African-American, roughly twice the level of the African-American population (12%).
  • 63% of active Twitter users have a four-year college degree, compared with the 40% of the general US population who do.
  • 24% of active Twitter users live in households with annual incomes greater than $75,000.

Twitter Users More Active on Social Sites

Some 44% of active Twitter users say they visit social sites several times a day, compared with 30% of all social network users who do so.

In addition, over one-third (35%) of active Twitter users update their status daily on a social networking site.

Twitter Use via Mobile Device

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of active Twitter users say they access Twitter with their mobile device, compared with 34% of all social network users who access social sites via mobile devices.

In addition, some 19% of active Twitter users update their status on a social networking site via mobile device several times a day.

Twitter users are also more active SMS (short message service) text users: 73% of active Twitter users send and receive SMS messages several times a day, compared with 45% of all consumers who do so.


Looking for real-world examples of businesses achieving their social media marketing goals? Our 47-page case-study collection, Facebook Success Stories, shows you how to increase brand awareness, target specific markets, promote new products, and create communities that engage users. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.


Status Updating

Most (53%) active Twitter users are "lurkers," those who passively follow and read the status updates of other users without contributing updates of their own.

However, Twitter users are more likely to be status updaters across all social networking sites: 70% of active Twitter users say they post status updates on social networking sites and services, most likely Facebook.

By comparison, 55% of all social network users post status updates on social networking sites.

Advertising

One-half (50%) of active Twitter users say advertising would have no effect on their use of the site. Some 19% would use Twitter less, however, and 15% say they would stop using Twitter altogether.

About the data: Findings are from a nationally representative telephone survey (via landline and mobile phone) of 1,753 Americans age 12+ conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron in February 2010.


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