Somerville, New Jersey–Nearly 58 million Americans share a daily habit. It’s being called the “social habit” in a study conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron. The report finds that online consumers, surfers, marketers and others use social media in a big way. For businesses, the findings point to key behaviors that can shape how brands, products and services are marketed.
Of the 2,020 people interviewed via land line and mobile phone, researchers learned that social networks are so ubiquitous, they’re part of most people’s everyday lives. Facebook lead the pack in name recognition, with 93 percent of respondents saying they were familiar with the site. Twitter came in a close second, with 90 percent of interviewees stating they knew the brand. Surprisingly MySpace was familiar to 80 percent of those polled, while Google+ and LinkedIn were known by 45 percent and 39 percent respectively.
Facebook also took the largest slice of users–the survey estimated about 143 million Americans have a profile, with almost one-third of those users having an account for three years or more. Twitter likewise garnered some impressive numbers, seeing engagement increase from 69 in 2011 up to 76 percent in 2012. What’s more, 43 percent of Americans heard about “tweets” through traditional media.
The potential bad news came from users of daily deal sites, which has been suffering a steady decline. Only 23 percent of social media users have a daily deal profile. Sources say sites like Groupon and LivingSocial aren’t a big draw. Moreover, there’s a phenomenon of buyer’s remorse associated with Groupon.
Privacy concerns are impacting check-ins, as 57 percent of users in the poll stated they “never” check-in. This trend spells trouble for the site Foursquare, which outlasted Gowalla, a check-in site that ceased operating in 2012.
Smartphones play a big part in social media, with 4 out of 10 accessing the networks at least once per day. The study also found television viewing is significantly less among engaged social users.