Saqui Research

Social Media Demographics for Your Social Media Strategy post is a follow-up to last month’s “Are you where your customers are?” post.  I challenged you to do research and figure out where your customers are in terms of social networking sites. Once you know where your target market is, then you can build a focused strategy for social media. You will make better use of your resources, which always seem to be in short supply, right?

If you haven’t done the social media research yet for your target market, here is a great resource to get you started.

Pew Internet & American Life Project, a division of the Pew Research Center, recently released its statistics for the demographics of social media users. This social media research was conducted at the end of 2012 via two surveys. Click here to access the full report, see the breakdown of each demographic group, and read the methodology.

I want you to see the actual percentages and where there are statistically significant differences between the demographic groups so you will have them handy for building the social media strategy for your target market with confidence.

(Quick stats review: If the differences between the group percentages are statistically significant, this means that the differences in percentages are NOT due to chance.   If there are no significant differences, this means that although the percentages of the groups may be different, the differences are likely due to chance.)

Here are the highlights from the Pew Internet research of those surveyed (n = 1,802) about their social media habits:


Of all internet users, 67% use social networking sites.

  • Here are the significant demographic differences for those who use social networking sites:
    • More women (71%) than men (62%)
    • More younger (18-29: 83% and 30-49: 77%) than older users (50-64: 52% and 65+: 32%)
    • More urban (70%) than rural (61%) users.
  • There were no significant differences in users’ race/ethnicity, educational level, or household income.

FACEBOOK–Still the most popular social networking platform

Of all internet users, 67% are on Facebook.

  • Here are the significant demographic differences for users of Facebook:
    • More women (72%) than men (62%)
    • People ages 18-29 (86%) than any other age group
    • People with some college (73%) than those with a high school diploma or less (60%)
  • There were no significant differences in household income or urbanity.

TWITTERPercentage of users has doubled since November 2010

Of all internet users, 16% use Twitter.

  • Here are the significant demographic differences for Twitter users:
    • More Black, non-Hispanics (26%) than White, non-Hispanics (14%)
    • More 18-29 year olds (27%) than any other age group
    • More urban (20%) than suburban (14%) or rural (12%)
  • There were no significant differences in users’ gender, educational level, or household income.


Of all internet users, 15% are on Pinterest.

  • Here are the significant demographic differences for people who use Pinterest:
    • More women (25%) than men (5%)
    • More White, non-Hispanic (18%) than Hispanic (10%) or Black, non-Hispanic (8%)
    • More people under the age of 50 (18-29: 19% and 30-49: 19%) than those over the age of 50 (50-64: 12% and 65+: 4%)
    • More people with some college (16%) or college (20%) than those with a high school diploma or less (11%)
    • More people with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more ($50,000-$74,999: 23% and $75,000+: 18%) than those with less than $30,000 (10%)
  • There were no significant differences in urbanity.


Of all internet users, 13% are on Instagram.

  • Here are the significant differences for Instagram users:
    • More women (16%) than men (10%)
    • More Black, non-Hispanic (23%) and Hispanic (18%) than White, non-Hispanic (11%)
    • More people under the age of 50 (18-29: 28% and 30-49: 14%) than those over the age of 50 (50-64: 3% and 65+: 2%)
    • More users in urban (17%) than suburban (11%) or rural areas (11%)
  • No significant differences in educational level or household income.

TUMBLR–The least popular of all social networking sites

Of all internet users, 6% use Tumblr.

  • Here are the significant differences for those on Tumblr:No significant differences in gender, race/ethnicity, educational level, or urbanity.
    • More younger users 18-29 (13%) compared to all other ages
    • More users at the lower end of household income, less than $30,000 (6%) and those at the higher end, $75,000+ (8%), than those in the middle $30,000-$49,999 (3%)

In my previous post mentioned above, I wrote, “…we are pressured to be where everyone else is even if it doesn’t make sense for our particular market.”  (I am often pressured to be on Facebook but that is a whole other story.)

Therefore, in this post, I want to encourage you to be brave and stand firm on the foundation of good social media research.  The next time your colleague or a social media expert tells you that you need to be on a particular social media site, check the research of Pew Internet.

Then you can confidently smile and politely say, “No I don’t.  Research tells me my target market isn’t there so it would be a waste of my resources.”

Full reference: Duggan, M. & Brenner, J.  The Demographics of Social Media Users–2012. Pew Internet & American Life Project, February 14, 2013. Accessed on February 18, 2013.

P.S. Of course, this social media research is worthless if you don’t know who your ideal customer really is.

P. P. S. We are currently developing an online course for people who want to identify and focus on their target market in order to increase connection, engagement, and sales. We are calling it the GIFT program: Getting It Focused Today. If you are interested in hearing more, click here so we can keep you up-to-date on the program launch.


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Ursula Saqui is an academic and psychotherapist turned entrepreneur. Works with individuals and organizations that are willing, curious, and brave enough to intensely focus and work on their brand, customers, and competitive advantage. When she is not working, she is spending time with her family, reading, playing soccer, or eating steak. Connect with Ursula via , Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Facebook.