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Facebook & Twitter Users Are Older Than You May Think

February 15, 2011

Demographics continue to shift on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter. The comScore 2010 U.S. Digital Year in Review report, found that the biggest gains in traffic to Facebook were from the age group of 55 and older. That group makes up 13.2 percent of the site's visitors.

While Facebook's share of 35- to 54-year-old visitors declined 3.6 percentage points over the past year, that demographic still commands 35.4 percent of overall traffic for Facebook. Visitors aged 18 to 34 make up about 40.3 percent of traffic. Teenagers (in the group aged 2-17) make up the smallest percentage of visits to the site at 11.1 percent.

And do you believe Twitter is just for the young? About 32 percent of traffic to that site is from people aged 35 to 54, and 11.4 percent are 55 and older. That means that nearly 45 percent of Twitter traffic is from visitors older than 35.

Traffic to MDM's Twitter feed is steadily growing, confirming that visitors of all ages – B2C and B2B – are following these tools.

The comScore report recognizes the limitations of social media tools for certain companies, but says that businesses should still be paying attention: "Businesses that have no social media presence in 2011 are likely to be left behind: However, social media may not necessarily be worth significant investment for every company or brand. … Ever brand should, at a minimum be listening to what consumers are saying."

Some other interesting findings from the comScore report:

  • LinkedIn is now the third most popular social networking site.
  • eCommerce continues to grow on the retail front, with double-digit growth rates in 2010. As this channel grows in B2C channels, consumers are going to start to expect it in B2B channels where appropriate.
  • As an advertising medium, comScore says that the online channel is an important contributor to offline buying. The report says: "Marketers in all industries must not only have an online presence, but understand how it drives both online and in-store purchase behavior."
  • Google remains at the top of the pack for traffic through search engines. Is your website search-optimized?
  • Online video viewing continues to grow, and offers an opportunity for advertisers to reach more potential customers.

Read more on online marketing trends from the MDM Blog.

Download the full report from comScore.

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