Facebook and Twitter: 2010 social demographics

So if you had any questions as to who is on Facebook and Twitter, this graphic  from DigitalSurgeons.com (technology company, not actual surgeons) shows some interesting information about Facebook and Twitter users. 

Of the 500 million Facebook users 41% login every day and almost a third of them log in through a mobile device.  Women use it a little bit more than men, and the 18-34 year olds are the biggest users representing 52% of the usage combined.  This interesting and I am starting to notice real world examples supporting the average usage age.  In my personal life I am starting to notice that some in this age group will answer Facebook messages more often than regular email. 

Twitter is a fifth of the size of Facebook with only 106 million users.  A slightlyolder crowd uses Twitter, the 26-44 year olds are the largest group at 57% combined.  Only 27% of the users login every day but of those that login over half (57% update their status).  While only 25% of the users follow a brand on Twitter, that group is extremely loyal, 67% of the followers will purchase that specific brand.  Compare that with the higher number of brand followers on Facebook (40%) who are less loyal and purchasing that specific brand (51%). 

So what does this mean for libraries, medicine, and hospitals?  One look at the age tells you that Facebook and Twitter are not solely the realm of teenagers.  Adults are using it and make up the largest group of users.  So it stands to reason that our library users are on Facebook and Twitter.  Reaching out to them with the right message in the right way is the next step.  This may sound like a far fetched idea, but if users continue to use Facebook more than email, do we need to look at ways to send them overdue notices?  Just one thought.  Medical schools and residency programs already are recruiting people through Facebook.  Medical schools and well endowed hospitals track through Facebook or have Facebook pages to facilitate donations.

Brand loyalty is something that is extremely important to hospitals.  Hospitals are always looking at ways to get new patients, keep the ones they have, and measure patient satisfaction.  For example, not only will good HCAHPS scores mean more physical money to the hospital, but satisfied patients are more likely to return and less likely to go somewhere else for another procedure.  I am not trying to compare Twitter loyalty to HCAHPS scores, I am just saying that brand loyalty is extremely important to hospitals and Twitter is just another example illustrating how some people show their brand loyalty. 

Should you run out and create a library Facebook or Twitter account?  Well not if you don’t have a plan or reason to use it, but you shouldn’t dismiss it either or think of it as something just for people who work with teenagers.

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