eMarketer released data today about the current and projected Facebook and Twitter usage in the United States. The statistics, unsurprisingly, show steady growth through 2010 and predicted growth through 2013.
At the end of 2010 52.2%+ of internet using americans are on Facebook and 9.0% were on Twitter. Twitter continues to lag far behind, remaining a niche channel in my opinion. However, remember that ability to reach influencers in these channels is compelling. An investment in Twitter, even with a relatively small % of the population being reached, MAY make sense for your organization.
According to Facebook’s statistics page there are more than 500 million registered users. Each Facebook user is connected, on average, with 130 other users, giving your message real potential for broad reach with each Facebook user you engage with. Also remember that 50% of Facebook users login every day, making this a very active community, one that must be considered by any organization today.
While Twitter does a horrible job, in my opinion, of sharing statistics it is clear from these numbers, and those I have seen elsewhere, that the Twitter community is much smaller and much less active. According to Edison Research only 7% of Americans actively use Twitter (login, tweet, etc..) and statistics show that the average twitter user has fewer than 100 connections on Twitter (see this older analysis). Please also review this excellent analysis by Geoff Livingston.
While I am a large fan of Twitter as a communication tool remember to find your audience and reach them where they are, not where you want them to be. For most organizations Facebook is a no-brainer, Twitter may be an area you can hold off on. As always, understand your customers, current and potential, in making the right decision for your organization.