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How to Make Social Media Demographics Work for You

by Liz Plachecki

Examining social media demographic information is a fantastic starting point when it comes to determining how to reach your target customers and where to focus your efforts. Here’s a look at some of the most recent demographics for popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project revealed the following social media demographic information for 2012. The percentage in parentheses indicates the percentage of internet users who frequent the social network.

  • Facebook (67%). Adult females age 18 to 29.
  • Twitter (16%). Male and female adults age 18 to 29 including large numbers of urban residents and African-Americans.
  • Pinterest (15%). Adult females under the age of 50, most of whom are Caucasian with some level of college education.
  • Instagram (13%). Adult females age 18 to 29. It is particularly popular among urban residents, African-Americans and Latinos.
  • Tumblr (6%). Male and female adults age 18 to 29.

Some other interesting tidbits: 67 percent of all internet users frequent at least one social media network. All internet users under the age of 50 are highly likely to use at least one type of social media site. There are more female than male social media users. The 18 to 29 age group dominates social media use with 83 percent of the group frequenting at least one network. People who live in urban environments are much more likely to use social networking sites than people who live in rural communities.

Social media sites have become significantly more popular among both Latino and African-American populations, especially Twitter, as well as low-income earners who make $30,000 annually or less. This data suggests that social media may be an effective method for reaching marginalized communities.

And, 40 percent of social network users visit sites on mobile devices.

As social media continues to evolve, it’s only natural that demographics will continue to change. Over time, social media users shift and sway, particularly as new social networks gain popularity and existing networks change their features and/or focus. The bottom line is that demographics play an integral role in both social media marketing and engagement. Consider using a social media monitoring program that will aggregate demographic details for the conversions that they measure. Gathering detailed information about your target audience including gender and age groups, social networking sites and geographical data will help your company maximize its potential for social media marketing initiatives.

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