How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Blogging and Tweeting

Posted: May 21, 2012

In this week’s installment of data describing how consumers use social media to engage with food retailers, we are sharing demographic characteristics of participants who indicated they were blogging or tweeting and how this could help your business.


Only 12.3% of respondents had an active blog account.  As we’ve seen with other data, those in younger groups were relatively more likely to have a blog account.  For example, 23% of participants age 18 to 24 had an account compared to 8% of 49 to 64 year olds and only 3% of those 65 years and older (Table 1).  Of those with blog accounts, three out of four were actively posting, two out of three were reading friends’ blogs, while only four out of 10 were reading a business’s blog.  This suggests a small target audience, though it may also mean a very devoted audience for those who can connect through a blog.

 Table 1.  Percent of survey participants by age group who had a blog account.


Age group     
Percent response
18 to 24
 25 to 36
 37 to 48
 49 to 64
 65 and older


Shifting to Twitter, only 22% had an active account. Of those, over half were actively tweeting.  Data showed that nearly 80% were following individuals, including friends, while 46% were following one or more businesses.  Furthermore, those with higher levels of education were more likely to use Twitter.  More specifically, 17% of those with a high school diploma or below used Twitter while 30% of those with a Master’s degree or higher were users (Table 2).  Table 3 shows the percentage of Twitter users within each age group who regularly tweet.  As you can see, there is a steep decline as age increased. 

Table 2. Percent of survey participants by education level who use Twitter.

Education level   
Percent response 
H.S. graduate or less
Some college
B.S. degree
M.S. degree or greater   


Table 3.  Percent of survey participants by age group who use Twitter.

Age group
Percent response
18 to 24
 25 to 36
 37 to 48
 49 to 64
 65 and older  


 As we’ve seen in the data presented here and in past articles, younger people are most active on social media, including blogs and Twitter.  A marketer who can develop a positive connection with those who are active on both will be able to leverage their marketing efforts if those people share their good experiences.  Marketers should actively seek to connect with those people.

In the next article, we will present data that discusses why consumers connect with food businesses via social media.  To view the entire YouTube series, please visit


Contact Information

Jeffrey Hyde, Ph.D.
  • Associate Director of Programs
Phone: 814-865-5666
Kathy Kelley
  • Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management
Phone: 814-863-2196
Dana Ollendyke
  • Extension Associate
Phone: 814-863-5567