A Science to the Users on Various Social Network Sites

How many times have you heard Facebook is in, MySpace is out? Facebook is where the prospective students are. If we have to focus our resources on one social network, then we need to focus on Facebook.

I can understand how easy it is to fall into this trap. While on college campuses, Facebook usually generates more word-of-mouth. And once Facebook opened up their platform, buzz skyrocketed.

But is it worthwhile to expand and participate in other social networks? The answer to this depends on your target audience, and what they are using.

The October edition of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication has a great report by Eszter Hargittai, and assistant professor of Communication Studies at Northwester University. The report, titled "Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites", argues that social characterisitcs and upbringing can predict the online social networks a particular student will join.

From the report:

    "Hispanic students are significantly less likely to use Facebook (60% compared to 75% or more for other groups), whereas they are much more likely than others to use MySpace (73% among Hispanic students compared to 58% or less among all others). In contrast, like White students, Asian and Asian American students are much more likely to use Facebook than others, but they are significantly less likely to use MySpace. Additionally, this group of students is especially active on Xanga and Friendster compared to others."

The report continues to dissect survey findings based on gender and parent's level of education. The social network sites explored are Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, Friendster, Orkut, Bebo.

I would recommend this read if you are looking at, or currently working through a social network strategy.