Effective Use of Demographics in Targeting Social Media Users on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

The most effective use of social media is to target where your audience is most active. Too often marketers preach to the choir or “talk” to an empty auditorium. In actual fact, U.S. social network users (163.7 million strong) are a very diverse group, particularly using Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Effective Use of Demographics in Targeting Social Media UsersA December 2012 study of social networking demographics by the Pew Internet & American Life Project  found that 72% of Hispanics viewed themselves as Internet users compared to 68% blacks and 65% white. And women were 10% higher as social networkers than men (71% to 62%).


The Pew study also found that U.S. Twitter users by demographic skewed toward youth, with 27% in the 18-29 age group; 30-49 with 16%; and 50-64 were about 10%.


The Pew study reconfirmed what we already knew – Pinterest’s visual audience is mostly female. Pinterest is diverse in other ways: it attracts a wider age group and in particular the 18 to 29 year olds. However Pinterest is also very popular with Internet users in the 30 to 49 group, closely followed by the 50 to 64 year olds.


Pew also reported that blacks used the photo-sharing site Instagram (owned by Facebook) as twice as likely to use Instagram than the average user. Hispanic was second and whites just below the average Internet user. Women users were more predisposed to use Instagram than males (16% to 10% of those surveyed).


Knowing key demographics will help marketers craft their message to be most effective. One size doesn’t fit all. So don’t underestimate your audience(s) and recognize that Internet users are a diverse bunch.

Janette Leon-Speyer


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