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Americans are using social media—online forums, blogs, and social networks—to conduct a huge variety of every-day activities, from professional networking and consumer products research to entertainment and dating, according to a survey from NM Incite.

Most (89%) socially networked adults use social media* to stay in touch with friends and family, but nearly two-thirds use social channels to read consumer feedback and find product information, and nearly one-half use such channels for professional networking: 

  • 66% read consumers reviews, 54% share positive feedback, and 50% share negative feedback.
  • 60% find information on products and services, and 58% find promos and coupons.
  • 48% use social media for career networking, and 28% do so to find jobs.

More than two-thirds of socially networked adults (67%) use social media for entertainment and 64% do so as a creative outlet.

Below, additional findings from NM Incite's report titled "The State of Social Media." 

The most common reason Facebook users add "friends" on Facebook is because they know them in real life: 82% say knowing someone offline is reason to add them on the social network; 60% add friends because they have mutual friends; and 11% add friends because they share a business relationship.


Some Facebook users add friends because they are physically attractive (8%) and others simply want to increase friend-count (7%).

Offensive content is the top reason Facebook users remove friends from their network on Facebook (55%), followed by not knowing a person well enough (41%), sales soliciting (39%), and various other breaches of social media etiquette.


Other key findings from NM Incite: 

  • Men are more likely than women to use Facebook for professional networking and dating. 
  • Women are more likely than men to use Facebook to connect with real-life friends, snag deals, and express creativity. 
  • Women are more likely to remove friends for offensive comments or a weak offline relationship. 

*Social media includes Internet forums, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, video sharing, consumer rating, and other social networking websites. 

About the data: The "State of Social Media Survey" polled 1,895 social media using adults (age 18+), recruited online from March 31 to April 14, 2011, via online forums, blogs and other social networking platforms.

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