Twitter Users Are Fewer, But Younger & Wealthier

twitter on mobileRecently, I posted about a study showing that teens are favoring Twitter and using Facebook much less. Another study is out on Twitter and Facebook, this time about adult news consumers. The data shows a similar trend to the previous study – Twitter users are younger, wealthier, and more educated. The study also analyzed conversations taking place on Twitter and compared public opinion to that of the general population, showing that the average Twitter user is not the same as the average American. With these new demographics, advertisers can continue honing their marketing campaigns to target the specific audience that uses Twitter the most.

The Stats on Twitter’s News Consumers

The new study, conducted by Pew Research Center, found that only 16% of U.S. adults use Twitter. Only 8% use Twitter to get news, in contrast to Facebook’s 30%. On the plus side, the study also found that Twitter users are more educated, more mobile, and wealthier. 40% have earned a B.A. vs. 30% on Facebook, 85% get news via mobile compared to 64% on Facebook, and 48% make over $75,000 annually compared to 41% on Facebook. In addition, Twitter news consumers are younger (45% are between ages 18-29 compared to 34% on Facebook), more likely to be male (50% vs. 42% on Facebook), and more likely to be a person of color (43% vs. 37% on Facebook).

Conversation Analysis

One interesting aspect of the study was the analysis of the conversations that appeared on Twitter during major national events. For example, they studied conversations surrounding the acquittal of George Zimmerman, finding that the largest group of Twitter users shared news but did not add their own opinions (39%). The report also found that public opinion on Twitter can quickly shift. Just after the Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, Twitter was against the legalization of same-sex marriage by 55% to 32%. However, just one month later, Twitter was for the legalization of same-sex marriage by 43% to 26%.

Comparison to Overall Population

The study also analyzed such conversations in relation to overall public opinion, finding that the two did not always match up. For instance, during the presidential race in 2012, Ron Paul won public opinion on Twitter during the primary with 55% of conversations about him being positive and 15% being negative. The actual primary reflected a very different public opinion. After the shooting in Newtown, 64% of conversations on Twitter were in favor of stricter gun control laws with 21% in disagreement. In comparison, public opinion showed 49% of people in favor of stricter laws and 42% opposed.

What This Means for You

So, what do all of these statistics and comparisons mean for your marketing campaign? When marketing to the Twitter crowd, it is important to keep in mind that this audience is younger and appears to lean more on the liberal side. In addition, it is important to boost your mobile efforts as this demographic is a very mobile one. Because Twitter users are also wealthier, providing more relevant targeted advertising will certainly pay off.

How does your brand appeal to the younger audience on Twitter?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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