The One Percent Don't Facebook Like the Rest of Us

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Adding to the dichotomy between the one and 99 percent, we learn that the country's very rich don't use social media like the rest of us. "More than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks," explains Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop in her New York Times story about banks failing to adapt to social media. That sounds like a lot, since that's not something we'd ever do with our Twitter or Facebook accounts. But beyond this weird, very un-fun desire, our country's wealthiest citizens just aren't using social media all that much.

"The high-net-worth individuals who bank with us are no different from any other customers in that they are increasingly active on social media,” Marged Lloyd, the head of online communications in London at Standard Chartered, told Kolesnikov-Jessop. But a closer look shows how and what types of social media this subset uses differs from the rest of the population. Since 2010 Facebook usage among millionaires has doubled to 46 percent, according to a Spectrum Group. August 2011 survey. Twitter use is even lower, coming in at 3% to 6%. Compare that to the 98 percent of U.S. adults in the 18 to 24 age group -- an unlikely millionaire age group -- the use social media. Or even the 65 percent of U.S. adults using these sites on a typical day. That's low.

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We can think of a few reasons for these lower-than-average stats.

  • Wealthy people have few friends and don't want to make new ones
  • The rich are busy getting richer
  • Their banks aren't doing a good job of giving them what they want, at least that's the upshot from Kolesnikov-Jessop's article, which shows the shoddy efforts by financial institutions to get with it.
  • The one-percent happens to overlap with old people, who don't use the Internet as much as the youth. Facebook has the most users in the 18-34 bracket, according to our demographic breakdown, which also coincides with the millennial profile of the 99 percent OWS movement.

At least forty percent of the high-class demo wants to get in on the social media game. Just a thought on how banks could reach this untapped group. We understand there are Security and Exchange Commission regulations by which to abide, but stop being so dry. From what we saw, the world of Wall Street twitter accounts is bo-ring.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.