I’ve come to realize lately, that not all social media will benefit your business. That’s because each possess their own flavors and character, much like a city, a family or even a person. I guess you could say each has its own personality.
For this reason, marketing companies like Flowtown and Kissmetrics measure and test and provide us busy online entrepreneurs with some important social media demographics that we can use to plan and develop our social media strategy.
Social Networking Statistics
First of all, what do I mean by social media personality or demographics?
Each platform has it’s own set of statistics based on such user characteristics like age, income, education, gender and lots of other little interesting tidbits that affect your decision to approach them and how to proceed should you choose to do so.
Using Social Media
New entrepreneurs can get a little lost when it comes to social media. Which platform do you choose? How many do you set-up? Do you try them all? (Don’t worry, social media is so new that many well-established companies are also struggling to figure it out.)
Well, you definitely don’t want to start using too many social media services all at once. Here’s why:
- First of all, social networking is very time consuming and without some planning could waste a lot of your time. So, have a plan before jumping in.
- Secondly, you don’t just set-up accounts everywhere, post on them now and again and get awesome results. Actually, you might not get any results with that approach. Each platform is like a social club. You have to socialize to build relationships and hopefully build your audience.
- Thirdly, there are some social media platforms that you don’t want to waste your time on, because they don’t connect with the market you’re targeting. You’ll end-up channeling a lot of effort into something that may bring you traffic or create a lot of followers, but without any conversions (example: sales or optins).
Therefore, like any other business strategy, your social media approach requires some smart planning. That is, you should focus your efforts on platforms that will give you the biggest returns in traffic, engagement, market research, and conversions.
How Do You Find The Right Social Media For You?
Being that each platform has its own culture, expressed by it’s social media demographics (or what I like to call personality), you can pick and choose the ones that best connect with your target audience.
So to help you (& myself) with that, I’ve poured over some social networking statistics articles and infographics in order to create individual social media profiles. I consider them Personality Profiles. Use these to help you choose which social media tool you want to use and how you want to use it.
Keep in mind, I’ve gathered information on the more popular social media platforms out there. That said, I’ve excluded Digg because it was recently bought and has drastically changed, which will probably cause it to undergo a demographics metamorphosis over the next while. So, no point in capturing it now. Maybe I’ll add a Digg profile once the dust settles.
Social Media Personality Profiles
* these stats are US-based
Facebook Description: Similar to favorite phone numbers you kept on speed dial (remember the Seinfeld episode?). To be a little more current, you could describe this platform as your MY10 or MY5 on your mobile phone plan taken to a whole new hyper-dimension on the internet. Your MY10 expand to MY100s!
- Number of users: Since May 2012, over 900 million users! (Wikipedia)
- Used mostly for: to connect with family & friends.
- Gender: women (57%) > (43%)men
- Prevalent age group: all ages, with the bulk under 74 years of age.
- How they access it: > 50% access it from their mobile
- Education: >50% have some college, ~25% have a degree
- Income: bulk $ 25K – 99K
Twitter description: A social networking and micro-blogging platform where you can jump on stage and have your say with your audience in a 140 characters (thank goodness) or less. This platform is also interactive. Readers can retweet (re-share) your communications to their audience as well as reply or add their two cents to previous tweets.
In Twitter creator Jack Dorsey’s own words:
“…we came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.”
- Number of users: Since 2012 over 500 million active users! (Wikipedia)
- Used mostly for: a form of blogging, mostly with no goal in mind and to have conversations.
- Gender: women (59%) > (41%)men
- Prevalent age group: somewhat even spread, with majority under 54 yrs (Quantcast).
- How they access it: > 54% access it from their mobile
- Education: mostly no college to some college
- Income: bulk $ 25K – 99K
- Extra: 38% tweet at least once per day
Twitter description: A professional social networking site. An online business trade show that probably covers every professional industry possible. Connections are usually better quality, because its implied that people you connect with are people you recommend or stand by. With the capability of forming groups, LinkedIn provides the opportunity for lots of networking.
- Number of users: Since June 2012 over 175 million registered users! (Wikipedia)
- Used mostly for: for business purposes and/or career growth
- Gender: women (48%) < (52%) men (pretty close!)
- Prevalent age group: mostly middle-aged, between 25-64 yrs (Quantcast).
- Education: Yes, mostly college to degrees.
- Income: all levels, but bulk < $ 100K
- Extra: according to Quantcast, 57% are childless
Pinterest description: It’s a social picture sharing online bulletin board. Basically, you pin an image of interest on a board you create. And you can even write a few notes to say why. Viewers can comment and like, and can also pin copies on their boards.
Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.
(being that Pinterest is still new, stats aren’t as detailed as other platforms)
- Number of visitors: 21M unique visitors (visitors who return to the site)
- Used mostly for: sharing interests especially in crafts, gifts, hobbies/leisure, interior design, fasion designers/collections
- Gender: women (82%) > (18%) men
- Prevalent age group: mixed, 25 yrs & up.
- Education: Yes, mostly college & some degrees.
- Income: mostly $ 25K – $ 99K
- Extra: As stated above, these figures are US demographics. But in the UK, the majority of users are male (56%) in the age range of 35-44. (Wikipedia)
Stumbleupon description: Search engine with personalization and social network capabilities. As you like or dislike a selection, SU’s intuitive nature recommends more of what you do like. It’s like having your favourite magazines or newspapers served to you on a silver platter.
Some quotes from current and past users:
“the entire Internet, all in one place,” ”an epic journey” and “a map to an adventure you wouldn’t otherwise have found out about.”
- Number of visitors: According to Wikipedia 25M unique visitors Jun2012 (visitors who return to the site)
- Used mostly for: accessing news, humor, websites, photography, whatever’s interesting on the internet.
- Gender: women ~ men (fairly equal)
- Prevalent age group: mid-aged, 25 yrs & up with bulk in ages 35 – 44
- Education: Not as much; mostly no college (47%), followed by college (39%).
- Income: funny enough greater income levels; over $ 50K with most $ 150+K
- Extra: Ethnicity-wise, a whopping 78% of members are Caucasian, followed by African American (9%) & Hispanic (8%).
Myspace description: Much like Stumbleupon, Myspace is a social, personalized and interactive platform that focuses on the arts and entertainment rather than world interests. It influences pop culture via music and also gaming. As you may have guessed, Myspace targets a younger crowd. It went through some hard times a while back, but was then sold to advertising network, Specific Media with Justin Timberlake taking an ownership stake as well.
Here’s how Justin Timberlake describes Myspace’s new direction to Mashable last summer:
“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place,” Timberlake said in a statement. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment.”
- Number of visitors: >25M unique visitors (Wikipedia Jun2012)
- Used mostly for: accessing pop media, entertainment, music, gaming, videos – what it calls “Social Entertainment”.
- Gender: women (56%) > men (44%)
- Prevalent age group: Youth to young adults; mostly in the < 18 to 24 age range.
- Education: Lower; mostly no college (58%), followed by college (33%).
- Income: not bad for young ones; the bulk between $ 25K – $ 74K
- Extra: Despite the younger age, 65% have kids!
Google+ description: Social networking platform that’s sort of Facebook-like, sort of Twitter-like, and gmail rolled into one and tied to the #1 search engine Google.
- Number of visitors: >250M registered users (not necessarily active though)
- Used mostly for: looking for friends & networking
- Gender: Mostly male (~80%)! considered the opposite of Pinterest.
- Prevalent age group: Young adults; users < 44 yrs with bulk < 24 yrs.
- Education: good question; but with most members being students, I would guess mostly lower education and college, with minimal university degrees.
- Income: mystery; but basing on top occupations of student, software engineer, consultant, and manager (in that order), I would estimate it at <$ 25K to $ 99K
- Extra: Difficult to find stats, which is ironic considering Google has stats on almost everyone online…so secretive!
reddit description: Its a social news website. You post information and people vote yay or nay, which determines your post’s ranking on the website and its overall popularity. Of course, the more votes it gets, the closer to the front page it gets and the more people read your post. This way, what people want to read stays at the forefront of the site.
How one member describes the Reddit experience:
“This is a place friendly to thought, relationships, arguments, and to those that wish to challenge those genres.”—Dapper77,
- Number of visitors: 39M unique visitors in July 2012 (visitors who return to the site)
- Used mostly for: interesting news, humor, politics, tech, and other interesting on the internet.
- Gender: women 34% < men 66%
- Prevalent age group: fairly even spread from 24 yrs to 54 yrs
- Education: yes; mostly college & Bachelor degrees with a pinch of graduate degrees.
- Income: mostly $ 0 to $ 99K
- Extra: reddit has a more open door policy compared to Google+. Their software is open source, which means members can help improve its features.
So there you have it; relevant social media demographics for each of these top social media platforms. Use the statistics to help you nail a winning social media strategy as well as an effective marketing plan.
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