Elaine Fogel

The Latest Scoop on Who’s Using the Top 5 Social Media Sites

ScoopIf you’re using social media marketing in your small-medium business or nonprofit, then it helps to know where your target audiences are hanging out. According to the newest social networking survey by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites.

First off, 73% of online adults in the U.S. are using a social networking site and each of the top 5 sites has experienced an increase from 2012 – 2013.















Here are some of the findings to help you review your marketing demographic targeting: 


  • Facebook still remains the dominant social networking platform for 71% of online adults. No surprise here.
  • Usage among 65+ has increased significantly (10%) in the last year.
  • Appeals more to women (76%), 18-29-year-olds (84%), and those with household incomes of less than $50,000 per year.
  • Majority of users are urban dwellers (75%).
  • 3/4 have some college education.


  • 18% of online adults currently use Twitter, almost the same as in 2012.
  • Adoption levels are particularly high among younger adults (31%) and African-Americans (29%).
  • Urban and suburban users outnumber rural users. 
  • No significant trends regarding education, or household income.


(acquired by Facebook in April 2013)

  • 17% of online adults use Instagram, up from 13% in late 2012.
  • Adoption took a jump among 18-29-year-olds (from 28% to 37%) and by African American Internet users (from 23% to 34%).
  • Penetration is greater among Hispanics (23%) than whites (12%).
  • Urban and suburban users outnumber rural users.
  • The majority have some college education and have household incomes between $30,000 – $49,999 annually.


  • 21% of online adults use Pinterest, up from the 15% last year.
  • 33% of online women are Pinterest users, compared to just 8% of men.
  • Those in the highest income brackets are more likely than those in the lowest to use the site.
  • Top age groups are 18-29 (27%), followed by 30-49 (24%).
  • The majority have college+, have household incomes of $75,000+, and are suburban dwellers.


  • 22% of online adults are LinkedIn users.
  • Men outnumber women 24% to 19%.
  • Blacks (30%) outnumber white (22%) and Hispanic (13%) users.
  • The majority of users are between 30 and 64 years of age, have college+,  have a household income of $75,000+, and are suburban (26%) or urban (23%) dwellers.

Other findings:

  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users have the highest rates of engagement.
  • 36% of Internet users say that they use just one of the five social media sites in this report, with 42% using two or more.

My two cents:

In my opinion, these types of studies tend to appeal more to business-to-consumer marketers. For business-to-business marketers, it’s unfortunate that Google+ wasn’t included in the survey.

One important thing to remember, you don’t have to do it all if your organization is on the smaller side. Select the one/s that produce the best results for you. It’s better to generate more leads from fewer, targeted, ideal prospects.

If you’re targeting educated women with money, then definitely explore Pinterest if you haven’t already. If you’re going after African-Americans, Instagram is number one, followed by LinkedIn, then Twitter.

For younger audiences, the choices are many. Use and test Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

From the looks of it, most social networking sites skew heavily to younger adults. Don’t let this discourage you if you’re marketing to middle management and C-Suite professionals.

Final say: For your marketing needs, connect with the people who fall within your ideal market and engage with them. Test it, and see what happens. Modify as needed.

What advice or experience do you want to share about social media marketing based on this study?

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