Corporate Eye

Americans and Social Media in 2013 – 3 out of 4 Online Adults Use Social Networks

social media on iphoneAccording to the new Pew Research Center 2013 social media study, 73% of online adults in the United States use a social networking site with 71% using Facebook, making it the dominant social networking site in the U.S. Facebook users are also the most engaged social networkers. However, that doesn’t mean the news is bad for other social networks.

In fact, 42% of online adults in the U.S. use multiple social networking sites. Pew Research Center tracked usage of five social media sites for its study: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Of those online adults surveyed in this study, 36% use only one social network (84% of them use Facebook) while 22% do use social networks but not the five included in this study.

As mentioned above, Facebook users are the most engaged. The study found that 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once per day. Believe it or not, two out of five Facebook users (40%) visit the site multiple times each day. Other social networks with high user engagement are Instagram with 57% of its users visiting the site at least once per day and 35% visiting multiple times each day and Twitter with 46% of users visiting once per day and 29% visiting multiple times per day.

Overall, every social media platform included in this study saw an increase in users among U.S. online adults during 2013 with the most growth going to Pinterest followed by Instagram. Here is the year-over-year breakdown in the percentage of U.S. online adults using each social media site by year:

  • Facebook: 71% in 2013 (up from 67% in 2012)
  • LinkedIn: 22% in 2013 (up from 20% in 2012)
  • Pinterest: 21% in 2013 (up from 15% in 2012)
  • Twitter:  18% in 2013 (up from 16% in 2012)
  • Instagram: 17% in 2013 (up from 13% in 2012)

The study also found clear demographic differentiators between users of each of the five social media sites. Pinterest users are four times more likely to be women than men, and LinkedIn users are more likely to be college graduates and from higher income households. On the other hand, Twitter and Instagram (whose user bases are quite similar) were found to be most popular among younger adults.

As you’re planning your brand social media marketing programs for 2014, factor these current user behaviors and demographics into your strategies and tactics. While some of these social media sites are quite new, others are becoming more mature. Audience growth rates are leveling out and statistics from studies like this one from Pew Research Center are far more useful today than they were a few years ago. Don’t ignore the data.

 Image: Jason Howie

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.