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How to Identify Social Media Demographics & Target Viewer Interests for Better Social Reach

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Image via flickr user Jason Howie

This is a guest contribution from Larry Alton.

There are social media demographics in general, and then there are your social media demographics for your business. You need to know the details of both in order to garner this platform for optimal gain. For instance, knowing that the majority of your followers are women in a certain age group means you can write your posts accordingly. Knowing that the majority of your fans live in a certain region means you can connect with them on a local level.

When it comes to identifying social media demographics, it’s all about using that data to hone your online presence. It doesn’t matter the platform; there are nuggets of gold in this data that can seriously boost your business. Start with considering the basic facts about social media in general. For example, the most popular platform is Facebook, followed by Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+ in a constant neck and neck race.

Back to basics

Facebook leans young, but there’s been a 45 percent spike in those ages 45 to 54 joining the site sine 2012. In total 73% of people who make over $75,000 per year are on Facebook, as opposed to just 17% on Twitter. However, a shocking 86% of FB users aren’t based in the US, making this prime pickings for businesses looking to go global.

With Instagram, now a part of Facebook, 68% of users are women. Twitter draws a young crowd with 27% of people in the US aged 18 to 29 using it, but only 16% of people who are in their 30s-40s tweet. If you’re looking to market to a younger crowd, your efforts might be better spent on Twitter rather than Facebook.

Juicy tidbits

LinkedIn is largely male but has a global appeal. Of course, it’s a more professional network, so you might want to steer clear of it if you’re trying to monetize a Paleo blog or other similar pursuit. However, for the more traditional startup or business, having a LinkedIn profile is nearly a necessity. Google+ takes the cake for male domination with 70% of users.

Pinterest is the social media platform of choice for tablet users, with 84% of users being women. Tumblr is another strong contender for teens, so it’s no surprise that only eight per cent of users have incomes over $75,000. What can you do with all this data? Manage it, analyze it and use it to craft your social media presence.

Know your users

There are analysis programs for certain platforms, including many provided (free) by the platforms themselves, which give you valuable information. For example, you can easily see which posts are most popular and which were most widely seen. You may also be able to get reports on the most active users in your network or other basic information on them.

Some of the most reputable social media analytic tools include Brandwatch, Google Analytics (a freebie), Local Response, and Moz Analytics. If you’re on a tight budget, Google isn’t fancy but it works, and the big social media platforms offer a variety of free analysis tools such as the free Facebook Competitive Analysis Report, Free Twitter Customer Service Analysis, or the Free Instagram User Report. Money can often play a role, but consider what information you need, not just the bottom line, to choose the right reporting tools.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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Comments

  1. Analyzing demographics and targeting specific networks with specific messages can help, but can sometimes over-complicate things for entrepreneurs. For me, I’m starting with the networks that I enjoy creating content for the most – which, if well done, will be discovered and shared by my audience who are present on that medium, even if they’re in the minority.

  2. Matt C says:

    While I agree that it’s important to know social media demographics, you want to focus on your own demographics. Who are you trying to reach and go from there, that should be your main focus.

  3. I agree with you in opinion on the most popular platform on Facebook
    And you can target any group in Facebook and Twitter

  4. Muntaseer says:

    all the tips here are great to identify social media demographics. getting targeted visitors is a lot tough these days. your tips will help me. thanks a lot.

  5. Sheeroh says:

    Your post has very helpful information Larry. I too discovered that analyzing the demographics of my networks goes a long way in helping me develop specific social media strategies. Without that, I’ll be everywhere at once and that won’t be effective at all.

  6. Know your users Smart insight Larry.Listen in, use tools, engage, ask and answer to make social work for you, because unless you’re targeting on some level you’re just wasting your time. Thanks for sharing your take!

  7. Harinder says:

    Hey Larry,

    Your article seems quite helpful and informative. Social demographics are really important in order to know the best social site to work on. I appreciate your work.

  8. mack says:

    I agree that it’s important to know social media demographics, you want to focus on your own demographics. Who are you trying to reach and go from there, that should be your main focus.