Age Groups and Social Media Habits

As we spend a lot of time monitoring social media and the tools used, we are constantly looking at the data for broader insights into the how’s and why’s of social media as a whole. One aspect that’s always intrigued me is how various demographics use different tools. Here’s some of the key insights we’ve learned lately.

Ages 12-25: Tend to use more mobile social media tools, such as SMS/txt and mobile oriented social media tools. This pattern we’ve seen in the USA, Canada and Western Europe (especially Europe, but no surprise there.) This bracket also spends more time on MySpace, followed by NetLog and Bebo in Europe. This segment loves video and anything text better be short and sweet.

Ages 25-45: This group crosses over in a mix between Web-based and mobile usage. The most popular social media tool for this group is email, although we note a trend towards more use of Social Networking tools for communication. This group prefers Facebook followed by NetLog. We note that NetLog is 2nd to Facebook in Europe. Mobile usage of social tools seems to be around Twitter, Blackberry messenger or iPhone apps. We find so many similarities in usage patterns across these groups that we decided to lump the 25-45 group together, when they are ordinarily split into two segments. This group also likes less text in blogs and on websites and enjoys video. Their content creation however, remains heavily text-oriented and very little use of video.

Ages 46-55: This group generally sticks to the Web (about 90% of the time) rarely using SMS/txt messaging. They’ll use a blog but rarely a microblog. This group is likely to print and read a document on paper rather than a monitor. They are more distrustful of social media and the content therein. Their approach to content creation is textual and rarely visual through video and images.

55 and over: From 56 to 65 we see fairly regular use of Social Media and this seems to be driven as the result of familial communications. New tools are not easily adopted and this age range is more politically conservative and traditional in their media consumption habits (radio, TV, print news.) Use of social tools seems to be on services like Facebook where they can work within a set framework.

Once we get over 65, use of social tools drops significantly as would be expected. Clearly there are generational preferences to the tools available. One issue we did notice is that the under 25 bracket have little to no loyalty to a specific service, whereas the 25-45 bracket are far more loyal to a social tool/service.