The Demographics of Twitter Users [Study]

Twitter has more than 500 million users and is continuously growing, but who are all these new tweeters? Pew Research Center has released an Internet study that focuses solely on Twitter and includes some great user demographics. The study is based on the findings of a survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 20 to February 19, 2012, among a sample of 2,253 adults.



Twitter is soaring among young adults
15% of all online adults in the U.S. use Twitter as of February 2012, and 8% are daily users. Pew defines an online adult as someone who uses the Internet and/or email at least occasionally. The number of Twitter users has almost doubled from 8% to 15% within 18 months from November 2010 to February 2012. In this time frame the number of daily Twitter users has quadrupled from 2% to 8%. However, the overall Twitter usage has only grown with a couple of percentages over the last year, from 13% to 15 %, but the daily Twitter usage has still doubled.


As we have just learned, the overall Twitter usage among adults has remained steady over the last year. However, Twitter usage among the 18-24 year olds has grown dramatically between May 2011 and February 2012 from 18% to 31%. Twitter usage for people in their mid-20’s to mid-40’s hasn’t changed much. It stayed roughly the same last year after more or less doubling the previous year.



The correlation between smartphones and Twitter usage
The rise of smartphones and mobile apps might account for some of the recent growth in Twitter usage among the very youngest adults. Smartphone users are particularly likely to be using Twitter, and Pew found that one in five smartphone owners are Twitter users, with 13% of them tweeting on a daily basis. 16% use the service specifically on their cell phones. By contrast, only 9% of Internet users who own more basic mobile phones use Twitter and only 3% of them use Twitter daily. Also, people living in urban areas are almost twice as likely to use Twitter on their cell phone as people in rural areas.


The tweeters
The report also broke down some Twitter user demographics to give us a better idea of the people behind the tweets. To draw out just a few of the findings:

  • The male/female ratio of Twitter users is almost equal. Women have a slightly higher Twitter presence than men, with 53% of the users being female.
  • As we already know most Twitter users are young. 26% of Internet users, aged 18-29, use Twitter. That’s nearly double the rate as for the age group of 30-49 year olds where only 14 % use Twitter. Among the youngest adult Internet users, aged 18-24, a whopping 31% are Twitter users.
  • African-American Internet users are much more likely to be Twitter users than the general online population. 28% more than one in four online adult African-Americans use Twitter with 13% of them being daily users. Hispanic users are the second most active group on Twitter (Pew noted that both of these groups have high rates of smartphone ownership).
  • People living in urban and suburban areas are much more likely to be Twitter users than residents of rural areas.



Takeaways for marketers
It’s very valuable for marketers to know who they will be most likely to reach on different social media platforms. Twitter is growing quickly and offers many great marketing possibilities. Two important points for marketers to take away from this study is that the growth of smartphone usage is highly correlated to the growth of Twitter usage, and that the last two years have shown a 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds. Marketers should consider these points when they plan their campaigns and pick their platforms. Brands who wish to communicate with a target group of young and primarily urban and suburban people might benefit hugely from including Twitter in their marketing strategy.

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.