Mark Zuckerberg got bio-pic-ed and chosen Time’sin 2010. The iPad gave us opportunity to carry the internet with us (something our phones let us do for a couple of years, but who wants to type even 140 characters with those phone keyboards?). joined the ranks of social media, especially mobile social media, and too many other SM portals over the calendar year to try to list here.
With so much energy and interest pointing to social media and its influences on our habits, purchases, and language, we might want to remind ourselves that a mere 8% of Americans use Twitter at all.
A Pew Internet report on social media focused on participants’ uses of Twitter in an effort to parse numbers on specific SM services (previous surveys tended to lump all social media together). The report reminds us of just how thin a slice of Americana is engaged with the communications service (at this point):
In this survey, 8% of online adults said they do use Twitter—with 2% doing so on a typical day. This survey also showed that 74% of American adults are internet users, meaning that the Twitter cohort amounts to 6% of the entire adult population.
In itself, we might get the impression of the tail wagging the dog, because – if you are one of the 6%, or even a casual peruser of Twitter – once inside the micro-blogging universe, it is easy to equate it with the whole online universe.
But if you or your organization is not engaged in that micro-universe, be prepared to be left behind because that universe will expand. Within the currently small numbers of Twitter users, some notable demographic trends are clear. Women under 30 are the largest group of regular users of Twitter. So are college graduates in urban environments. A ‘whopping’ 18% of Hispanics use Twitter as well.
Why are these numbers worth culling from the report for commentary? Younger women, younger college-educated, women, are taking positions of power and influence in unprecedented ways. They will bring with them their comfort with SM in general and Twitter perhaps especially. They will encourage their business partners, their academic peers, the board of their philanthropies… to get on board. Many of them will pass those interests and that social medium on to their children. And as the Hispanic population continues to grow in numbers and economic influence in the US, that 18 percent will continue to grow exponentially in real numbers.
So it might be that 2010 was ‘The Year Social Media Became A Powerful Minority Influence,’ which is not too catchy. But it is already clear that in 2010 social media have been most adapted and enriched by sectors of the population that seem to assure the long-term growth of SM. Is your organization, business, or philanthropic association working with these media and reaching these growing online communities?