Corporate Eye

Social Media Demographics – Who Uses What?

social media apps iphoneWho are all of those people using social media websites Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram? Pew Research Center reveals some demographic data about the most popular social sites in its Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The numbers might surprise you.

First, did you know that 46% of adult internet users publish original photos or videos online? These are people who upload and post photos and videos that they created. Also, did you know that 41% of adult internet users share photos or videos that they find online through other social websites by reposting them?

Altogether, 56% of internet users either publish original photos or videos or repost and share photos and videos created and originally published by other people. 32% of internet users do both of those things — creating and curating photo and video content.

This information is important to brands that are trying to visually connect with audiences online and boost word-of-mouth marketing through compelling imagery. The trick for brands is finding the right sites and tools to communicate and share content with their target audiences. By reviewing the information from the Pew Research Center report, brands can narrow down their social media starting points. Some of the key data from the report follows:

  • Pinterest: 12% of online adults use Pinterest. 1 in 5 women use Pinterest compared to 1 in 20 men. Pinterest users also tend to be younger and well-educated.
  • Instagram: 12% of online adults use Instagram. The site’s adult users skew young. More than 1 in 4 internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram. 11% of male and 12% of female internet users are Instagram users.
  • Tumblr: 5% of online adults use Tumblr. Like Instagram, the site’s adult users are young. 11% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram. 4% of male and 7% of female internet users are Tumblr users.
  • Facebook: 66% of online adults use Facebook. 63% of male and 70% of female internet users are on Facebook. Users span all age ranges, education levels, and income levels. However, the largest number of users are young, less-educated, and have lower incomes than other social media sites analyzed in this report.
  • LinkedIn: 20% of online adults use LinkedIn. 21% of male and 19% of female internet users are LinkedIn users. Most users are between the ages of 30 and 64. They are well-educated and have higher incomes.
  • Twitter: 16% of online adults use Twitter. 17% of male and 15% of female internet users are on Twitter. Most users are between the ages of 18-29, have some college, and make over $75,000 per year. In other words, users span across all demographic groups more evenly than other social media tools like Pinterest and Instagram.

Of course, demographics are just one piece of the targeting puzzle for social media marketing plans, but the data from the Pew Research Center report provides a great place to start your planning. Which social media site is best for your brand?

Image: Jason A. Howie

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.