Here’s why Twitter users are such an attractive demographic for small businesses.

By Rieva Lesonsky

First, a confession—I’m kind of addicted to Twitter. I use it as a discovery tool (I found the link to the data below on Twitter), to collect information, to spread the word about our work, and to keep up with friends and colleagues.

Pew Research Center recently surveyed adult Twitter users “to measure the characteristics and attitudes of Twitter users in the United States and link those observations to actual Twitter behaviors, such as how often users tweet or how many accounts they follow.”

The results? “The 22% of American adults who use Twitter are representative of the broader population in certain ways, but not others.” Pew found Twitter users are younger, more highly educated and have higher incomes than U.S. adults overall. Specifically:

  • The median age of adult U.S. Twitter users is 40, while the median U.S. adult is 47. Pew says this means “Twitter users are nearly three times as likely to be younger than 50 (73%) as to be 50 or older (27%).”
  • More adult Twitter users (42%) have earned at least a bachelor’s degree compared to the general public (31%).
  • Some 41% of adult Twitter users have a household income above $75,000, compared to 32% of the general population.

As for the gender and ethnic makeup of Twitter users, Pew says it’s “largely similar to the adult population as a whole.”

The median user tweets just twice each month, but some users are far more prolific (I plead guilty). In fact, Pew says 10% of the most active users are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users. On average, each of those prolific users tweets 138 times a month, “favorites” (or likes) 70 posts a month, follows 456 accounts and has 387 followers. Some 81% of the most highly active Twitter users post daily, vs. 47% of all Twitter users who do so.

Twitter users are demographically attractive for many small businesses—they’re young, educated and have money to spend. If this group appeals to you, you need to up your Twitter game.


Twitter for businesses stock photo by Sattalat phukkum/Shutterstock