Millionaires love the idea of social networking sites but it seems they rarely have time to use them once they sign up.

A poll by SEI suggests that 70% of high-wealth individuals are members of social networking sites, compared with 61% for the general adult US population. Of those who use social media, one in two said they use Facebook, while 37% visit YouTube, and just under 35% use LinkedIn. Half the Facebook users said their accounts were for personal use.

David McLaughlin, senior managing director for the SEI Wealth Network, said: “Wealthy individuals are engaged with social media even more than the rest of the American public. As a company that prides itself on innovation, we’re pleased to see this constituency adapting to and even embracing changing cultural trends.”

However, almost 32% of respondents said they had no time for social media. Even those who do sign up for social networks grapple with the problem of time – presumably they’re busy making money. Just 17.4% of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis, compared with Pew’s results of 38% for the general population.

The trend doesn’t surprise me. I imagine that most wealthy individuals would be acutely aware of new tools, but be pressed for time and strict about the cost-benefit of any activity. Yet I wouldn’t read too much into the results since the sample size was quite small – SEI surveyed 46 wealthy individuals with more than $5 million in investible assets.

Photo by Alan Cleaver on Flickr, licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.