While Facebook has the highest engagement rate of the “big five” social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube), the highest percentage of online consumers think having a LinkedIn account is important, according to an April 2011 study from ROI Research and Performics. Data from “S-Net: A Study in Social Media Usage and Behavior” indicates 59% of online consumers rate having a LinkedIn account 4 or 5 on a five-point importance scale, compared to 53% giving this level of importance to having a Facebook account.
Twitter, YouTube Also Beat Facebook
Twitter (58%) and YouTube (55%) also had a higher percentage of online consumers ranking them as important. Interestingly, although MySpace is widely regarded as having lost significant importance to consumers in the last several years, its importance percentage tied Facebook’s (53%).
LinkedIn Jumps in Importance Since 2010
In 2010, only 41% of online consumers gave LinkedIn a four- or five-point importance rating, meaning this figure has grown 44% in one year. Twitter has grown 45% in this rating, from 40% to 58%. MySpace appears to be rebounding in perceived importance, as 39% of online consumers in 2010 but 53% in 2011 giving it a four- or five-point rating, a 36% increase.
Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers rating Facebook as important dropped 5% year-over-year, from 56% to 53%.
Facebook Dominates Engagement
When it comes to engagement, Facebook is the unquestioned leader. Ninety-seven percent of online consumers visit Facebook at least weekly and 70% visit at least daily. These figures are close to double those of LinkedIn in terms of weekly visitation (50%) 3.5 times higher in terms of daily visitation (20%).
The only other social network with a visitation rate even close to one of Facebook’s is YouTube, with 86% of online consumers visiting at least once a week (11% lower rate).
LinkedIn, MySpace Visit Frequency Declines
Although both LinkedIn and MySpace saw significant improvement in the percentage of online consumers considering them important, both saw their visit frequency decline from 2010. In 2010, 67% of online consumers visited LinkedIn at least weekly, a figure that dropped 25%. Daily visits dropped 10%, from 22% to 20%.
Meanwhile, the percentage of online consumers visiting MySpace at least weekly dropped 41%, from 76% to 45%, and the percentage visiting at least daily dropped 44%, from 41% to 23%. Twitter’s daily visitation rate stayed flat at 44% but its weekly visitation rate declined 14%, from 81% to 70%.
Visitation figures for Facebook and YouTube underwent minimal changes.
Facebook Surges in 2010
Social networking category leader Facebook continued its momentum as it amassed millions of new users and people spent more and more of their time on the site during 2010, according to a February 2011 white paper from comScore. “The 2010 US Digital Year in Review” indicates that Facebook accounted for 10% of US page views in 2010, while three out of every 10 US internet sessions included a visit to the site.
Although MySpace maintained its hold on the number two ranking in the social networking category with 50 million visitors in December 2010, its audience declined 27% and total time spent on the site declined 50%.
LinkedIn emerged as the third-largest site in the category with 26.6 million visitors in December 2010 Meanwhile, number four Twitter climbed to 18% to 23.6 million visitors in December 2010 (not counting third-party app or mobile usage).
About the Data: In April 2011, ROI Research and Performics conducted an online survey of 2,997 consumers age 13 and older who access at least one social network regularly.