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It's Facebook, LinkedIn and Others When it Comes to Social Media, Spectrem Study Shows

Facebook is social, LinkedIn is professional, but age and wealth vary perceptions

| BY Kent McDill

In simple terms, Facebook is perceived as a social website, LinkedIn is a professional site, and usage of those two sites corresponds to those perceptions, A Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study shows.

Social media usage may seem universal to some investors, but in fact, only 70 to 75 percent of investors have social media accounts, and usage among those that do varies greatly, according to the study.

The study, published in the second quarter of 2013, looked at three wealth segments – the Mass Affluent (net worth of $100,000 to $1 million not including primary residence), Millionaire (net worth of $1-5 million NIPR) and Ultra High Net Worth (net worth of $5-25 million NIPR).

While 74 percent of Mass Affluent investors have social media accounts, that number drops to 70 percent for Millionaires and 69 percent for Ultra High Net Worth investors.

Among investors who use social media, more investors have Facebook accounts than accounts with other social media sites. LinkedIn runs second although usage of LinkedIn is expected to grow more than usage of Facebook, and YouTube is the third most popular site, according to the study.

The study also looked at usage of Twitter, GooglePlus and Pinterest, but those numbers were far less than the numbers for Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook is overwhelmingly perceived as a social site with between 98 and 99 percent of respondents saying Facebook is social. Asked a similar question about LinkedIn, 78 percent believe LinkedIn is a professional site. Twitter is seen as a social site by 84 percent of respondents.


Among the Mass Affluent, 61 percent use Facebook, and among that 61 percent, 82 percent say they either share occasionally or are active participants on the site. Sixty-six percent of the Mass Affluent say they visit Facebook once a day or more.


LinkedIn usage is at only 31 percent overall for the Mass Affluent, and regular participation on that site is only 55 percent of those with accounts. There are only 13 percent of those with accounts who visit LinkedIn once a day or more often.


Twitter is less popular thank Facebook or LinkedIn overall but more popular than LinkedIn among those who have Twitter accounts. Daily usage or greater on Twitter is 47 percent among the Mass Affluent, more than three times as much as LinkedIn among account holders.

Among Millionaires, ownership of Facebook accounts actually dropped from 2012 to 2013 by 1 percent, from 56 to 55 percent overall. Millionaires are also far less active on Facebook than the Mass Affluent, with only 56 percent visiting once a day or greater to 64 percent among the Mass Affluent. Among the Ultra High Net worth respondents, only 50 percent visit at least daily.


While younger investors use all social media outlets more frequently than older ones, the usage percentages on LinkedIn are demonstrably more varied than on Facebook. Among the Mass Affluent, 53 percent of investors 35 and younger use LinkedIn while only 19 percent 65 and older use it. For Facebook, usage is 78 percent among 35 and younger and 50 percent for 65 and over.

LinkedIn is perceived differently among the Ultra High Net Worth. Thirty-seven percent of the UHNW see LinkedIn as social, compared to only 22 percent of Mass Affluent.

Usage of LinkedIn among the UHNW varies greatly between age groups, but not in the standard way. Only 23 percent of those 47 years of age and younger use LinkedIn, but 56 percent of those between 48 and 54 use it. Usage drops again to 35 percent for those 65 and older.

Among Millionaires, 67 percent of those 47 and younger use LinkedIn, a number that drops all the way to 26 percent among those 65 and older.

 Twitter usage is low and unusual. For instance, among UHNW investors, only 7 percent use Twitter. Among those Twitter users who are 47 years of age and younger, 100 percent of them use Twitter only for observation rather than sharing information, and that same 100 percent follow family and friends on their Twitter accounts.

About the Author

Kent McDill


Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.