A new Edison Research report draws many interesting conclusions about U.S. Twitter users. The report summarizes the most recent data from a three-year tracking study conducted by Edison and Arbitron. The findings will help you better understand Twitter usage and assist in your social marketing efforts.

Twitter Usage In America: 2010” pulled data from a national telephone survey of almost 2,000 Americans that was conducted in February. The data was laid over similar studies from 2008 and 2009, resulting in a comprehensive representation of Twitter-related use statistics. You can request a copy of the report from Edison at their Web site, or check out all the best charts below.

Takeaways:

  • While Facebook is the dominate social platform in terms of usage, Twitter is still growing rapidly and driving consumer awareness.
  • Twitter users are actively discussing products and services. It’s important to monitor conversations about your business and provide compelling content for users to discuss.
  • Despite the fact that Twitter is becoming popular, it’s still far behind Facebook — so an effective social media marketing strategy should include multiple platforms to maximize results.
  • Marketing on the social Web is becoming about multiple screens. Users are engaging on social networks on different types of devices including smart phones, laptops, and tablets. It’s important to make sure that your online presence is optimized to take advantage of different form factors.
  • As SMS use grows, marketers need to plan ways to leverage SMS as a valuable part of the marketing mix.
Among the Findings:

Facebook has a commanding lead over Twitter in usage in the United States — but when it comes to social awareness, the two social platforms are roughly equal:

Twitter Facebook awareness Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

Edison determined that while 87% of Americans are aware of the microblogging site, only 7% actually use it. As a comparison, Facebook’s awareness rate is at 88%, with usage of 41%.

twitter usage Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

This dovetails with a recent Citibank report that determined the vast majority of small business owners don’t use social media at all:

CITI chart Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

Other interesting findings from the Edison report on Twitter

Users are actively discussing products and services:

Twitter share product info Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

They’re engaging on social networks from different locations an on different types of devices:

twitter access multiple locations Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

They love text messaging:

twitter sms Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

And they seem to be amenable to advertising:

2010 Twitter Ad Sensitivity.043 Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]

In terms of ethnicity, 24% of users are African Americans:

twitter ethnicity Whos Using Twitter in the U.S.? Some New Demographics [Charts]


You can download the report from the Edison Research Web site — it’s well worth it, since it contains many more useful social media data points for marketers. Here’s Tom Webster, Vice-President for Strategy and Marketing for Edison, unveiling the report in a webinar: