Twitter has finally caught up with Facebook – at least in terms of popularity. In terms of usage, however, Facebook – with over 400 million active users – is still leading over the massively popular social networking / microblogging site.

These are among the most important findings from a new report released by Edison Research and Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series. Conducted last February and entitled “Twitter Usage in America: 2010”, the research study presents three years of tracking data from a nationally representative group of 1,753 Americans ages 12 and above.

Results show that 87 percent of Americans – compared to 5 percent in 2008 – are now aware of the microblogging platform, which is virtually equal to the percentage of the population – 88 percent – who are aware of Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site. However, Twitter still trails Facebook in terms of usage, as only 7 percent of Americans actively use Twitter, compared to the 41 percent who maintain a profile page on Facebook. Offering a prognosis for this disparity, Edison recommends that Twitter should more clearly define its purpose rather than focus on building awareness.

Other interesting findings made from the research study include:

–          51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands, or products on social networks

–          Four out of ten Twitter users own at least three computers

–          The Internet is more important than television to majority of regular Twitter users

–          Twitter users are more likely to update and access Twitter using their mobile devices

The above findings should spell new key social media insights for businesses and Internet marketers alike. It seems that the average Twitter user is well-educated and likely living in a high-income household; moreover, users seem to be more than receptive to following businesses, corporations, and brands using Twitter – and not just a social network of friends and personal contacts or celebrities.

Mobile marketers and advertisers, meanwhile, can leverage information from Edison’s findings and seek new opportunities from Twitter. That’s because, as found by the study, 20 percent of Twitter users update via mobile devices and one in three do so at least once a day.

With Twitter’s popularity on the rise, businesses are poised to continue exploring Twitter as a means of engaging with customers. Want to be part of the Twitter conversation? Let Lakeshore Branding help you build your brand and execute innovative effective social media marketing strategies and campaigns.