Social Media Survey: Who’s using Facebook?

Facebook Use Among Different Age Groups

Facebook and social media survey

This week’s lecture and readings focused on how to use surveys and questionnaires. For our assignment, we were asked to familiarize ourselves with OpinionLabQualtrics, and SurveyMonkey, and then pick one of these services to help answer a research question we may be considering. After researching the three services, I concluded that SurveyMonkey would work best for what I was trying to achieve. OpinionLab seemed to be more for customer feedback, and Qualtrics was more academic-research based. Because I had never created a survey before, I wanted to make sure I chose a service that was straightforward and extremely user friendly.

I have decided to survey different age groups about their Facebook use. I first became curious about this topic at the end of last year when a study declared that Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ among UK teens. While I don’t know that many teens, this claim got me thinking…is Facebook use and enthusiasm waning among the youth in America as well? And how does it compare to Facebook use and enthusiasm among those 35 and up?

It’s safe to say that 99% of my friends, those ranging in age from about 21-34, have a Facebook and continue to use it weekly. This social media network continues to be a popular way for Millennials to connect with each other after meeting at an event or in class. In fact, almost everyone in my social media masters program has a Facebook. While these students do have other social media accounts, it seems that the majority use Facebook more often than they use their other social media networks. The same holds true for me. I have accounts with Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn but still log on to Facebook more than any of the others. If Facebook use really is waning, then why does the network continue to be No. 1 among my friends?

While Facebook use among Millenials continues to be up for debate, in the last few years, it seems that the 35 and up demographic has steadily increased its Facebook use. I would venture to say that about half of the parents I know, my dad included, are on Facebook. Just to give you an idea of how much Facebook use among this generation is increasing – I solicited my dad’s help in spreading the word about my survey to his Facebook friends. He posted a status about it at 7 a.m., and by the time he left the house at 7:20 a.m., he had already received five comments from people saying they had completed the survey. Why is this demographic so interested in having a presence on Facebook?

My survey consists of the following questions.

  1. What is your gender?
  2. What is your age?
  3. What do you primarily use Facebook for?
  4. About how often do you view or access Facebook?
  5. Have you ever deleted your Facebook account?
  6. Why did you delete your Facebook account?
  7. What do you like most/least about Facebook?
  8. Please rank the following social media networks in order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+
  9. Since last year, how has your Facebook activity changed?
  10. How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Facebook is dead and buried.

With this survey, I’m hoping to find out who’s on Facebook and why and ultimately determine what Facebook can do to keep its current users engaged. As the SEO specialist and social media manager at my company, it is my job to figure out how to gain more followers on Facebook and what kind of posts will be most engaging. It would be interesting to learn how to better attract the 35 and up demographic because that is who makes up my company’s target customer base.

Stay tuned for the results in next week’s post! In the meantime, if you’d like to help me in my quest for knowledge, please feel free to take my survey.

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8 thoughts on “Social Media Survey: Who’s using Facebook?

  1. Hi! I really liked your questionnaire. In my line of work, I am often trying to increase the engagement the the same demographic you’re looking at targeting with your survey. I especially thought your questions about whether or not a person had ever deleted their FB profile were thoughtful inclusions. I know that I have previously deactivated my profile due to privacy concerns.

    I look forward to seeing your results!

    • Hi AnnMarie,

      Thank you for taking the time to complete my survey and check out my blog post! I think a lot of us are trying to target the 35 and up demographic, so after I analyze the results of my survey, I’d be happy to pass along any helpful tips for how to better engage this age group. I included the question about whether or not a person had ever deleted their Facebook account because I know a lot of people who have done this but then later reactivated it. I would say the majority of people I know did it while they were applying for jobs or grad school because they were worried about potential employers seeing something they weren’t supposed to. Do you feel that Facebook could be more private? I know a few people who have managed to make their profiles so private that they don’t even show up when you search for their name. In other words, they have to add you; you can’t add them. I still haven’t figured this out, though!

  2. Great post and survey, Lynette! I took your survey before I read your blog post, and I immediately thought it was a great topic. It’s specific and your results should be useful to you and to many of your classmates (including me!). I can’t wait to read your blog about it next week.

    I’m 26. I’ve never deactivated my account, but I know lots of people who have. Most, including my 29-year-old husband, have reactivated at some point. I think this just shows how addictive the social network is. I know I spend hours on Facebook a day — of course, most of that I’m getting paid to do, but certainly some of it is time-wasting.

    Interesting that you guys both have mentioned privacy concerns. I understand (and share in some concerns), but isn’t it funny that the whole idea of social media seems to sort of conflict with personal privacy? But Facebook has introduced a number of privacy options over the years — I would venture to say more privacy options than any other social network. We have had a lot of reporters concerned about their privacy (in some cases, for safety reasons — readers can be crazy) on Facebook and other networks, and I’ve walked some of them through every detail of their privacy settings. It’s amazing how much you can do!

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for taking the survey! I’m glad you enjoyed my topic. I thought it was something we could all relate to since we all have Facebooks that we still use frequently despite the fact some say it’s dead.

      I’ve never deactivated my account either but, like you, I know plenty of people who have because they either found that they were spending too much time on the site or because they were in the middle of applying to jobs or school. My job also calls for me to be on Facebook for part of the day, so it’s kind of hard to avoid going on it. Actually, because of the social media aspect of my job, I feel like I’m on Facebook more now than I was last year!

      You’re right. Social media in and of itself conflicts with the concept of personal privacy. And because our generation has grown so accustomed to social media, I think most of us are OK with not having as much as privacy as our parents had at our age. It’s good to know that you’re a Facebook privacy settings expert, though! I’ll definitely keep that in mind 🙂

  3. Hi Lynette,
    I think your topic for this survey was a great pick. I think you asked some great questions about people’s use of Facebook, like how often they check their Facebook. I know that I am on Facebook more then I should be, anytime I open up my laptop it just opens up in my browser and on my phone I constantly check it. I have never deactivated my Facebook, I never found a reason and when there are times I know I need to stay away from it I can control myself. Can’t wait to see the results you find out on this!! 🙂
    Cyndi

    • Hi Cyndi,

      Thank you for your comment! I also check my Facebook multiple times a day but know when to stop. When I’m out with friends or family or reading for school, I have enough discipline to put it aside. I’ve never deactivated my account, but I have a few friends who have while applying for grad school or jobs. Instagram is actually my newest obsession. I could scroll through my friends pictures forever. I guess I sometimes enjoy it more than Facebook because Facebook has started to get more cluttered with sponsored ads. Can’t wait to share my findings!

  4. Hi Lynette,

    I found your topic very interesting because I have a 15-year-old sister. When I come home to visit, she pokes fun at me for checking Facebook. “No one uses Facebook anymore,” she always chides. While I check my Facebook a few times a day, she and her friends check theirs about once a month. I see them all on Twitter and Instagram instead. The study you linked to suggests that teens may even be “embarrassed” to be associated with the social network… kind of like our version of MySpace. However, the study does add that when teens are older, they will want to come back to Facebook to reach out and connect to their peers.

    I did answer that my least favorite thing about Facebook is its privacy settings. I can never really figure them out because the instructions seem so vague to me (Julie, you might have to help me out!). While applying for internships and jobs, I changed my name on Facebook so that I couldn’t be found. I think so many people deactivate because of all those rumors of employers being able to access any and all types of accounts no matter what your privacy settings.

    • Hi Nhi,

      Thank you for your comment! I don’t know that many teenagers, but the ones that I do encounter are just like your sister — obsessed with Instagram and Twitter. I’ll wish them a happy birthday on Facebook, but they won’t actually see it until a month after their birthday. Whereas when someone wishes us a happy birthday on Facebook, we’ll respond that same day, likely within minutes. I loved your comparison of Facebook to MySpace. I used to have a MySpace, but I remember that as soon as it lost its cool factor, we all left and turned to Facebook. I guess teens today are doing the same thing. I agree that they’ll likely turn to Facebook again when they start college. Twitter’s character limit and Instagram’s emphasis on pictures doesn’t leave you much room to write to your friends.

      I’ve seen so many of my friends deactivate their Facebook while applying to jobs for the same reason you changed your Facebook name — they start to freak out that future employers will start snooping around and see something they shouldn’t. But I think we’re all so addicted to Facebook that it’d be hard for any of us to deactivate it for good. That’s just my opinion, but we’ll see what my results say!

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