Last week, we took a look at how Facebook continues to grow, particularly among older people. The next logical jump for a digital marketing genius is to assume that if you’re looking to target “the kids today,” you will find them on Twitter. (Having recently had a hip replacement, I am officially allowed to call anyone under 30 a “Kid”)
This is both true and false. Lets discuss:
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Here’s just a few of the bazillion facts and figures about the growth of Twitter and its appeal among the younger set.
- Over 20 million U.S. adults access Twitter at least once a months.
- On average, 177 million tweets are sent per day.
- 460K new accounts were being created every day in 2013
- Twitter leads Facebook in all age 3 youngest groups among desktop users
- 13-17 (10%to 8%), 18-24 (24.8% to 19.4%) and 25-34 (24.6% to 19%).
- After 44, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest dominate.
- The composite average of a twitter user is a female, Hispanic, 20-something who attended college, lives in an urban area, and makes between 30-50K. (Pinterest, in contrast is a 50 something white women in the rural areas, with less than 2 years college. Linked in = white men over 35)
- Twitter users in the 18-29 age range have grown from 14% in Nov 2010 to 30% in May 2103.
- During that same time, 11 million teens have left Facebook.
- Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman admittedthat the site had seen a “decrease in daily users among younger teens.”
Why Are They Leaving FB For Twitter?
It’s not disputed that teens are tuning into Twitter (and Instagram.) There are a few reasons.
- Their parents are not likely on Twitter: The increase of older users to Facebook means that their parents are likely to want to friend them. This can’t be overlooked.
- The 140 characters lend themselves to less “over sharing” and “drama”: Millenials find Twitter beefs are easier to follow along compared to FB rants without everyone jumping in. The ability to tag people in posts and pictures also leads to “drama”*
- Ubiquity of Twitters of the simple-to-use Mobile interface/easy posting of pictures and a rock solid integration with Instagram (There’s a 50% crossover between Twitter users and Instagramers)
(*I have absolutely no proof or stats to back this up and I realize that I completely generalized an entire generation as ADD. But I genuinely believe this to be true. The best I can come up with is this Focus groups carried out as part of the Pew research found why teens are leaving Facebook. Here is what they said:
- Female (age 19): ‘Yeah, that’s why we go on Twitter and Instagram [instead of Facebook]. My mom doesn’t have that.’
- Female (age 15): ‘If you are on Facebook, you see a lot of drama.’
- Female (age 14): ‘OK, here’s something I want to say. I think Facebook can be fun, but also its drama central. On Facebook, people imply things and say things, even just by a like, that they wouldn’t say in real life.’
- Male (age 18): ‘It’s because [Facebook] it’s where people post unnecessary pictures and they say unnecessary things, like saying he has a girlfriend, and a girl will go on and tag him in the picture like, me and him in the sun having fun. Why would you do that?’
We Know Where they are. But are They Listening?
The answer to that is also not cut and dry. Twitter users, more than Facebook users, look to Twitter for 2 reasons.
- 1) Interpersonal connections: They talk keep up with friends, and tend to follow people (celebrities) rather than products and brands.
- 2) News Gathering: The one exception to the rule above seems to be media sources, as more than half of the 16% of US adults who use Twitter claim to use it for news gathering.
You may wonder how this differs from Facebook and what it means to your brand? It means, at least to some extent, that Millenials aren’t turning to twitter to get advice on purchasing decisions. Twitter A recent (1/22/14) article on the Media Bistro site, All Twitter bares this out. It says that while 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals only 8% of Twitter users are likely to list Tweets as an purchase influencer. In contrast, 30% of0 Facebook users say Post influence their purchasing decisions. That’s a big jump
Social Media Sites Most likely to Influence Purchases (source: All Twitter )
- Facebook 30%
- YouTube 27%
- LinkedIn 27%
- Google+ 20%
- Pinterest 12%
- Twitter 8%
What’s the BFD?
No Doubt, Twitter is where the kids are. But today, they’re not exactly engaging with your brand (unless you’re MTV or Pizza Hut – that’s another next blog). Does that mean you should stop trying? No, it means that you need to adjust your strategy, and start to stop trying to sell and engage younger Twitter Followers in the way they chose to interact 1) On a personal 1-1 level, not as a big brand talking to them from on high 2) To promote news that is in some way of interest to them (not your corporate press releases) and 3) In the way that they like to interact (photos, gifs and short videos.)
[Blatant Self Promotion] Want to learn more about how BFD can help you find and reach your audience? Give us a ring at 617 939 9946 or or drop us an email .