1 in 4 Have No Internet Access: What’s the Impact on the Social Media Agency?

As a social media agency, we’re very interested in reaching people through conversations on the Internet. A question many clients ask us is, “How many people use this stuff?” Today we have a few more answers to that question, particularly if you define “this stuff” as Internet access at all. Turns out that 24% of people surveyed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project report no web access.

Percentage of Americans with Internet Access I’m personally assuming that many of those who report access at home in this survey likely also have it at work. Nevertheless, at first blush, 1 in 4 people missing out on the whole Internet thing is a bit surprising.

The more you look at the numbers, however, the more it makes sense. When the researchers analyzed the cross-tabs to see exactly who did and did not have access, some key findings emerged:

  • Only 9% of those 18-30 years old have no Internet access (while 80% have broadband and 12% dialup)
  • 71% of those over 71 years old, on the other hand, don’t have web access. I’m sure many of them are reading their papers and couldn’t give two hoots what we’re doing. (Apparently 29% of those over 71 are like my 74-year-old mom who has been online for about 8 years and blogging for the last 6 months.)
  • While 39% of those who make less than $40k a year don’t have access, only 9% of those who make more than $40k have access.
  • Only 7% of college graduates don’t have access, while 39% of those with a high school diploma or less don’t.

So, yes, 1 in 4 don’t have Internet access. That’s not something that you can dismiss, particularly for campaigns designed to reach certain target audiences.

But for social media marketers looking for younger, upper-income, highly educated folks, we’re looking in the right place.

~Jim Tobin at Ignite Social Media

P.S. This kind of info is one of the reasons that I read e-Marketer religiously. Great stuff…

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