Twitter User Insights for Marketers [Study]


Some 15 percent of online adults use Twitter, with 8 percent using the social network on a typical day. The figure represents a steady rate of adoption since May 2011, when 13 percent of online adults were tuned in and using the microblogging service.

Those who are using Twitter are doing so more regularly; last May, only 4 percent of users said Twitter use was a part of their typical day. Late in 2010, that figure was just 2 percent, according to Pew Internet. These new insights into Twitter use and engagement are the results of their Twitter Use 2012 survey, in which they connected with 2,253 U.S. adults between March and April of this year.

Understanding who your audience is on any given network is critical to your success as a marketer in that space. While nothing beats your own experience and data, Pew Internet offers a broad overview of the types of users who are most likely to use Twitter, and use it often. Here are a few takeaways for your social media marketing arsenal.

Black Internet Users Use Twitter at High Rates

Twenty-eight percent of online African-Americans use Twitter, with 13 percent doing so on a typical day. This is a continuation of Pew Internet’s findings from last year.

Twitter is Attractive to Younger Users

Twenty-six percent of Internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49. Among the youngest Internet users (those ages 18-24), fully 31 percent are Twitter users, according to their report.

Urban & Suburban Residents Far More Likely to Use Twitter

Twitter is popular in Suburbia, if the results of this survey are any indication. Nineteen percent of urban residents who use the Internet also use Twitter, while 14 percent of suburban residents are tuned in. Only 8 percent of those living in rural areas use Twitter.

Twitter Usage is Highly Correlated With the Use of Mobile Technologies

Pew Internet reports a high correlation between Twitter usage and the use of technology, especially smartphones. Twenty percent of smartphone owners are Twitter users and 13 percent of those use Twitter on a typical day. Those with plain-Jane cell phones are about half as likely to use Twitter, with 9 percent reporting they do so. Only 3 percent of regular cell phone users report using Twitter on a typical day.

Younger Cell Phone Owners More Likely to Use Twitter Mobile

Mobile phone owners ages 18-24 are more likely than older cell owners to use Twitter within the context of their mobile devices, according to the report. Twenty-two percent of 18-24 year old cell owners use Twitter on their phones and 15 percent do so on a typical day. The report notes that, “African Americans and Latinos (both of whom have high rates of smartphone ownership) also stand out as heavy mobile Twitter users.”

Further Insights Into Twitter Usage & User Behavior

Twitter Use 2012 from Pew Internet is the latest in a number of Twitter user surveys and studies we’ve seen lately. URL shortening service Bitly released a report on the best times to post to Twitter and other social networks last month, based on their evaluation of activity on links processed through their service.

Earlier this year, researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech offered an interesting look into the types of content Twitter users valued most. Among their findings, the Who Gives a Tweet researchers found that users actually like just 33 percent of tweets in their feed.

As a marketer, do you find these high-level industry insights helpful? Let us know in the comments!

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