New Data Shows Facebook is Still King and Twitter is Falling

Facebook is still king of the hill–by an overwhelming margin. And then there’s Twitter.

Edison Research released the latest national social media usage stats in their Infinite Dial study. Edison is the company that does most of the election exit polling in the U.S. and other major data gathering for corporates. Their study surveyed habits of Americans 12 years and older. The data shows conclusively that Facebook is still, as Jason Falls put it, “the 800-pound gorilla in the room.” Hat tip to Jason for emailing me the survey link. No other network even comes close:

Of the 81% of Americans that use social media:

  • 67% are on Facebook
  • 34% are on Instagram
  • 30% are on Pinterest
  • 29% are on Snapchat

social media data

The news of significance here, but not surprising, is that Twitter’s growth rate is continuing to decline. Twitter owns extremely high awareness as a brand but not in usage—stalled and falling at 23% in fifth place for usage.

The study covered smartphone use, podcast consumption, online radio listening, tablet ownership, social media usage, and smart speaker usage. I recommend that you watch the video (in the link above) with the witty Tom Webster on the microphone. The social media piece is towards the end of the video starting at about the 39:30 mark.

Surprises? Half of all Americans in the survey have access to a Netflix account—16% higher than last year. No wonder cable is sweating a bit. Also, podcasting is growing very quickly—40% of Americans say have listened to a podcast and 24% listen monthly.

Takeaways for Authors:
  1. If you do not have a Facebook business page, now is the time to get on board. Don’t concentrate on engagement rates, or worry about them. You can steadily grow your Facebook numbers over time by getting good at connecting there. But you want to be there for discovery and have access to the commerce tools they have to offer. People buy on Facebook. And you do need a page to run ads. Also, as part of their new template options, you can now set up a store there to sell your books.
  1. At this time, don’t bother trying to build connections on Twitter if you are a fiction writer. I still believe it is a legitimate venue for nonfiction writers to develop expertise but engagement rates on Twitter have plummeted over the last year for non-news channels. Make it an outpost and use your cover photo and pinned tweet to redirect people to your Facebook page or group—wherever you connect with fans on a regular basis. Change that cover photo when you launch a book or run a campaign but don’t waste your time trying to build connections and sell there.  Honestly, Twitter does not sell well (lowest of the top social media channels in facilitating conversions according to an AOL/Converto study). I know people can sell books there but not in the quantities that make the time commitment worthwhile. Don’t let FOMO rule your marketing time.

What was your biggest surprise in the data?