Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Social Media By the Numbers

According to a PEW University study published in 2014 Seventy-one percent of adults who use the Internet are on Facebook. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest lag way behind with adult usage rates that fall somewhere between 23 to 28 percent.

Here are a few key takeaways for anyone planning to use social media to grow their online business.

  • 31 percent of seniors are on Facebook.
  • 53 percent of young adults age 18 to 29 are on Instagram. And, over half of these users visit the site daily.
  • Women are three times more likely to use Pinterest than men. 42 percent of women who use the internet are on Pinterest, versus 13 percent of men.

If you need more help in choosing the correct social media platform to reach your key demographics check out the rest of the PEW University study.

Facebook users are aging with a larger percentage of seniors over age sixty-five on the site. Women are more likely to frequent Facebook than men.

Twitter usage is higher among young adults ages eighteen to twenty-nine and falls off sharply among users over age forty-nine. Young adults and Afro-Americans are more likely to engage on Twitter.

Instagram has a high usage rate among young Americans ages eighteen to twenty-nine, and among Afro-Americans.

Pinterest users are primarily women, who tend to be college educated and more affluent.

LinkedIn is used less than other social media sites but could be helpful if you are marketing to individuals between the ages of fifty to sixty-five. LinkedIn users also tend to be college graduates, with a higher annual household income.

The PEW University study does leave out one important group—teenagers.

If your books are aimed more towards teens, you need to check out a 2014 study by Piper Jaffray … Taking Stock With Teens – Fall 2014.

Here’s some of the information you will discover.

  • Your message better look good on an iPhone, because 67 percent of teenagers either have or plan on getting an iPhone.
  • Instagram and Twitter are the social media sites most frequented by teens. So if teens are your target audience, you need to include more pictures, video, and music in your posts, and fewer words.
  • Pinterest is the least used social media site among teens
  • Facebook is used by fifty percent of all teens but is not as popular as it was in the past.

Before I go into specifics on the individual social media sites here’s something you need to understand: the people you want to reach spend a large portion of their day online. Many of them rarely if ever leave social media sites, so if you don’t engage with them there, you’re not going to be able to sell to them—period.

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Excerpt from my new book.




Authors are divided on the need for social media, its uses, and its outcomes. Some writers will tell you they couldn’t have gotten where they are without it, others will say “Why bother!” or “Hey! I tried it, and it didn’t make any diff. My sales stayed the same.” 


I’m going to try not to take sides here. My goal is to give you the information you need to implement social media in your writing business should you choose to do so. 

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