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Analyzing Social Network Profiles

One-third of American adults have a profile, says Pew's 'Fact Tank.'

Ava Seave By Ava Seave
03/18/2009 -09:05 AM


If you haven’t yet looked at the data and reports coming out of the Pew Internet & American Life Project you should. The information provides an important context to any integrated marketing efforts with solid and consistently updated surveys. The Pew Internet Project—an effort of the Pew Research Center, which thinks of itself as  a nonprofit “fact tank” rather than a think tank—has as its mission to explore the impact of the internet on a our day-to-day lives:  Families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.
 
A report Pew issued in mid-January 2009 gives lots of details about adult social networking. The data are about people 18 + years old—so no kids in these numbers.  Overall, 35 percent of American adults who are online have a profile on an online social network site.  (This is much lower than the 65 percent of online American teens that they collected in a different study.) 
 
There are real differences in demographic groups by age, and, not surprisingly, in the directions we would predict: Younger—and poorer, which is frequently a proxy for younger—are more likely to have a profile. Whites, at 31 percent, are close to the average number in having social networking profiles, but African-Americans (43 percent)  or Hispanics (48 percent) are much more likely to have a profile on an online social network.
 
All Adults        35%

Sex
Men                 35%
Women            35%

Age
18-24              75%
25-34              57%
35-44              30%
45-54              19%
55-64              10%
65+                 7%

Race
White, non-Hispanic      31%
Black, non-Hispanic       43%
Hispanic                       48%

Annual HH income
less than $30,000         45%
$30,000 to $49,000      38%
$50,000 to $74, 999     30%
$75,000 +                   31%

Source:  Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, December, 208; n= 2,253, with 1,650 internet users; internet users margin of error +/- 3%


Ava Seave is a Principal of Quantum Media, a strategy and marketing consulting group.

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