Pew Internet released a short but incredibly useful report earlier this year called The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012. While it’s imperative to do your own research to uncover where your customers are, use these stats as a general guideline as you plan and refine your social media marketing strategy.
Who is using social media?
By gender, race, and geography
Women tend to use social media a bit more than men – 71% vs. 62% – and Hispanics use social media slightly more than blacks and whites, clocking in at 72% (68% of blacks and 65% of whites use social media). Urbanites and suburbanites are on social media in almost equal numbers (70% vs. 67%), while 61% of those who reside in rural areas use social media.
It comes as absolutely no surprise that the younger you are, the more likely you are to use social media. A full 83% of those between 18 and 29 use social media, while only 32% of those over 65 use it.
By education and income
When you look at social media usage based on education and household income, there is very little difference in usage rates. In fact, the biggest users had some college and the lowest household incomes. I am curious: Do those two stats taken together represent college and university students? Are they the biggest social media users overall? Unfortunately, the study doesn’t say.
What social media sites do they use?
In sum, this study confirms what we already pretty much know: Facebook is king, and young adults are on social media a lot.
- Facebook: 67% use Facebook; the biggest users are young women, ages 18-29.
- Twitter: 16% use Twitter; the biggest users are also ages 18-29, live in an urban area and tend to be African-American.
- Pinterest: 15% use Pinterest; users tend to be white adult women under 50 with some college education.
- Instagram: 13% use Instagram; again, it’s popular with young adults ages 18-29, but Instagram tends to be used the most by African-Americans, Latinos, and women who live in an urban area.
- Tumblr: The smallest user base (with 6%) is used mostly by those ages 18-29.
Will these statistics change the way you use social media?
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