17 Dec Twitter Demographics: Who are These People?
“Social media” is a fine and useful term. We use it all the time around here. It’s clear and concise and everybody knows exactly what you’re talking about when you say it. It’s a good term, but it’s an umbrella term designed to cover Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and every other medium people use to share content on the Internet.
If you ask, “Who uses social media?” the answer is “about 75 percent of all Internet users,” which translates to “basically everybody.” It’s too big a sample to be considered its own demographic. For that reason, it’s helpful to look at the unique demographics of individual social media platforms and tailor your content accordingly.
That means we’re talking about Twitter demographics because, frankly, Facebook is basically everybody, Google+ is basically nobody, and there aren’t any other text-focused social media platforms making a serious challenge to any of them.
In January, the Pew Research Internet Project found that 19 percent of online adults were Twitter users. Considering 74 percent of online adults use social media, this makes Twitter a distinct community. And, indeed, many of its users talk about it in terms of sociocultural identity, making reference to things like “Rockets Twitter,” or “black Twitter,” or “conservative Twitter.” Twitter’s hashtags, groups and search functionality enable the plotting of this kind of identity-based real estate in a way that Facebook does not. Twitter users also see Twitter itself as a group they belong to, frequently using Twitter to broadcast complaints about their Facebook feed, usually its lameness.
To a lot of people, Facebook feels like hanging out at their parents’ place over winter break, and Twitter feels like being at a bar with their friends.
Certainly there is an extent to which Twitter culture has become self-perpetuating, but there are also real, measurable demographic conditions that feed that beast.
Younger, hipper, richer
As you can see from these brilliant infographics, Twitter trends toward people who went to college, people who make at least $75,000 per year and to people living in urban and suburban areas. This distinguishes it from Facebook, which appeals less to suburban people than urban or rural people, which has its highest usage rate among people making less than $49,000 per year, and which seems to be especially popular among women. Other research has shown Twitter users to be younger, more tech-savvy and further left politically than their Facebook counterparts.
This, obviously, is valuable information for marketers. Tailoring content specifically to the Twitter crowd doesn’t make sense for every brand. But having this information helps marketers make smarter decisions about what kind of content to push, how to stylize that content and what to expect in return.
Updated social media demographics from Business Insider.