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Internet Marketing and Web Development in Higher Education and other tidbits…

Are Teens on Twitter? And a Bunch of Other Related Data

28 Aug 2009

written by Kyle James

Are Teens on Twitter? And a Bunch of Other Related Data

I’m going to go ahead and admit that this post kind of turned into a resource with a whole lot of links to other articles.  Maybe some of you have seen the article on the New York Times website titled Who’s Driving Twitter’s Popularity? Not Teenagers.

Just 11 percent of its [Twitter] users are ages 12 to 17

A few other great points in the article:

In fact, though teenagers fueled the early growth of social networks, today they account for 14 percent of MySpace’s users and only 9 percent of Facebook’s. As the Web grows up, so do its users.

Almost everyone under 35 uses social networks, but the growth of these networks over the last year has come from older adults.

I know I wrote a post almost three months ago about the fact that 99% of 18-24 year olds are on Social Networks, but with new data like this NYTimes article coming out regularly they’re not the only audience on this network.  Even a recent Forrester Report says that 80% of Americans are on Social Media Monthly.  Just yesterday, Rachel gave us a great example of how we can use Facebook status updates to connect with not just prospective students but also alumni.

I’m probably more tired of reading articles about Twitter and “tweeting”  than anyone else, but we need to realize that Higher Education can market on Social Media.  Twitter can be a great tool, and any of you out there who use it regularly probably have lots of stories about how it has changed your life through the connections you have been able to make.  Purely from a marketing standpoint, Twitter is the second largest driver of traffic to this blog next to Google Search traffic!

Demographic Breakdown on Twitter

So if you are still curious about the demographic breakdown of age groups on Twitter this chart is also most revealing.  Contrary to the previous data, this chart gives us the impression that children and teens are the only groups growing in number of Twitter accounts.

twitternet Are Teens on Twitter? And a Bunch of Other Related Data

If you want more data on Twitter, check out HubSpot’s  June 2009 State of the Twittersphere Report.

The Takeaways

Remember that social media is about relationship building.  You have probably heard me say that enough times, but it’s still true.  Ask yourself “What is the right tool for my audience?”  For your alumni you probably want to offer a few options, one of which should definitely be setting up an alumni group on Linkedin.  For incoming students you may want to create your own social network on Ning.  And although your prospective students might not be on Twitter,  that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways that you can leverage Twitter as a marketing tool for your college or university.

The point is people are using these networks, and they’re using them regularly.  It is your job as a marketer to keep coming up with creative ways to leverage these sexy tools to reach your audience.

 Are Teens on Twitter? And a Bunch of Other Related Data

The content of this post is licensed: The post is released under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license

About the author

Kyle James

Kyle is the CEO & Co-Founder at nuCloud and formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. He also spent almost 4 years at HubSpot doing a range of jobs including inbound marketing consulting, sales, management, and product management.  Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

Ways to Connect with Kyle

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This post was written by - who has written 274 posts on .eduGuru

  • Nikki Massaro Kauffman


    These are some great points. As someone who comes from a family full of adult learners–grandfather, mother, sister, and self for second career, I’d also like to point out that even though we picture most students as teens, there may be a number of adult students we are discounting when we play to the bulk of teens and not to the long tail of our audience.

    Assuming that are audience is all teens and that teens are not on twitter limits the options for reaching out to them. If we’ve already produced the message, why not send it out through as many channels as we can to ensure we get it our audience whoever they are and however they want to get it? And… if they get it repeated in more than one place, it that so bad?

  • Todd

    An explanation from the Sanders family:
    Adults (me) are outside enjoying summer when not at work.
    Children (my kids) aren’t at school, the original social network, and are looking for other ways to stay in touch w/ friends.

    FYI- Xbox Live has replaced Club Penguin as their favorite social network.

  • wilhb81

    Gosh, even the underage children group (Ages 2 – 11) is rapidly bouncing up month after month! It proves social bookmarking is beginning to gain its popularity among the younger generation, Kyle!

    • Kyle James

      Yeah I noticed the little kid stuff… kind of weird and you have to wonder if that is spammers?

  • Andy

    Probably, in the future, my kids will learn to Twitt first and then to talk.

  • Executive Coaching – Jim

    Some great information here. I’ve always seen Twitter as something of a 20-40 age range. Is it possible that teens are slower to realise the enjoyment that can be had from Twitter?

  • Nicole in Boulder

    I can say from a college student and recent high school graduate’s point of view that Twitter is not nearly as possible as the other social networking sites on my campus.

    Most of the people that I talk to essentially agree with me when I say that Twitter is nothing more than Facebook stripped down to the status update feature.

    I recall hearing a report on the news about the composition of twitter, and the statistics indicated that the majority of the posts on the website were either pointless jabbering or advertisements, with only about forty percent of content being “real” conversations…

  • Ur

    Never really thought about this before. Cheers for a great article on the subject.

  • Digital templates

    Teens are all buzzing on facebook. And why not….facebook is not only about sharing what you do….there is a whole lot more fun stuff in it.

  • joe love exgirlfriends

    All my exgirlfriends are on twitter :(

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