A rundown of social media audience demographics

Oct 3, 2014

Constructing a discerning and proper allocation strategy for your marketing budget can be challenging. But most marketing directors agree that whether you’re primarily inbound focused or still drop money in the traditional advertising bucket, everyone needs to have a presence in social media.

If you’re funding or time for social media marketing or social selling is limited it would help to be able to do an efficient job of targeting your audience. Knowing where your audience is, what social media channels they use and how they interact will give you the best possible bang for your buck. The first key to understanding this is knowing who your audience is – of course. If you don’t know already, it sounds like you may need to develop a buyer persona, luckily, we’ve written blogs to cover this very topic. Once you understand your target audience, it’s time to understand what social media websites they’re most likely to be at.

Key social media audience demographics

To properly understand who’s using which social media websites, let’s first look at who’s online. According to Pew 74% of all internet users are involved or use social media. The data shows a pretty consistent social media use between male and female but the difference in use by age is significant. In the 18-29 age group, 89% use social media. The 30-49 age demographic still contains 82% social media users. At the 50-64 age group, you’ll see 65% and once we get to 65+ your around 49%. One’s education level doesn’t seem to impact social media usage dramatically as 72% of high school grads or less use social media and 73% with College education or more use social media. How about income? Again seems to be pretty consistent across all income levels. 79% of those making less then $30K per year use social media  and 78% of those making more then $75K per year use social media.

To begin to see a dramatic shift in social media audience demographics, we’ll need to target specific channels.

Again, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center the landscape of social media audience demographics is well illustrated in the infographic by Adweek below.

social media audience demographics

So what does this mean to those looking to find the right social media audiences for their marketing strategies?

For example, if your audience is younger, urban, and female. Consider Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. If your audience is 40-50 yrs. old Suburban adults. Consider Facebook and Pinterest. If you’re audience is affluent and educated women, Pinterest is going to be your key.

But, wait! There’s more!

These numbers can provide some great insight as you decide which channels to target. But remember, knowing where to be is only half the battle. You’ll need to make sure the content you’re posting matches your audience and the typical format and nature that channel is accustomed to.

For example, while you may be targeting an affluent, well-educated female demographic. If your content is non-visual – you’re best bet might be to leverage Facebook until you can find a way to develop some attractive imagery, charts, or graphics since Pinterest (the ideal site for that demographic) is image-centric.

By studying these social media audience demographics and understanding your content you should be able to place your content in front of the perfect audience.