Home Who Uses Social Networks and What Are They Like? (Part 2)

Who Uses Social Networks and What Are They Like? (Part 2)

Read Part 1 of this post here.

In a recent study by Anderson Analytics, the demographics and psychographics of social networking users on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn were revealed. The ultimate goal was to provide marketers with information about users’ interests and buying habits as related to their network of choice. The end result is a detailed look at the profiles and habits of social networking users on the web today. Here we’ll delve into the details about the specific networks studied.


As we’ve heard before, Facebookers are older and better off. They are more likely to be married (40%), white (80%) and retired (6%) than users of the other social networks. They have the second-highest average income ($61,000) and an average of 121 connections.

In general, there is no one area of interest for this group of social networkers. Out of 45 categories, national news, sports, exercise, travel, and home and garden skewed only slightly higher than the rest. This is likely because this network has the most users and contains a high number of users within each demographic.

Facebookers are also extremely loyal: 75% say Facebook is their favorite site and 59% say they’ve increased their use in the past 6 months.


MySpace users are young and there are less of them on the site than there were in the past. Even those participants who reported using MySpace said they had used the site less in the past six months.

The users of this network are more interested in having fun, specifically in the areas of entertaining friends, humor and comedy, and video games. They’re less into exercise than any other network. Oddly enough, despite the youth-skewed demographics, they seek out parenting info more than users of any other network.

The average income of the MySpace user is the lowest ($44,000). They’re more likely to be black (9%) or Hispanic (7%) and single (60%) and students (23%).


Twitter users are more likely to be employed part-time (16% vs. 11% average) and have an average income of $58,000. The average Twitter user has 28 followers and follows 32 others.

The Twitter group is especially interested in news, restaurants, sports, politics, personal finance, and religion. They’re also really into pop culture with music, movies, TV and reading ranking higher than average. Their buying habits reflect those interests, with this group being more likely to buy books, movies, shoes, and cosmetics.

However, this group is not that loyal to the network: 43% said they could live without Twitter.


It should come as no surprise that a network of business users is the one that has the highest average income ($89,000). Also not surprising is that LinkedIn users joined the network for business or work purposes, specifically for keeping in touch with business networks, job searching, business development, and recruiting.

They tend to like news, employment information, sports, and politics. They’re also more likely to be into the gym, spas, yoga, golf and tennis. Interestingly enough – and perhaps because they can afford to do so – LinkedIn users own more electronic gadgets than users of any of the other social networkers. In particular, they enjoy digital cameras, high-definition TVs, DVRs and Blu-ray players.

However, when these guys unwind, they have some interesting interests: gambling and soap operas. 12% seek gambling information online (vs. an average of 7%), while 10% go online for soap-opera content (vs. an average of 5%).

This group is more likely to be male – it’s ratio of male to female users is 57% to 43%.


The findings of this study have confirmed in some cases what we already knew about the different demographics of these networks. However, they’re still helpful since the more sources that confirm the same demographics, the more likely they are to be accurate. In addition, by surveying social networkers’ interests, the study reveals some interesting insights into the various groups, like how one group is more pop-culture focused and another spends more time at the gym. That info is invaluable to marketers looking to best capitalize on their social network ad spending.

Anderson Analytics will be releasing the full report next week. If you’re interested, you can check their site for more details.

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