Social Media Adoption Soars


The results are in for the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s survey of 2,253 adults: validating what we have seen in the workplace, adoption of social media is soaring with one third (35%) of American adult internet users having created a profile on an online social network. This is four times as many as three years ago. The results break out by age in the following manner:

  • 75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network
  • 57% of online adults 25-34 have a profile on a social network
  • 30% of online adults 35-44 have one
  • 19% of online 45 to 54 year olds have a profile
  • 10% of online 55 to 64 year olds have a profile
  • 7% of online adults 65 and older have a profile

Now consider when these social networking tools were introduced and their number of registered users to date:

  • MySpace
    250 million registered users
  • Facebook
    150 million active users
    50 million registered users
  • LinkedIn
    30 million registered users
  • Plaxo
    20 million registered users

It’s about as addictive a method of communicating as I have ever seen. Last week I gave a session on this topic at ASTD and here were some of the questions posed by our audience of soon-to-be adopters of social media in the learning department:

How do I build the case for using social media within my company?
What about issues of privacy and security?
What type of metrics should I focus on?

Some thoughts that were addressed during the session:

  1. Is your CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) using socials media with customers? If yes what has been your company’s experience?
  2. Are your competitors using social media either internally or externally? What has been their experience with this?
  3. What types of pilots can the learning/HR department sponsor?

Send me your comments!

[tags]Social Media, Social Computing, Millennials, Chief Learning Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Pew Research[/tags]

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About Jeanne Meister

Jeanne C. Meister is a best selling author of three books, internationally recognized consultant and keynote speaker. Jeanne is Partner of Future Workplace, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting organizations in re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne was recently voted by her peers as one of the 20 top influential training professionals in the United States. Jeanne’s name is synonymous with the establishment and institutionalization of global corporate universities. Jeanne is the author of three books, Corporate Quality Universities and Corporate Universities. Jeanne’s latest book is, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins, 2010) is in its 10th printing.No information is provided by the author.


  1. Hi Jeanne; I always love your thoughts. In this case, I think social media will catch on at various speeds for companies (and when I think they will be adopted):
    HR will use it to do background checks on candidates (now-12 months)
    Sales and marketing will use it to get in with clients and prospects (now – 18 months)
    Others will use it as to benchmark and find resources, especially LinkedIn and Plaxo (now – 18 months)
    Learning and development will use it to get buzz about new efforts and initiatives (now – 24 months)
    Senior leaders will have someone who works for them use it to get a feel as to what their employees are thinking (12 – 36 months).

    Check out my new learning blog at

    Howard Prager
    Director, Lake Forest Corporate Education.

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