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.
Online travel community Airbnb asked its users to submit scripted shots from all over the world in the form of Vines – six-second videos – via Twitter. They used the resulting film, entitled Hollywood …
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Location-based marketing sees a big increase in use
Restaurants around the world are seeing the value in digital marketing, especially programs that can increase customer loyalty and help establishments get the word out among like-minded diners.
In a survey, Hospitality Technology asked US executives overseeing restaurants around the world about a variety of social and loyalty marketing tactics, and found that every single one of these tactics had seen an increase in use among restaurants between 2012 and 2013. Nearly nine out of 10 restaurants used social media outreach this year—the most common tactic by a wide margin—up from 77% in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, the greatest percentage of social-savvy restaurants used Facebook (94%) this year, followed by Twitter (77%) and Yelp (53%). Nearly half also used YouTube. foursquare, used by 42% of restaurants, seemed like it could be leveraged more widely, given its role as a way for users to broadcast their latest check-ins, most often at stores and restaurants. Pinterest saw among the biggest bumps in usage, rising from 17% in 2012 to 28% in 2013.
Among the more general marketing strategies, restaurants also increased their use of daily deals and loyalty programs. And location-based marketing made among the biggest leaps. Sixteen percent of restaurants used the tactic last year, and this year that figure rose to 27%.
Mobile is giving location-based marketing a major boost, and it has a special value for restaurants, offering opportunities to reach mobile users as they’re scouring the streets—and their locati! on-enabled apps—for their next meal.
Both mobile sites and apps saw increased usage among restaurants this year: More than half of respondents had a mobile site, and nearly one out of three had a mobile app.
Menus topped the list as the most common feature available on restaurant apps. A restaurant search feature with location-based GPS was also used by 65% of restaurants with apps—presumably mostly chain restaurants that would have locations in many different places.
Offering nutritional information, integrating with users’ social media sites and ordering food via restaurant apps were also popular mobile app features.
Twitter is going public soon, so it’s worth knowing how the micro-blogging site makes money.
It is an advertising-based business. Twitter also sells data. It will generate about $583 million this year. Twitter is expected to generate a little less than $1 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer.
Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from three types of ads, although it plans to have a more robust advertising offering next year.
The New York Times’ Vindu Goel gives a good rundown of those three money-making ad products:
- Promoted tweets: Advertisers pay to have brief messages show up in users’ stream of Twitter messages. They can use keyword targeting to reach specific users. Advertisers can also use a little bit of demographic targeting, although Twitter doesn’t know as much about its users as Facebook does. Twitter gets paid when users engage with the promoted tweets (when they favorite, comment on, or retweet the ad).
- Promoted trends: Twitter lists which topics are being talked about most on its platform. The trends vary by location, so Twitter’s list of topics in the US might not be the same as the list in England, for example. Advertisers can pay to have a topic of their choice listed too. A promoted trend costs roughly $200,000 for a day of exposure on all US Twitt! er accou nts, the New York Times reports.
- Promoted accounts: If a brand wants more Twitter followers, it can pay to have its account recommended to Twitter users.
When Twitter files its S-1 papers for its IPO, it will answer a simple question that has been a bit of a mystery for observers and fans of the company: How many users are on Twitter?
It’s a simple question without a simple answer right now.
The company recently wrote a blog post saying it had 200 million users. All Things D believes it has 240 million users. Venture Beat says it has 1 billion users. And where do the 40 million users of Vine, Twitter’s mini-video sharing app, fit in?
Part of the confusion here is that these reports are likely mixing up different technical terms for users. There is a difference between the total number of registered user accounts on Twitter — the entire Twitter universe — and the more meaningful numbers of monthly active users and daily active users.
But even so, Twitter executives will be anxious about the public and investor reaction to its S-1 when it gives some solid historic numbers about its user base.
The biggest, most difficult problem for Twitter is its notorious population of fake or abusive user accounts. Fake ac! counts a re set up by companies who sell new followers to advertisers who want to build large follower populations quickly. They tend to consist of “empty” accounts or bots which are mostly inactive, or programmed to auto-retweet other accounts. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has made his anger clear at “bulk” follower providers.
Back in April, Twitter’s fake user population was estimated at 20 million accounts out of a total of 500 million. But Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser also said at the time that 40% of Twitter accounts appear to be inactive because many people set up their accounts simply to “listen” to other people, rather than tweet themselves.
Real-time bidding is a kind of automated or programmatic buying of advertising placements.
It is to digital advertising what high-frequency trading is to Wall Street. It involves computerized, algorithm-driven trading that allows for quick buying of ad impressions according to pre-set parameters. Recently, Twitter is the latest tech company to enter the RTB race with this month’s acquisition of MoPub, an ad exchange with a real-time bidding platform.
On the desktop, programmatic or automated buying of display ads has already made huge inroads. Its advocates say that it has led to a more transparent and efficient digital ad market. But it is in mobile where programmatic buying may make the most difference. That’s because smartphones are advertising platforms that we carry in our pockets, and with RTB that means marketers can reach us in real-time, and target potential customers according to location and context.
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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