Thanks to email and social networking sites, using the Internet to share information is now the first port of call for most adults in the US. But what do you think is the most popular platform, email or social networking sites?
Chadwick Martin Bailey has just released results from a survey of 1,504 American adults (aged 18 and over) which has given us some answers to this question.
Results show that email is still the most popular platform used when sharing information via the Internet, with 86% of respondents saying they use it to share news about a family member or friends, family photos or videos, funny videos, coupons/discounts, news articles etc. Compared to 49% of respondents saying that they use facebook to share information.
However, when you break down the statstics by age, it’s interesting to see a reverse in the trend. When it comes to 18-24 year olds, 76% say they share information via facebook and 70% via email. A sign of the times perhaps?
So, how do people decide what is worth sharing over the Internet?
Interestingly enough, it all comes down to selfish reasons!
72% of respondents say their decision is based more around what they thought was interesting or amusing, rather than what the recipient might think.
Of this 72%, 45% said their single biggest reason for sharing content was because they enjoyed it themselves.
When this 45% were asked about how they felt about the value of the information they were sharing, it’s interesting to see different motivations broken down to age groups.
67% of those aged 55 and older said they shared information because they thought it might be useful to the recipient, compared to 45% of 18-24 year olds.
These differences are more than likely related to how the information is shared, whether it’s via email vs facebook. Emails tend to be sent to either a single person or a small group, whereas sharing via Facebook sees people sharing with their entire list of friends – and younger users are more likely to share this way.
But what about mobile Internet users? Is email still the top of the list for them?
Although social networking sites are closing the gap, email still remains one of the most popular activities for people to share information using their mobile phone.
According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 34% of all US mobile subscribers used their phone to collect their email during May 2010, compared to 23% who used their phone to visit a social networking site.
However, times are a changing and Bridge Ratings predict that mobile social networking will overtake mobile email usage in the next 12 months. One of the main reasons for this is the growing use of smartphones not only in the US but around the world.
So, what’s the best platform to use to share your business information and get the best results?
It’s not rocket science and you know it already. It all depends on your audience.
Here’s some no-brainers to keep in mind
- If people find your content interesting or amusing, they’ll share it. Whether it’s via email or Facebook.
- Don’t just focus on social media, email still has it’s place and will do for a while yet.
- When putting together your marketing strategy, split your data by age groups and communicate with them how they prefer to communicate, not what’s going to be eaiser for you. Mobilize Mail can manage all this all for you!
- Making it easy for your customers/friends/family to share information is essential to the success of getting your information out there.