Twitter Usage in the Real World

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released a study about Twitter usage last week and it is full of some very interesting stuff! The headline for the study on Pew’s web site is “8% of Online Americans Use Twitter”. Twitter promotes itself as having millions of users worldwide, but there has not been a lot of data available about who is using Twitter and how they are using it. It is a tool that many businesses and organizations are struggling to figure out how to use in a way that produces tangible results.

What else did the study show? A few other highlights include:

  • The biggest age demographic for Twitter use is the 18-29 bracket
  • Women are slightly more likely to use Twitter than men
  • Urban populations are the heaviest Twitter users

The most interesting finding, I think, was this:

One-quarter of Twitter users check in multiple times per day for tweets from others, while one in five never check for new material on the site…

In the follow-up questions on those October surveys, we found that Twitter users are nearly equally divided between those who check the site on a daily basis (or multiple times per day) and those who check the site infrequently or never.

The study also found that the greatest number of posts were of a personal nature.

So what does this mean for your organization? It certainly raises some questions about Twitter users. I think there has been a tendency to think of Twitter users monolithically, which does not seem to be a smart approach. This study should remind us that all channels we use to communicate with our customers require specific strategies and may also require micro-strategies to reach different target audiences or achieve different engagement goals.

I’d encourage you to check out the full report on the Pew Research Center site – here.

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