We all agree that Social Media is now huge. The stats released recently have all been mindboggling.

Facebook has announced 500million users!

Twitter is reporting 50million tweets every day!

YouTube is claiming 24hours of video is uploaded onto Youtube EVERY minute.

However… to truly understand the opportunity available within the digital marketing landscape, you need to understand who is using which platform and how they are engaging with it. This blog shares the demographic data for the main social platforms and suggests what it means to marketers.

Gender

Facebook, Youtube & Myspace are all fairly equal as you would expect.

Blogging sites such as Digg, Sphinn and Stumble Upon are mainly used by males with Sphinn recording 89%.

Males appear to be early adopters. For example Foursquare is the newest platform in the above list and 70% of it users are male. I would expect this to level out in the near future.

Age

Age is a great indicator when choosing your advertising niche. Each sector/product/service will attract to different age groups. The graph below highlights age types on the main social platforms available today.

Comparing each social platform against the average, you can see that you tube leads the way for teenagers and young twenties. Foursquare is hugely popular for 25-34 age group and Linked-in beats the average for the older generation.

YouTube is very popular for the 18-24 age group closely followed by Myspace. A few years ago Myspace would have seen a massive peak in the 0-17 bracket, however this audience have now grown older but have stayed loyal to this platform resulting a above average use for the 18-24 group.

The graph above ignores the actual volume of unique users and presents the percentage split for each social platform. Including the volume presents a very different landscape.

Youtube and Facebook are the dominating platform for all age groups. Youtube leading the way for the younger audience with Facebook taking the lead for everyone over 25 years old.

Income

This is a very interesting metric to analyse as it can be used as an indicator of how much “buying power” the average user has on each social site, and ultimately would they engage with advertising, click through to a website and make a purchase.

The graph highlights household income; therefore you can assume it is an average of 2 adults on a working wage. The orange trend line highlights that the average user on social sites has a larger household income from £30K onwards.

This graph is a great indicator for marketers, as it clearly demonstrates that social sites are capturing a wealthy audience who DO have buying power.

Linked-in has a massive percentage of over 50% for the £50,000+ bracket. This highlights that this audience is ideal for B2B products/services. Especially when combined with the targeting options available on this channel.

Education

The last demographic we are looking at, is education. This is important element to understand, as it will contribute to your decisions on choosing which social site is suitable for your business/service/product. It should also be used to decide how you plan to engage with the audience.

As you can see, the over standard of education is good with the majority having at least some college. Foursquare and Linked-in again are leading the degree/graduate categories. However this should be reviewed in conjunction with the age analysis section as education is hugely dependant on age.

Engagement Statistics

From the demographic data, we now have insight into “who” is using each platform. The next step is to understand “how” they use each platform. The charts below highlight the engagement statistics.

Facebook is by far the most engaging. Their audience will return frequently. They will also spend a long time on the site.

Due to the huge amount of content available of each social site you need to ensure your adverts are appealing in order to stand out and encourage the visitors to divert away from the social content and complete a desired action on your fan page/website.