Target Wisely Because Different Kinds of People Use Social Media Differently

If there's anything we know about technology its that it's always changing. This is not only due to advancements in internet speed, programming languages and hardware. It's also because it is easier than ever to innovate. Twelve years ago, there were a few social media sites that were trying to figure out their purpose in the world. Now every major player in the game has unique advantages and different ways they're used and enjoyed. Naturally, different segments of the population tend to have different favorites. This article explores different statistics and findings about demographic segments and how they use social media.



Surprisingly, people in different age groups are distributed quite equally throughout the social media platforms available. The only service that really stands out is Snapchat, which is wildly popular among younger users and not very popular with users over age 55. 45% of Snapchat users are under 25. The next most popular platform among users in that age range is Vine, at 28%. Less than 8% of Snapchat and Vine users are above 55.1For a visual reference, check out this graph.

You might also be surprised to know that Facebook is losing ground when it comes to younger users. Tumblr, Snapchat and Instagram are more popular with users under 25 years of age. Teens say Instagram is the most important social network they use.1


Not surprisingly, women love Pinterest. More than twice as many women use Pinterest, compared to men. What you may not know is that Snapchat is also much more popular among women. 70% of Snapchat users are women. Google+ users are 74% men.2 Although, the relevance of this figure is questionable since Google+ users are not particularly active.

On other social media, gender is distributed fairly evenly.

Shopping and Brand Interaction

Because users are evenly divided by their sex doesn't mean the sexes behave the same way on social media. A study by Nielsen found the following3:

  • Women are 18% more likely than the average American to fan or follow a brand.

  • Women are 6% more likely to have created at least one social networking profile.

  • Women are 12% more likely to use the internet to purchase a product featured on TV.

Further, women spend more time on social media and create more posts as well3. Attempting to target men on social media; therefore, is probably a bit more difficult and costly than targeting women.

Occupation / Industry

Obviously, Linkedin is the place to be if you want to target people who have a specific job title, work in an specific industry or have a specific degree. But Linkedin users are less active than users of other networks. Although Facebook, Twitter and other networks lack industry, job title and other career-related information from users, they do offer ways to get through to your market

Don't be discouraged when you can't target exactly who you want. Be creative and put quality, useful, interesting content out there for your market to share. Get to know each platform well and decide how to reach the right people.

International Users

Social media network usage per network isn't equal across the globe. In fact, some countries don't allow certain networks. For example, China blocks Facebook within its borders. Here are the top three countries, in terms of percentage of the network's users, for some popular networks.3

Which countries comprise the social networks' users?

Facebook: US (14%), India (9%), Brazil (7%)

Linkedin: US (32%), Brazil (6%), UK (5%)

Google+: US (55%), India (18%), Brazil (6%)

While Facebook is still the most popular social media site in most of the world, there's a huge section of Asia that has other preferences. Here are some examples.

Countries that don't prefer Facebook (and what they use most instead)4

Russia (V Kontakte)China (QZone)

Japan (Twitter)Iran (Facenama)

Albania, Moldova and "the Stans" (Odnoklassniki)

Instagram dominates the 2nd-place spot all over the globe, although Odnoklassniki is the runner up in Germany and Russia. Clearly, Facebook isn't the way to go if you're trying to reach a new market in some countries.

What We Learned

While some social media networks offer sophisticated targeting that takes the guesswork out of social media marketing, it can be helpful to know which networks your target demographics like and how they use them. Especially when you want to reach a market without spending money on ads, a little demographic research doesn't hurt.

Facebook Ads, AdWords and other ad services offer tools to get your brand's messages to exactly the people you want. Though, they don't always offer the targeting you really want. This is why some demographic knowledge could bridge the gap and possibly improve ROI.

Times are changing, and they'll never stop. Stay informed and expend energy on the tools that represent your brand best. Even the most experienced marketers should know what's going on in the social media industry.

Need help with advertising or lead generation? It's what we do here at isoTree. Contact us for a consultation. We would love to work with you!



1. Hoezel, Mark. "UPDATE: A breakdown of the demographics for each of the different social networks." (June 29, 2015). Business Insider. Available Online:

2. Patterson, Michael. "Social Media Demographics for Marketers." (May 4, 2015). Sprout Social. Available Online:

3. Garber, Megan. "The Digital (Gender) Divide: Women Are More Likely Than Men to Have a Blog (and a Facebook Profile)." (April 27, 2012). The Atlantic. Available Online:

4. "World Map of Social Networks January 2016." Retrieved April 2016. Vincos Blog. Available Online:


Maxim Kurapatkin