Social Networking Survey Results

Below are some results from a recent study undertaken by Sarah Diffley, Research Masters Student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology:

The total number of respondents who started the survey was 1,145.  Of these respondents, 829 completed the survey.  This constitutes an overall survey response rate of 72.4%.  However, a quota sample of 376 was determined to be sufficient for the research at hand and so this amount was utilised for the research based on the judgement of the researcher as,

In quota sampling researcher judgement is used in establishing the categories and choosing the sample from the categories

(Wrenn et al., 2002, p.167).

Findings from the survey highlight the following key statistics:


  • 73% of respondents use SNSs to connect with current friends, 65% to connect with old friends and 28% to make new friends.
  • 67% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the SNS they were most active on had become an important method of communication for them.
  • Facebook is the SNS that respondents had been most active on in the last 30 days (53%)
  • 30% of respondents had over 200 friends on their most active SNS, 25% between 100 and 199 friends, 20% between 50 and 99 friends, with 25% detailing they had less than 50 friends on their most active SNS.
  • 84% of respondents have joined a group on a SNS.
  • 51% of respondents have visited a company profile page on a SNS.
  • 26% of respondents have completely public profiles on their most active SNS.
  • 22% of respondents have had a negative experience on their SNS, which include viruses, unwanted friend requests, spam, online predators and bullying.

Product and Marketing Findings:

  • 17% of respondents make comments to friends about products on SNSs.
  • 37% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would make comments to their friends on the SNSs about products if that product was of interest to them.
  • 52% of respondents outlined that when a person is a close friend offline, they are influential on a SNS, 40.7% highlighted that they are influential when they are members of their family.
  • 51% of respondents explained that they would discuss products with friends on a SNS to provide friends with product information relevant to them and 41% to voice their opinion.
  • 40% of respondents have clicked on an advertisement on a SNS.
  • 24% of respondents with agreed or strongly agreed that SNSs have become over-commercialised.
  • 57% of respondents highlighted that they notice advertisements on SNSs but 53% detailed that they do not like the presence of advertisements on their SNS.  Furthermore 43% of respondents noted that they do not trust advertisements on SNSs.

Many thanks to all those who took part in the survey.  It is greatly appreciated and contributed significantly to my research.

Sarah Diffley

If you would like to contact Sarah in relation to these survey results, please leave a comment.


Web Site V’s Facebook Page

The question of whether or not businesses still need a full website or not has come up a lot at the Business Networking and Social Media events I’ve been to recently including yesterday’s Open Coffee Sligo. I’ve not given it much thought until now but here’s my honest opinion as both a Facebook Page and Website owner myself and regardless of the fact that I’m a web designer!

For a start, it has to be mentioned that no website can ever be as well trafficked as the likes of Facebook so it makes sense to be where everybody is. I used to always say this about eBay to people who wanted to sell online, ie – go where the people are buying then try drag them back to your own site.

I’ve heard it said that your own site could never match the technology on Facebook etc but I disagree. Even a freely avaible and simple system like wordpress can emulate live blogging, commenting, video/photo sharing and social functions through the likes of Buddypress and various other plugins and templates. There’s also plugins to show Facebook Like buttons and Badges on your site and to export your site news or blog directly to Facebook and Twitter automatically so good connections can be made between Facebook and your own web precence.

I find a lot of my recent clients are aware of the fact that their own sites can be made communicate with Social Media sites and they specifically request this functionality when enquiring. I’ve not had any drop their sites or go with a Facebook page only yet.

Another important consideration is that while Facebook may be king of the hill at the minute, that may not always be the case. Who is to say in 3 years time that it won’t be shut down (possibly over privacy issues!?) or introduce fees or just succomb to a new site on the block. What happens to all your data and customer interaction in this case?

Also, with your own site you will always have full control over the likes of design, content and privacy, choosing exactly how you want it to work for you. As of now, there are no easy ways to capture specific customer data or sell products from Facebook but this is easy to do on your own site through forms and carts, etc..

The old online branding advice of avoiding the usage of freely available email addresses like or in favour of a professional business address like also applies in that people may think less of you for only bothering to have a freely available Facebook page rather than a professional custom web presence.

In short I think the way forward is to connect people’s sites with their business precence on the social media portals and not just decide on one or the other. At this point, as a web designer, I’m not too worried.


Website Effectiveness

Well done on having a website for your business but is it doing what it should, ie generating hits and sales leads? Here’s a few things you should really be doing to measure and improve your website’s effectiveness if you feel its not doing anything for you: Continue reading Website Effectiveness

Linkedin and Facebook Twitter Integration

Social Media Marketing is big news these days but the one big turn off is the amount of sites you need to use regularly to be effective. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Your Blog and a pile more all need to be updated on a regular basis if you are to spread your business gospel. Continue reading Linkedin and Facebook Twitter Integration

Social Media Marketing Comedy

Are there any people out there who might be considered knowledgeable in matters of SEO, Internet Marketing or Social Media/Social Networking and often find themselves getting laughed at when they try to explain Facebook, Linkedin, Blogging and especially Twitter to others!? I am one such person and I’ve witnessed others on the receiving end of this too.

I can maybe understand people laughing at Twitter with all it’s funny acronyms – Tweet, Twitterer, Twits, etc..but I’ve been trying to figure out why people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about this stuff in general and why they think you’re joking when you say this is probably the most important thing you can do to promote your Website/Business at the minute.

My best guess is that the amount of information you often need to convey about how to use each service/site and exactly what it all means and what it can do for people is just overwhelming to the listener and they can’t fathom where to begin or where they’ll find the time to do it all.

So they laugh out loud in frustration!

If you are one such person who doesn’t get it and who laughs at us poor nerds thinking we know it all, then please don’t and here’s a simple definition of what we’re all talking about  when we mention “Social Media Marketing”:

Social Media Marketing means making friends online through various different websites with the ultimate aim of letting as many people as possible know about your product or service.

Nothing funny about that!?