Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), one of the nation's largest and fastest growing customer relationship marketing agencies, today announced the release of its “View from the Social Inbox,” a new 10-page report reflecting consumer attitudes toward the usage of online social media and related email use. Like Merkle's longstanding, annual "View from the Inbox" report, the new "View from the Social Inbox" includes original findings based on results from an online survey of 3,281 U.S. adults age 18+ conducted during the fall of 2009.
The findings from the "View from the Social Inbox" have implications for marketers who are interested in social marketing strategy. Highlights of the report include:
- Time spent with personal, or social, email to friends and family is unchanged from last year, with 71% of respondents spending 20 minutes or more weekly. These numbers contradict early speculation that social networking would quickly replace traditional email use.
- Active social networkers are more likely to be avid email users, as measured by time spent with social email as well as number of times checked daily. Forty-two percent of social networkers check their email account four or more times a day, compared to just 27% of their non-networked counterparts.
- Over half (53%) of online adults over 18 use Facebook weekly or more frequently. Just 18% regularly use one-time leader MySpace, demonstrating how quickly the online social space changes.
- Demographics such as age, gender, ethnicity and education influence which social sites consumers use. For example, regular users of Facebook skew higher in education and MySpace users skew lower. Both sites are more likely to be frequented by females.
- Twenty percent of Facebook, MySpace and/or Twitter users have posted or shared something from permission email to their social account(s) via a "share" option, indicating the importance of an integrated email marketing strategy.
Merkle's Director of Research and Analytics, Lori Connolly, said,"“There is no doubt that social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have grown in popularity across demographics. Yet, we are seeing consistent social use of the email channel, as well as evidence to support the idea that social networking and email use are actually more related than previously thought. Merkle?s "View from the Social Inbox" shows that email continues to be an important personal communications tool for consumers. Perhaps more important for marketers, it shows that there are distinct demographic differences in the social sites that consumers frequent, which have actionable targeting implications."