The Latest In Social Media Demographics

In an earlier 2013 Struming we looked at the Pew study of social media demographics and saw some interesting trends.The latest Pew study, The Pew Research Center Internet & Life Project, is in, and the trends continue. The new study was conducted in April-May 2013 among 2,252 adults 18 and older.

Here are the highlights.

1. Social Media Usage continues to grow

In just a few months overall usage by adults has increased from 67% to 72%. Obviously we have long since passed the social media tipping point and those who claimed social was a fad have long since been silenced.

2. Usage is pervasive in all sub-segments—race, income, geography.

Only age provides some discrimination. Understandably younger demos have heavier usage than older demos, as shown below. But even this gap is closing as now fully 60% of adults 50-64 are social users.

18-24                                     89%

30-49                                    78%

50-64                                    60%

65+                                       43%

3. Twitter is for real

This study did a deeper dive into Twitter and the results are interesting. Many people didn’t “get” twitter initially. As a communicator I love its 140 character brevity. And obviously links to additional content provides more substance. It is a fabulous platform for both business and personal communication. All that was needed to become a major force was greater penetration, and that’s happening.

Twitter usage is now up to 18%, more than double the rate in late 2010. Twitter does have certain usage skews:

Young  (18-29)                        29%

Black/Hispanic                       27/28%

75+K Income                          22%

Truth be told I am a twitter addict and do not seek rehab. I appreciate its power and foresee its continued growth. Twitter penetration will shortly pass 1/3 of Millennials and as leading indicators of trends, expect this growth to continue. Twitter’s clever Vine app, with its 6 second looped videos is a very cool video device and competes well with Instagram’s new 15 second video, Battle of Vine vs. Instagram Video

Should your business use social media to promote itself? Of course you should, but slow down to speed up since strategy always comes before execution. Social is a part of a full communications strategy  and not every platform is right for each business. But I can’t think of a business where a strategic use of social media won’t drive awareness and sales.

I’ll be watching the year end Pew data to see if the trends continue. My prediction: There’s no ceiling yet.

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  1. Jeremy Neuer says:

    Now that Bruce is on Twitter (@springsteen), there’s no stopping them.


  2. Caroline Oakes says:

    I always appreciate your research, Lonny. Thanks for this post.

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