The Demographics of UK Social Media Users

Is Pinterest now more popular than Twitter? Are users on Facebook getting older? Which social platforms provide the most engagement for 18-24 year olds? Do certain genders prefer particular platforms? For most businesses hoping to leverage social media as a marketing tool, taking a closer look at the demographics can provide interesting snapshots of who is using what and how. Have a look at our snazzy new Infographic which highlights the demographics of UK social media users:


The Demographics of UK Social Media Users

Pinterest Demographics

Pinterest is one of the newest social media outlets and is also one of the fastest growing. Released onto the market in 2010, two years later it had increased its traffic by 789% with over 200,000 users in the UK alone.  The platform tends to attract more female pinners than male with figures showing that in 2012 62% of women as opposed to 38% of men had their own pages.

A report last year by RJMetrics, however, suggested that this divide had become even more pronounced with 80% of Pinterest users belonging to the female gender. The research also highlighted that men were less likely to be engaged on the site for more than four years before their usage began tailing off.

Another interesting statistic showed that the average female user put up 158 pins in 2013 and the biggest subject area was food and drink with 20% of the pins. (Stats courtesy of E-consultancy and Ecommerce Manager)

Google + Demographics

If Pinterest mainly appeals to female users, then Google + stats reveal the opposite. Of the 400 million aficionados worldwide, 63% of users are male with just 37% female, with a significant percentage residing in the US (31%) and having an above average salary. In the UK there is also a significant skewing towards the younger age group with 41% of 18-24 and 29% of 25-34 year olds devoting time to the platform. The younger age demographic could also be said to correlate with the statistic that 42% of users are still single.

Another interesting statistic to look at is the number of active versus registered users on the site. In the UK during the last quarter of 2013, there were some 12.6 million registered users on Google + compared to 3.9 million who were actually active. 54% of users log onto the platform to stay in touch with friends whilst 42% are using it to interact with brand content. (Stats Courtesy of Tone Dental Design and The Last Hurdle)

Facebook Demographics

Still the daddy of the social media world, at least in the West, Facebook boasts some 31 million users in the UK alone. Compared to Google + and Pinterest, the demographic is fairly stable for gender with 49% men and 51% women. According to the stats, 60% of us have a Facebook account in the UK and the age demographic is a little older with 26% of users in the 25-34 age group. Of all the social media platforms Facebook is perhaps the most equally appealing across both the educational ranges, for location and for financial stability.

Is Facebook still cool and hip? There is some suggestions that if marketers want to reach out for the younger generation they need to look elsewhere but there are still some 2.5 million 13-17 year olds who use the site and it would be foolhardy to ignore completely. (Stats courtesy of Rose McGrory and eMarketer)

LinkedIn Demographics

LinkedIn is, of course, a business networking site and you would expect its demographic to be slightly older than other social media platforms. Only 21% of users are under the age of 35, the vast majority older, at 79%. Males have the lead with 58% of the user share compared to their female co-workers and the site has in excess of 60 million views each month in the UK. Because it is primarily aimed at business LinkedIn is generally easier to fathom for brands hoping to market their products plus the fact that you can use the platform’s search functions to seek out potential customers and business partners. (Stats courtesy of Pingdom)

Twitter Demographics

There are 15 million active users in the UK for the microblogging site Twitter with almost two thirds of the users being under the age of 34. Of all the social media platforms Twitter has most benefited from the rise in mobile phone usage in the last few years and nearly 80% of people use their smartphones to access it.  As with Facebook, the split between the genders is fairly even but there are some other interesting statistics when we look deeper into the Twittersphere.

  • The number of people who have an account but have not posted a message in the last year is quite high at 43%.
  • The percentage of teenagers who count Twitter as their favourite social media platform is just 26%.
  • The percentage of users of all ages who check their Twitter timeline multiple times during the day is 29%.

The Demographics of UK Social Media Users – Using Demographics to Connect

All this number crunching is all very well but where does it leave your business when you are trying to decide which social media platform will benefit you most?

The chances are that if you have done your research and know the demographic for your product or service, one or more of the main social media players above may have cried out to you. There is, however, the old adage that there are only lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The problem with demographics and the statistics available is that you can often squeeze them into your own world view. For instance, if your product appeals mainly to women you may think that Pinterest with its high volume of female users is the site for you to concentrate on. But Facebook has millions more users and at least half of those are female, far outweighing the number on Pinterest.

Demographics are useful for nailing down where your target market might be lurking. Facebook might well be getting older, Twitter users might well suffer from an inability to Tweet regularly, and Pinterest could be the bastion of female supremacy your brand needs, but without a clear idea of who your target market is in the first place, this info is not going to be terribly useful.

Social media isn’t standing still either. New platforms are set to attract us denizens such as WeChat and Weibo out of China which are beginning to gain more popularity in the West. They will each have their own demographics. What matters is how you work within each platform and how you reach out to your potential customers, based on your own demographic profile, irrespective of whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest – people buy from people and unless you are a person the SOCIAL aspect of social media might end up being lost on you.


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The Demographics of UK Social Media Users — 15 Comments

  1. I cannot find a reference on your page for the info on Twitter, in detail, “There are 15 million active users in the UK for the microblogging site Twitter with almost 2-3 of the users being under the age of 34.”
    Could you please let me know where this info comes from?

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  10. Interesting to see 80% of twitter users use their mobile. The only time I use my computer is during really busy twitter debates when I tweet from my phone and computer simultaneously!

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