The rich flock to Facebook, don't bother with Twitter

The rich flock to Facebook, don't bother with Twitter

Summary: The rich continue to join Facebook in droves. Their usage is notably smaller on other social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter.


Rich individuals in the US are increasingly joining Facebook. The percentage of US millionaires using the world's largest social network has nearly doubled from 26 percent in November 2010 to 46 percent in June 2011.

The data, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, comes from a reported titled "Social Media and Affluent Households" by Spectrem Group, a consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets. The results are based on online and telephone surveys of the financial decision-makers of 3,002 households.

The company has three categories for the rich, not including primary residence: the mass affluent (net worth of $100,000 to $1 million), millionaires (net worth of $1 million to $5 million), and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW, net worth of $5 million to $25 million). Following this grouping, 55 percent of the mass affluent in the US are using Facebook, 46 percent of millionaires are on the social network, and 47 percent of UHNW investors are using the service.

"Led by Facebook, the social media era has finally arrived for the nation's wealthiest investors, with nearly half the nation's millionaires now logging onto the social network. Wealthy investors are also interested in reading blogs by trusted financial advisors," George H. Walper, Jr., President of Spectrem Group, said in a statement. "The message is clear. Learning how to effectively use social media and financial blogs is critical to the future success of financial services firms. Providers who fall behind run the risk of frustrating their investors and losing customers."

In addition to Facebook, LinkedIn is also popular among wealthy investors, with 22 percent of the mass affluent, 19 percent of millionaires, 26 percent of UHNW investors using the job website. Twitter usage is much smaller, with 5 percent of the mass affluent, 3 percent of millionaires, and 6 percent of UHNW investors using the smaller service.

The results are completely understandable. Facebook and LinkedIn offer much more privacy than Twitter does, and most rich individuals understandably prefer to keep their personal lives out of the public's eye. Since Facebook is a networking tool, while Twitter is a broadcasting tool, it isn't surprising that the latter's usage is so low. Facebook is bigger than LinkedIn, so it makes sense for it to have a larger share, but there's another factor that also comes into play. LinkedIn is mainly for those looking for a job, or for those who think they will be at some point in the future. Most rich people have steady jobs already.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Banking

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: The rich flock to Facebook, don't bother with Twitter

    I think the two social networks serve different purposes.

    I find twitter a good source for information, Facebook for seeing what my friends are up to.
  • RE: The rich flock to Facebook, don't bother with Twitter

    I would disagree that Twitter is a broadcast too. That is unfortunately how it's been used by far too many. Twitter just as Facebook is a social media tool that allows for engagement. However, like most tools, if used incorrectly, you get less than optimum results.
  • RE: The rich flock to Facebook, don't bother with Twitter

    It is interesting how everyone always compares Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Do any journalist ever understand the fact that they are different services?
  • Twitter is EXTREMELY powerful...

    For those who "get it", Twitter rocks! It's like a FREE public broadcast network on steroids. There's a strong need to create an open source version of Twitter that's owned & operated by a worldwide decentralized citizen's group. The repressive Saudis just invested $300 MILLION into Twitter. I'm sure that's bribe money to shut down negative tweets about the kingdom in future Arab Spring uprisings.