“Know who you’re talking to” is a rule to live and die by in any kind of marketing. You must tailor your messaging to appeal to the audience you’re actually reaching. For instance, making content all about football for a population that overwhelmingly prefers soccer probably isn’t going to get you very far. Social media provides us with the kind of data on audiences that marketers of the past could have only dreamed of! So let’s use it to get a better idea of not only who you’re talking to in social media (everyone), but who you’re more likely to be talking to on a specific site.
Let’s take a look at gender demographics on social media with data collected by the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford…
This data is from this past October, and tracks the percentage of users per month. Some of what it shows is rather expected. Reddit is well-known as a very male-centric site, while the exceedingly artistic Pinterest is usually thought of as a haven for women. Some of the other data is more interesting. Why does Foursquare skew so female? Why does Google+ skew heavily male? We could ponder that for hours, but what’s more important is using this information effectively. Instead of posting the same thing across all platforms on behalf of your business, perhaps change the language slightly. For instance, if your company sells clothing, promote men’s clothing on Google+, and women’s clothing on Pinterest.
Gender is only part of the story, though. What about age? Pingdom has us covered there…
This data is from 2012, but still holds true. You can see how a site like LinkedIn, all about business and professional contacts, might be expected to be older, while a site like Facebook would fall in the middle, and appeal to every age.
It’s easy to see how the standard marketing paradigms of “18 to 34-year-old males” or “single mothers under 30” don’t really apply universally in the social media space, and why every business should take care in crafting their messaging in order to make the best out of the audience social media is giving them.
If you feel that you aren’t, MARKIT, of course, is here to help!