Key takeaways from Pew’s new social media survey

In the past, I’ve written about Pew Research and their surveys on social media.  Pew has now released an update to their annual social media survey, and there are some very interesting results in here:

  • Facebook growth has topped out from 2013, with 71% of online adults using the platform in 2014 – the same as the previous year.  This might be a matter of the network having simply maxed out – there isn’t much growth left to be had!
    • Engagement on Facebook, however, continues to increase. In 2013, 63% of Facebook users used the site on a daily basis – that number is now 70%.
  • Other networks, however, grew significantly over the past year: LinkedIn 22-28%, Pinterest 21-28%, Instagram 17-26% and Twitter 18-23%.
    • This survey would confirm what others are saying: Instagram is growing very, very fast, and you have to pay attention to it now as an elected official.
    • Pinterest is a female dominated network: 42% of online women use it, with just 13% of online men doing the same.
  • In 2013, 42% of online adults used multiple social networks – that’s now at 52%.
  • Much of the info in this study pertained to online adults. However, check out the statistics among ALL American adults:
    • 58% use Facebook.
    • 23% use LinkedIn (side note – I’d be curious to know what that actually means – I know a lot of people who have a LinkedIn profile but never use the network).
    • 22% use Pinterest.
    • 21% use Instagram.
    • 19% use Twitter (this is fascinating to me, though it’s worth noting that LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram have specific objectives or demographic niches – Twitter has a broader reach).

Anyway, if you use social media extensively, the survey is worth checking out. Some key takeaways for government users:

  • Facebook is still the place to be, and will be for the immediate future.
  • Pinterest is great for accessing a female audience, but the key is content, and that’s a tougher nut to crack: Pinterest content tends to skew towards brands, food and retail, and I don’t know if there is a government place for the network…yet.
  • LinkedIn remains the best for business networking, but again, government uses are still somewhat limited.
  • Instagram users are young – over 90% are under 35 – and that’s a demographic that you need to hit.

Any thoughts to add? Please let me know in the comments!

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