Usage of social media

Browsing hundreds of sites a week (or even a day) and being an active part of the social media realm have become crucial parts of our professional lives. There are plenty of new job titles that focus around social media marketing, and while it is obvious that social media marketing has become a driving force for business, its original purpose was centered around social interaction outside of work.

Personal reasons for using social media networking sites differ from one user to the other. While some people use it for staying in touch with family and loved ones, others use it to find a date or follow celebrities and/or public figures. A recent study published by the Pew Research Center explores different factors that prompt users use social networking sites. Let’s dive into the stats.

Stay in touch with family

The study reveals that 66% of users turn to social networking sites for staying in touch with their family and friends. This percentage is the same for users with different age, education, income or race/ethnicity.

Surprisingly, one factor that caused a differentiation amongst users was gender. According to the survey, 72% of women use social networking sites for staying connected with friends and family, while only 55% of men turn to social media to stay in touch with family and friends.

Social Media Usage Stats - Stay In Touch With Family

Reconnect with old peers and connect with existing friends

According to the study, people under the age of 50 use social networking sites to stay in touch with existing friends and reestablish bonds with old friends. Approximately 7 out of 10 users under the age of 50 say that connecting with friends is the most crucial reason for using social media. More than half of them reveal that reconnecting with old peers is equally critical.

Social Media Usage Stats - Reconnect With Old Peers and Connect With Existing Friends

Share interests and hobbies

Sharing interests and hobbies is another popular reason for using social networking sites. This is especially true for the older population. The study reveals that 16% and 18% of people belonging to the age groups of 30-49 and 50-64 respectively use social networking sites to share hobbies while only 10% of people who are between 18-29 years old use popular social networking sites for sharing their interests.

Social Media Usage Stats - Share Interests and Hobbies

Romantic interests

Contrary to the popular perception, only a small percentage of people (3%) use social networking sites for finding a partner.

Social Media Usage Stats - Romantic Interests

Connect with celebrities and public figures

5% of Americans admit that they use social media to follow celebrities and public figures. Other respondents say that this factor does not play any role in their decision to participate on the social networking sites.

Social Media Usage Stats - Connect With Celebrities and Public Figures

Do you agree with this study? Please share with us what is the main reason you use the social media?

Author: Hema Gupta

Hema Gupta is an accredited online marketer and social media marketing expert. She often likes to write blog posts about online marketing and social media.