Will social media work for your small business?
So how do you know? The same way you evaluate any media. You look at the demographics of the users and see which comes the closest to your target audience. If the numbers aren’t there, don’t waste your time and energy.
But, be certain you understand what you’re evaluating. Typically, measurements of household income and age are represented by averages and not actual counts. So there is some fudge room in all data. Look for the clusters of age, income and usage and contrast these numbers to your target audience profile.
You should also be well aware that all research can only represent a snapshot in time and things change pretty quickly when dealing with anything online. So, what is true three months ago, isn’t necessarily the case today.
So what are the demographics of Facebook? What is the profile of the Twitter user? I have a variety of sources for you. First, I found this graphic created by Digital Surgeons in October of last year that does an excellent job of laying out demographics and usage trends for the Facebook and Twitter. Digital Surgeons used a variety of data taken from numerous resources to create this chart rather than just one source. So while the data may be a little squishy, it should give you some insight into where your customers may be hanging out.
BUT, don’t forget there are other sizable social networks besides Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there is one network that is excellent for those who want to reach men, business professionals and who focus on business-to-business sales. Linkedin. I’ve included a chart of its demographics as well. See below.
Facebook & Twitter Profiles
Linkedin User Profile
100 million members in 200 countries
- As of January 2011, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies as members; its hiring solutions were used by 73 of the Fortune 100 companies as of March 22, 2011.
- More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
Average Age 41
Household Income $109,703
Household Income of $100K+ 53.5%
Own Smartphone/PDA 34%
College Grad/Post Grad 80.1%
Business Decision Maker 49%
The other source for demographic information I have for you to check out is Quantcast. This is a great online media resource and if you’re going to be running sizable online campaigns, Quantcast can help measure its reach. If you not advertising online, you can still use Quantcast to identify other sites, networks that match your target audience profile and that may accept advertising. Sign-up for a FREE account, click on the Planner function and see what comes up for your audience profile. Don’t just take the first report. Refine your audience as best you can by category and geography and then check out the results. The more targeted you are in your efforts, the more your online advertising dollars will return.
You can also get updated demographics for most of the major sites and networks such as Linkedin. You can view these numbers by the number of people, the number of visits, etc. Quantcast offers a lot of other services, but that is for another article. Check it out and tell me what you think below.
Hope this is of help you.
- Facebook Groups vs. LinkedIn Groups: Which is Right for Your Community? (janetaronica.com)
- The Demographics of Social Media (adage.com)