This week, the Pew Research Center released a report of great interest to all digital marketers – The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012.
While calling it “cannon” may be a bit of a stretch, these are some of the most influential data points that will show up on social media strategy plans for the year.
When analyzing the report, there are plenty of shocking items that definitely stood out to me. Here are five of them:
[Note: for the sake of sanity and word count, every time you see the word "people" in this post, it means "people who use the Internet." Thanks.]
1) Facebook is the Fountain of Youth.
35% of people 65+ use Facebook. For comparison’s sake, 2% of the Tweet and 4% use Pinterest. Props to the 2% who use Instagram, too.
2) Twitter and Instagram are for City Folk.
20% of urban residents use Twitter and 17% of them use Instagram. What’s MOST interesting about those statistics is that they are significantly higher than the overall percentages of the population who use those platforms. Overall, 16% of people Tweet and 13% take awesome filtered photos.
3) Pinterest Is For Mothers and Daughters.
Women outnumber men who use Pinterest 5-1 (25%-5%). Perhaps the most shocking part of that stat is that the gender gap isn’t wider.
But the ages of users are oddly consistent. 19% of people 18-29 AND 30-49 Pin…while 12% of those 50-64 are on the network.
Every other network sees a drop-off from 18-29 to 30-49, including Facebook.
4) Internet Use Has EXPLODED
In Pew’s December 2002 report on Internet usage, 43% of adults didn’t use the internet.
You read that right. Just 10 years ago, more 4 in 10 adults didn’t use the Internet for anything.
In this study, that number dropped to just 19%.
These numbers show a stunning level of behavioral change in a relatively short period of time.
One comparison that makes sense to me is the rise of cable TV, which saw a subscriber base soar from 22% of TV households to 59% from 1980-1990.
5) Is Tumblr Done? Inconclusive.
The overall numbers look fairly bleak for Tumblr.
Just 6% of all adults use the blogging platform. That’s much lower than Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
But hope is not lost, as 13% of adults 18-29 Tumble(?) and it seems to have some traction among Hispanics (8% usage) and those with a household income over $75,000 (8% usage).
With a young, affluent base, even a small one, it’s hard to write off the platform…but it’s also hard to justify spending marketing resources on it, either, unless you are specifically targeting their core audience.