Ever want to know who is using Twitter and why?

Tom Webster at Edison Research put together a great report on the subject. I’ll send you the link to the extended version but I’ve tried to grab the highlights here and paraphrase them to save you some time.

A 2008 survey concluded that only 5% of Americans (this was a study done exclusively in the States so all of the data is American. We can assume that, as with most trends, Canada would follow similar percentage comparisons) were aware of the service Twitter.

By 2010 though that number jumped to 87% of Americans! A staggering number considering that only 85% of American’s have access to the internet.

That’s 17 million Americans (over the age of 12) using Twitter in 2010.

Even though awareness is now equal to that of Facebook, 6 times more American’s are using Facebook than Twitter and 50% of the population over the age of 12 maintains at least 1 social networking site.

So it looks, on the surface, like Facebook is winning the Social Media race. However, people use Facebook and Twitter for different reasons. The ability to post photos and more information on FB seems to appeal to more of the population but Twitter users like the immediacy of updates. Especially for things like breaking news.

Also Twitter users are 3 times more likely to follow specific brands on Twitter. A large percentage of users not only seek out information on products and services, they also comment on them and re-tweet to their own followers. (for better or for worse, depending on their experience)

As for WHO is using Twitter in 2010. The following graph from Tom Webster’s report shows that (and I was pretty surprised by this) the fastest growing group seem to be the older generation.

People over the age of 55 are getting online and onboard and embracing the technology.

Good to know!

Another interesting, and not really that surprising, stat to note is that 1 in 3 monthly users are between the ages of 25 and 34 and, of those, 53% are women.

That represents a demographic with more disposable income (pre-kids) and more technical chops. 42% of them use the service to learn about products and services, 31% ask for opinions of others about products, companies and services they’re interested in and 28% look for sales and discounts.

Hmmm, looks like Twitter is probably a great place to advertise your brand!

Keep in mind that simply creating an account does not mean you’ve got an established Social Media campaign. You’ll need to work the service consistently, providing useful information for your followers in a way that will attract more to your company and your online presence.

You could spend countless man(woman) hours doing that yourself or you could hire a professional team to help you.

What’s your time worth?

Written by jax