Beevolve, a platform for social media analytics, set out on a quest to break down Twitter’s vital statistics and share them with users and marketers everywhere. Mining through data from 36 million Twitter profiles, the site analyzed everything from basic demographic information to gender preferences to smartphone & app preferences. If you’re looking to get a better understanding of how normal users, not us tech geeks and marketers, are using Twitter, this is a good study to check out.
So what does the normal Twitter user look like?
- Most Twitter users have less than 50 followers and are following less than 50 people.
- “Family”, “technology”, “entertainment”, “education”, and “publishing” are among the most popular keywords in Twitter bios.
- More than 70 percent of users are between the ages of 15-25 years old.
- 68.9 percent of Tweeters use iOS devices.
- 25 percent of Twitter users have never sent a tweet(!)
The most common Twitter user is said to be an English-speaking 28-year-old female with an iPhone. She has 208 followers.
The data may serve as a reality check to some to show that normal users don’t use the micro-blogging service the same way that they do. We’re not all super-connected with mass followings, and many users spend more time listening to conversations than actually engaging in them.
For a small business owner or consultant looking to grow a healthy Twitter following, this is really important to take into account. It means you need to be more proactive about finding your targeted audience and starting conversations with them; we can’t wait for users to engage with us. We often hear about the power Tweeters who are using social media to talk directly to the brands they love, but some Tweeters are waiting for you to open the conversation. It doesn’t mean they’re not listening, just that they’re not sure how to get involved.
How can SMBs help start that conversation?
- Use tools like FollowerWork to search Twitter bios and locate people in your area interested in the things you do.
- Perform Advanced Twitter Searches to find people in your area who may be talking about issues related to your business.
- Create a list of Twitter conversation starters that you can use to engage people in conversation or to open up doors. If Twitter users are shy or are simply using the service to scan news, you’ll need to grab their attention and pull those conversations out of them at first.
- Be proactive about identifying people who may be interested in what you do and getting them talking.
While the data pulled together by Beevolve is certainly interesting based on the large sample size, I can see how it might discourage some business owners at the same time. Accordingly to the results, more than 70 percent of users are between the ages of 15-25. If your target demographic is older, does that mean Twitter won’t work for you?
Not at all! Remember, those ages were pulled from Twitter users who self-disclosed. I don’t know many 40-year-olds who feel the need to put their age in their Twitter bio. 😉
Below is some data from Beevolve about typical numbers of followers for most Twitter users.
While Beevolve’s data serves as a great starting point to understand the mindset of the “normal” Twitter user, I may not be your normal Twitter follower. If you don’t know the demographics of who follows you on Twitter, I recommend using a tool like Beevolve or PeekAnalytics to help you get a better idea. By simply entering in your Twitter handle, you’ll get information like audience demographics, age range (broken out by gender), interests, level of social media use (light, medium, heavy), etc.
Because at the end of the day, what’s really important is the data that’s going to help you connect with your audience, no one else’s.
Normal Twitter User Photo via Shutterstock
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It’s interesting that nearly a quarter of all twitter users have never sent a tweet. There was some data collected a while back that gave an insight into the number of tweets users would have to send before they became a FREQUENT user – If I find it I’ll post it up
55 year olds don’t feel the need to put their age in Twitter profiles either…or any other profile for that matter. Oh… I just gave it away didn’t I…damn. Great article Lisa.
The 80/20 rule is applicable on this area too! 😉 Lisa: Thanks for the tips! I will check out Followerwonk, PeekAnalytics and Beevolve.