We've seen articles about the number of friends Obama and McCain have on various social networks, but before we assume it is just kids befriending people there is the larger question of how social networks are used by voters in the two parties. To answer this question we appended party affiliation to a sample of US adults - in the end there were approx 5,000 people (44% Republican and 56% Democrats).
- Democrats are more likely to have a social network profile than Republicans (30% to 23%)
- As with general social network usage, it skews younger and only slightly female (this sample is adults and the folks at mininglabs documented that the gender ratio among teenagers skews significantly toward females).
- People of both parties average 2 profiles, led by MySpace and Facebook
- While they have lower penetration, niche networks like Hi5 or BlackPlanet are nearly twice as likely to have Democratic members as Republicans
The following chart comes from a Social Network Footprint and illustrates where registered voters have their profiles.
Understanding where and how customers or prospects use social media should be part of your overall marketing strategy.
And yes, Democrats have more 'friends' - averaging 70 to 65 in this sample.
Note on sources:Social Network Footprint - something we do as our day job.
Party affiliation - appended to a benchmark sample of US adults by Genalytics.
Social Network - appended to benchmark sample of US adults with emails by Rapleaf.