Only 1% of the affluent lack access to the internet according to a new survey of the wealthiest 10% of US households by the American Affluence Research Center. Roughly one-third of the affluent have access only through a computer, while the remainder own a smart phone or a tablet as well.

In the new Spring 2011 survey, the 19th in a continuing series of twice-yearly tracking studies by the American Affluence Research Center, only half (50%) of the affluent with a mobile device and/or computer participate in one of more of the social media. On average, they participate in about 1.5 types of the social media listed.

Participation in social media declines as age and net worth increase. Men participate a bit less than women because they are much less likely to participate in Facebook (33% versus 49%). LinkedIn is somewhat more popular among those age 50 to 59 and those with a $200K+ income.

As might be expected, owners of both smart phones and tablets are most likely (70%) to participate in some form of social media. On average they participate in 1.8 types of social media. Those with access to only a computer are least likely (69%) to participate in some form of social media.

Among the half of the affluent participating in some form of social media, about 80% of these people participate in Facebook and almost 60% participate in LinkedIn. Only 10% seem to participate in Twitter, which has its highest share (22%) among those who own a tablet and those who own both a smart phone and a tablet.

Only 26% of the respondents who use social media for any reason say they receive regular communications from a manufacturer or retailer to which they subscribe to receive product and related information. Since only 50% of the affluent say they use social media for any reason, this means only about 13% of the affluent use social media to receive regular communications from a manufacturer or retailer. Facebook is the most popular social media for “commercial” purposes, and on average, is connected to about 9% of the affluent for this purpose.

In contrast to the general use of social media where there are some substantial differences by age, gender, and net worth, the “commercial” use of social media varies more by gender and income. Among the affluent using social media for “commercial” purposes, Facebook has a share that ranges from 50% (among $6M+ net worth) to almost 75% among several segments of the affluent.

Among all those who participate in social media to receive regular product information from a business (manufacturer or retailer), Facebook has about a 69% share and is generally favored over the second most popular media by a margin of 3 or 4 to one. On average, these respondents participate in 1.2 types of social media to receive regular product information from a business. Only 11% seem to participate in Twitter, which has its highest share (37%) among those who own a tablet and those who own both a smart phone and a tablet.

Those who only have a computer give Facebook a 63% share and say they do not participate in Twitter. These respondents are most likely to say they participate in a type of social media not listed (17%).

Participants in the American Affluence Research Center Spring 2011 survey have an average annual household income of $333,000, an average primary residence value of $1.2 million, an average net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.8 million.

A description of the survey methodology and other detailed highlights of the survey can be viewed at: http://affluenceresearch.org/most-recent-tracking-study/highlights-of-most-recent-survey/