Each social media platform has cultivated a unique identity thanks to the demographics of the people who participate in the network. Some platforms are preferred by young adults, who are most active in the evening, others by high-income professionals, who are posting throughout the workday.
We explained in a recent report why many brands and businesses need platform-focused social media strategies, rather than a diluted strategy that aims to be everywhere at once.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we break down the demographics of each major social media platform to help brands and businesses decide which networks they should prioritize. Being able to identify the demographics of social media audiences at a granular level is the basis for all targeted marketing and messaging. The report also spotlights the opportunities that lie ahead for each social network, how demographics affect usage patterns, and why some platforms are better for brands than others.
Here are some of our surprising findings:
- Facebook still skews young, but the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket has seen 45% growth since year-end 2012. Among U.S. Internet users, 73% with incomes above $75,000 are on Facebook (compared to 17% who are on Twitter). Eight-six percent of Facebook’s users are outside the U.S.
- Instagram: Sixty-eight percent of Instagram’s users are women.
- Twitter has a surprisingly young user population for a large social network — 27% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. use Twitter, compared to only 16% of people in their thirties and forties.
- LinkedIn is international and skews toward male users.
- Google+ is the most male-oriented of the major social networks. It’s 70% male.
- Pinterest is dominated by tablet users. And, according to Nielsen data, 84% of U.S. Pinterest users are women.
- Tumblr is strong with teens and young adults interested in self-expression, but only 8% of U.S. Internet users with incomes above $75,000 use Tumblr.
Too many brands and businesses still try a scattershot approach at social media. They try to be everywhere and spread their efforts too thin.
They also apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether it’s in-house or external social media marketing teams, they craft campaigns around a single communication style and a rigid set of formats — and expect them to drive the same results across platforms.
Particularly for smaller or niche players — or really, anyone on a constrained budget — it makes more sense to double-down on a single platform, learn its idiosyncrasies, and become an expert at cultivating its audience base.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid research service, we dig into the reasons why platform-centric approaches make more sense, and explore how to make them work. Here are the benefits:
- Social media budgets become more manageable. Your organization will no lon! ger leak dollars with a half-hearted attempt to be, and post everywhere.
- Brands and businesses will gain a more authentic voice. It’s difficult to develop a genuine, humanized voice on every platform. Attention to a single network will help brands cultivate a more persuasive personality.
- Become more efficient. Many companies on social media see a great deal of success on one platform, but still grind away at others. Why not focus resources on where your engagement is deepest?
- Improve your chances at earned media and viral success. These grow out of a deep understanding of a social network’s idiosyncrasies, not by throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
- Develop a knack for avoiding social media gaffes and bloopers. Many of the social media foot-in-mouth moments of recent years grow out of a lack of comprehension for what makes each network tick.
- Users have developed sophisticated network-specific cultures. They can spot a poser from a mile a way.
- Creative freedom: This may sound counter-intuitive, since choosing to focus energies on a single platform would seem to close off options. But focus actually opens up opportunities. Ideas come more easily once a single primary platform is chosen.
- Avoid top-down strategies that try to fit round pegs into square holes. Ideas for posts and campaigns will be driven by a more bottom-up thought process. And not by the nebulous question, “What’s our social media strategy?”
- Drive better recruiting and contracting decisions. If a single platform is prioritized, the search for social media talent becomes clearer. Different kinds of expertise are required for each network.
- Finally, a deliberate platform-centric approach allows for more straightforward testing and tracking of results. If one platform focus doesn’t work, another emphasis can be tried. But data will be cleaner and priorities will be easier to rearrange.
In fact, during Q2, 6.2% of total online video ad views tracked occurred on an Apple device, compared to 2.4% on an Android device. In other words, iOS devices accounted for more than 70% share of mobile and tablet video ad views. And while the share of total ad views has been rising on both platforms, Apple’s growth has been more rapid (up from 2.4% in Q2 2012) than Android’s (up from 1.3%).
Looking at the full spectrum of non-desktop video ad views (not limited to just mobile phones and tablets), Apple devices still control a majority 62% share, split between iPhones (28.6%), iPads (27.3%) and iPods (5.8%). Android phones (21.8%) and tablets (2.3%) comprise about one-quarter of non-desktop video ad views, with OTT devices (such as gaming consoles and Roku) picking up the remaining 13.2% share.
Interestingly, the study results suggest that screen size and viewing behavior correlate. That is, iPad and OTT devices tend to follow more of a TV-style viewing, with roughly 45% of ad views on these devices occurring during long-form content. The corresponding percentage for PC/Macs and mobile phones is about 20%.
Microsoft is paying $7 billion for Nokia’s handset business.
The two companies have been in a partnership since 2011. The first product of their partnership, the Nokia Lumia 900, was out in November of 2011.
In this chart, you can see how Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market has fared since it released that phone.
Microsoft remains stuck in a distant third with just 3.7% of the market, though it’s up from 1.5% when the Lumia launched.
Microsoft reportedly acquired Nokia because it was unhappy with the partnership. CEO Steve Ballmer thought Microsoft needed to completely control the smartphone branding. He thought that Microsoft and Nokia were wasting energy with two marketing plans.
Those might be problems, but really, they seem very small. The big problem for Microsoft is that its platform is at a disadvantage because it has fewer applications than Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. It doesn’t offer anything that’s significantly better than those other platforms to make up for the lack of apps.
Owning Nokia does nothing to change that.
Facebook is nearly as influential as blogs when it comes to influencing women’s clothing purchases.
Netbase partnered with Edison Research and surveyed a sample of 1,005 women across the U.S.
According to the study, 28% (or, 281) of the women surveyed considered themselves “Fashionistas.”
Retailers look to this subset of women as trend-setters who can sway shopping habits.
For casual clothing, 33% of these women said they consulted Facebook before making purchases (nearly on par with the number who consult fashion blogs). Twenty-four percent said they consulted Pinterest.
Interestingly, 30% of women consulted Facebook (more than fashion blogs and Pinterest) when it came to professional clothing. We suspect that fashion-conscience women find it difficult to be creative with workplace outfits. Thus, they look to their friends for inspiration.
Fashion blogs did have more influence than Facebook and Pinterest when it came to shopping for special occasions.
Retailers, and particularly specialty retailers, can use this information to inform their marketing efforts on different social platforms.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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