Thursday, 13 September 2012 07:15

Age & Interest Affects Social Media Sharing Trends

With an ever-growing number of social media outlets, its becoming more and more confusing as to which networks marketers should be using to reach the right audience and what type of information should be shared. A few recent articles and studies may help shed some light on the trends of this ever changing medium.

A recent study by Pingdom looked at users of a variety of sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon, deviantART and Goodreads.  Overall, they found social network users are younger, 26% between 25 and 34, with another 25% between 35-44 and 16% between 18 and 24.  However, when looking deeper, differences were found between those younger age groups.

This graph demonstrates the differences in social media users, in the US, by age. Unsurprisingly, 25-34 year olds make up the largest segment of users.

The Association of Magazine Media (MPA) not only broke down social networks by age but also by  specific sites used. They found that the 18-24 age group is more likely than those of the 25-34 age group to use Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. The older groups were more likely to use LinkedIn. They also found an almost even split when it came to Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Interests are also a factor throughout social networks. The same study found that individuals who were avid magazine readers were likely to combine their interests and follow magazines on Twitter and Pinterest. This is not surprising, as photos, videos and links are becoming the most popular content being shared on these networks. A recent study by Diffbot looked at links posted on Twitter and found 36% were images and 16% were articles.

Photo sharing is on the rise when it comes to social networks and changes in how people are sharing. With more on-the-go sharing, it is much less cumbersome to snap a photo and upload it to Twitter or Instagram, than it is to type out a status update. Particularly on Twitter, images are a way to show what a linked article might be about, giving the user an idea of whether or not they really want to click the link. With rising popularity of social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, images are becoming a crucial part of social media content.

This graph demonstrates that roughly 35% of Twitter users worldwide share images.

A study by ROI Research found 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands that post pictures.  Many marketers are using visual marketing and images to engage their audience through campaigns and allowing the consumer to post personal photos of themselves engaging with the brand.  The more interactive and engaging a post can be, the better to keep your audience interested in what you are saying.

So what does this tell us?  In order to reach your target audience and keep them interested it is important to use the right social networks and post appropriate content.

Social media sharing can be a daunting task, but FiG can help! Contact us to find out how we can assist with your marketing goals and needs.