Social Targeting: Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?

darts on a targetAre you the kind of person that tries to sell Clay Aiken CD’s outside Warped Tour concert venues? Then you don’t think a lot about targeting your messages to the right audience. For your communication to pack the biggest punch it can, you need to know where to throw it. And a recent study on social demographics might help you see social targeting in a whole new light.

Pingdom’s annual survey of social network demographics shows us first of all that there is no gender difference between Facebook and Twitter. Both are 40% male, 60% female. If you’re looking for locales that lean heavily male, that would be Slashdot, Hacker News and Stack Overflow. The women are dominating Pinterest, Goodreads and Blogger.

So what about age? 55% of tweeters are 35 and up, compared with 63% at Pinterest, 65% at Facebook and 70% at LinkedIn. As you can tell, LinkedIn supports the oldest user base, with the average member being 44. The average age at Facebook is 51, and it’s 37 at Twitter.

babyIf you want to aim younger, have you met Orkut yet? 83% of its users are under 35. The next sites in order as great candidates for the young market are deviantART, Hacker News, Hi5, Github, and Reddit. I know, other than Reddit, many of you might be saying “who?” But the list could offer an opportunity to look at the vast social world beyond Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (which Pingdom did not include in the survey at all due to a lack of accessible data).

As for the average age of social users overall:
26% are 25-34
25% are 35-44
19% are 45-54
16% are 18-24
 6% are 55-64
 5% are 0-17
 and 2% are 65

Now you know where you stand on the “cutting edge” scale for a person your age. You’re welcome.

Certainly such demographics are a moving target and need to be watched and reassessed on a regular basis to make sure you’re moving in step with the people you want to talk to. For instance, since Pingdom’s survey last year, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up 2 years, while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down 2 years.

With the targeting and analytics tools available on today’s social management platforms, there’s little need to market in the dark. Otherwise, good luck with those Clay CD’s.

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