This paper analyzes the spatial distribution and socioeconomic determinants of social media utilization in 3109 counties of the United States. A theory of determinants was modified from the spatially aware technology utilization model (SATUM). Socioeconomic factors including demography, economy, education, innovation, and social capital were posited to influence social media utilization dependent variables. Spatial analysis was conducted including exploratory analysis of geographic distribution and confirmatory screening for spatial randomness. The determinants were identified through ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis. Findings for the nation indicate that the major determinants are demographic factors, service occupations, ethnicities, and urban location. Furthermore, analysis was conducted for the U.S. metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural subsamples. We found that Twitter users were more heavily concentrated in southern California and had a strong presence in the Mississippi region, while Facebook users were highly concentrated in Colorado, Utah, and adjacent Rocky Mountain States. Social media usage was lowest in the Great Plains, lower Midwest, and South with the exceptions of Florida and major southern cities such as Atlanta. Measurements of the overall extent of spatial agglomeration were very high. The paper concludes by discussing the policy implications of the study at the county as well as national levels.
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