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Social Networking - US - August 2011

  • This report looks at the following aspects, among others:
  • Insights for companies using social media & the leading companies within the sphere
  • Current social media marketing strategies
  • Who is using what social media streams? What is the impact of race and Hispanic origin in social media usage?

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Social Networking—U.S., February 2010. This report analyzes the attitudes toward and use of social networking, with a particular focus on how consumers interact with brands in the social network context. The report also provides comprehensive coverage of feature developments on social networking sites.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data Sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Brands rush in with spend on ads
                        • Gaming a draw now, could be a competitor later
                          • Location-based marketing to ride wave of mobile networking
                            • Mature networks seek to fulfill revenue potential via marketers
                              • Keeping networks lingering longer
                                • Reaching the young, the affluent, and women
                                  • Facebook dominates all demographic groups
                                    • Expanding horizons more important than tracking intimates
                                      • Room for growth in sweepstakes and sampling
                                        • Networkers active and positive about brands’ social media offerings
                                          • Blacks and Hispanics go mobile
                                            • Girls 15-17 show high levels of engagement
                                            • Insights and Opportunities

                                              • Moms stand tall on blogs
                                                • Interactive marketing for 12-24s
                                                  • Viral and nontraditional campaigns likely to appeal more than banner ads
                                                    • Carl’s Jr. engages with “Wheel of Awesome”
                                                      • Best practices for brand engagement
                                                        • Facilitating feature usage for those aged 25-44
                                                          • Tackling Facebook
                                                          • Inspire Insight

                                                              • Inspire Trend: “Agelessness”
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Strong overall online ad sales frames growth for SNS ads
                                                                    • Figure 1: Total U.S. internet ad spend, 2006-11
                                                                    • Figure 2: U.S. major media ad spend, by type of media, 2009-15
                                                                  • Competition for online ad sales
                                                                    • Figure 3: U.S. new media advertising expenditures, by type of online ad, 2009-10
                                                                  • Google and Games
                                                                    • YouTube and Google Profiles
                                                                      • Social Games and MMOGs
                                                                        • Figure 4: Use of competing non-networks, June 2011
                                                                        • Figure 5: Competing non-network sites used weekly, by gender, June 2011
                                                                        • Figure 6: Competing non-network sites used weekly, by age, June 2011
                                                                      • Income shapes use of sites
                                                                        • Figure 7: Use of YouTube account at least weekly, by household income, June 2011
                                                                      • Competition for services with other non-social networks
                                                                        • Figure 8: Interest in features on social networks other than Facebook, June 2011
                                                                        • Figure 9: Features currently used on social networks other than Facebook, by age, June 2011
                                                                      • Those aged 18-44 show highest interest in new features
                                                                        • Figure 10: Interest in new features on social sites other than Facebook, by age, June 2011
                                                                        • Figure 11: Current use and interest in renting a movie on YouTube, by age, June 2011
                                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Rising number of users drives ad sales forward
                                                                          • Figure 12: U.S. social network users and penetration, 2009-13
                                                                        • Ad sales roar
                                                                          • Facebook accounts for more than 70% of ad sales
                                                                            • Social network ad sales and forecast
                                                                              • Figure 13: Total U.S. social network ad spending, 2006-16
                                                                              • Figure 14: Total U.S. online social network advertising spending, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-15
                                                                            • Fan-chart forecast
                                                                                • Figure 15: Total revenues and fan chart forecast of social network ad spend, at current prices, 2006-15
                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Internet access and time spent online
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Internet usage and average hours spent on pc, 2004-11
                                                                                • Tablets and phones propel on-the-go access
                                                                                  • Faster mobile data networks and GPS
                                                                                    • Smartphone platforms facilitate and shape mobile networking
                                                                                    • Leading Companies

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Facebook
                                                                                          • Figure 17: Leading networks’ unique visitors and total visits, June 2010 vs. June 2011
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Sites used on a weekly basis, November 2009 vs. June 2011
                                                                                        • Network profiles
                                                                                          • Facebook largest site with strong advertising base
                                                                                            • MySpace sold in June 2011, faces uncertain future
                                                                                              • Twitter used for publicity and organizations
                                                                                                • LinkedIn builds careers
                                                                                                  • Mylife offers search engine
                                                                                                    • Micro-blog Tumblr seeks freemium services
                                                                                                      • foursquare invites users to “check in” and become “mayors”
                                                                                                      • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Facebook develops messaging, check-ins, deals
                                                                                                            • Single email function and Skype partnership
                                                                                                              • Independent software developers lend a hand
                                                                                                                • Twitter redesigns to keep users engaged
                                                                                                                  • LinkedIn offers newsfeeds to professionals
                                                                                                                    • Google+
                                                                                                                      • Activision offers networking features
                                                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Overview of advertising opportunities
                                                                                                                            • Facebook develops commercial interests
                                                                                                                              • Marketing via Facebook
                                                                                                                                • Recent campaigns on Facebook
                                                                                                                                  • Television ads integrating Facebook
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Ray Benson profile TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: “Like” Patterson book for free chapters TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Appeal for aid to cancer patient TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                  • MySpace repositions as music site
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: MySpace introducing new artists TV ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Twitter opens up site to advertisers in 2010
                                                                                                                                    • LinkedIn garners revenues from users and targeted advertising
                                                                                                                                      • Mylife advertises services on TV networks
                                                                                                                                        • foursquare partners with deal and credit card companies
                                                                                                                                        • Usage

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Backdrop: The age bias
                                                                                                                                              • Internet access highest for those aged 18-24
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Internet use, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Use of a social network, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Number of visits to Facebook in past 30 days, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Half of 18-24s meet new people online
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Meeting new people online, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                              • The wealth bias: access comes with income
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Internet use, by household income, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Affluent more likely to use Facebook and LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Websites visited in last 30 days, by household income, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Women more likely to network
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Use of a social network, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Sites visited and frequency of visits
                                                                                                                                                • Critical mass leaves second-runners in the cold
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Use of leading social networks, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Use of second-tier networks, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Men check in to most sites more often than women
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Networking sites used weekly, by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Networking sites used weekly, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Income shapes use of sites
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Networking sites used weekly, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Urban dwellers heavily use range of sites
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Networking sites used weekly, by urban status, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • College educated show high use of Twitter and LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Networking sites used weekly, by level of educational attainment, June 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Mobile Access

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Large implications for couponing
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Mobile use of social networks, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Mobile use of social networks, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • One in four favor mobile use over PC
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Mobile networking activities, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Friends and Feeds

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Number of friends
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Number of friends on primary social network, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Number of friends on primary social network, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Going viral
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Focus of network exchanges in last 30 days, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • More than half expand contacts beyond “close friends”
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Attitudes to friends on social networking sites, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Attitudes to friends on social networking sites, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Activities

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Sweepstakes, contests, samples, apps, and gifts
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Current usage and future interest in features, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Current use of features, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Affluent least likely to play games or give virtual gifts
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Interest in games and gifts, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Interest in future use of features
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Interest in learning new SNS features, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook feature usage
                                                                                                                                                        • Awareness a hurdle
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Interest in specific features on Facebook, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Facebook features currently used, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Interest in feeds highest among 18-34s
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Use or interest in use of feeds that combine content from social networks, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Corporate Interaction

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes to ads
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes to ads on social networking sites, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Attitudes related to ads on social networks, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Sites heavily used to learn about brands and companies
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Visits to corporate profiles and websites, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Friends, fans, and followers
                                                                                                                                                            • Significant minority fan brands, bands, and other groups
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Friends, fans, and followers of SN brands and entertainment, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Friends or fans of SN brands and entertainment, by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Friends or fans of SN brands and entertainment, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Affluent more likely to friend brands, bands, causes
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Friends or fans of SN groups, brands and entertainment, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter following
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Follow brands, products, or entertainment on Twitter, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Liking brands and products
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Liking virtual gifts, apps, and games related to brands, products, and groups, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Liking a product, brand, or group, by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Younger users make liberal use of like feature
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Liking a product, brand, or group, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Uploading, linking, and statuscasting
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Posting uploads, links, and statuscasts about brands and products, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Those aged 18-34 most likely to upload, link, and statuscast
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Posting uploads, links, and statuscasts about brands and products, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Those aged 18-24 follow SN communication from others on range of topics
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Seen/heard/read about in network exchanges in last 30 days, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Blacks report most friends
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Number of friends/contacts, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Blacks and Hispanics frequent larger number of sites
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Weekly use of social networks, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Blacks and Hispanics more likely to check in via cell/tablet
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Use of phones or tablets for social networking, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Teens

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Eight in 10 online teens access networks
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: PC and mobile use of social networks, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Virtually all teen networkers use Facebook
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Social network sites used, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Girls show higher engagement
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Attitudes toward social networks, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • More than half of teens visit multiple times a day
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Frequency of usage, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Phones mostly for messaging and statuscasting
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Mobile use of social networks, teens by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                • Women 18-34 most likely to use networks, have the most friends
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Use of a social network, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Number of friends on primary social network, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Men 18-34 use greater range of sites
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Social networks used at least weekly, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Women 18-34 heavy users of fan, liking
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Friends, fans, and followers of brands and entertainment, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Liking a product, brand, or group, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix—Additional Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Visits to Facebook and LinkedIn in last 30 days, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Reasons for not using social networks, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: PC and mobile use of social networks, teens by race and Hispanic origin, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Social networking sites used, teens by two race groups, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Mobile use of social networks, teens by density of population, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Mobile use of social networks, adults by level of educational attainment, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                    • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
                                                                                                                                                                    • American Express Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                    • AOL
                                                                                                                                                                    • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Badoo Services Limited
                                                                                                                                                                    • Bebo Inc
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Foursquare
                                                                                                                                                                    • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • HTC
                                                                                                                                                                    • Interactive Advertising Bureau (US)
                                                                                                                                                                    • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                    • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                                                    • Motorola Mobility Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                    • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                    • News Corporation (The)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Skype Technologies S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                    • State Farm Insurance Companies
                                                                                                                                                                    • T-Mobile USA
                                                                                                                                                                    • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                    • Verizon Communications Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                                                                                                    • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Zynga

                                                                                                                                                                    Social Networking - US - August 2011

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