Recently a client asked us why Facebook is an important social network for a political candidate to be a part of. The answer to that question is quite complicated, but one of the main reasons is Facebook’s incredibly active user base of over a billion people.
In this article we analyze the current user demographics of Facebook, how they have changed over the past year, why paying attention to this is important, and why you should use Facebook in your political activist efforts.
Below is an infographic that illustrates the most current Facebook user demographics for 2014:
Facebook User Demographics Versus Political Ideology
Analyzing the demographic shifts from 2013 to 2014 can give political groups perspective on whether or not the changes were favorable for their ideology.
- Younger users are joining Facebook faster than any other age demographic. This is favorable for liberal groups because young people tend to vote Democrat
- Rural users have exploded on Facebook relative to urban, and suburban users. This is good news for conservatives considering that individuals living in rural areas tended to vote for Romney
- Individuals with no highschool, and a highschool education grew from 60 to 70 percent, people with some college grew 73 to 75 percent, and college educated users remained stagnant at 68 percent over the course of 2013. The growth of less educated users is an advantage for liberal groups because this education demographic tended to vote for Obama in the 2012 election
Why Is This Important?
There are three primary reasons:
1. Certain demographics are more likely to support your ideology
This fact is obvious if you look at the 2012 election exit polls between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
2. Certain age groups have larger amounts of followers opening the doors to more viral social media posts
Just check out this graph:
The above graph illustrates the average number of friends a Facebook user has based on their age.
Let’s assume that for every post shared one person will engage with it. When that person engages with it one of their friends will engage too. We’ll go five levels deep, and pretend we have a friend in each age group sharing our content.
After five levels of sharing the 18 – 29 demographic friend provided a potential reach of 16,320 people while our two friends in the 45 – 54 and 55 – 64 age groups got us a combined reach of 9,427.
This is true of age groups, and it’s probably true with other demographics as well. For example, certain racial groups may be prone to share content more relative to other races…or urban dwellers may engagement more relative to their rural counterparts.
3. Messaging should be tailored to best fit the demographics of the social network you’re participating on
Not all demographics communicate the same, prefer the information in the same form, or react to social media posts the same way. For example…younger users enjoy communicating over Snap Chat as opposed to the telephone, like messages to be shorter rather than longer, and may be more prone to share relative to older age groups.
Why You Should Invest In Facebook
- Facebook Fan Pages are indexed by Google. This means the content you share on your Fan Page helps you be more visible when people search for you on Google
- 71% of online adults use Facebook
- Getting free exposure on Facebook is now incredibly difficult, but Facebook gives the ability to produce extremely targeted ads. For example, you could target people in a specific area based on a niche interest (like guns)
- 1/3 of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook
Have you noticed a shift in the demographics of Facebook? Feel free to comment below.
(Infographic by Shai McDonald)
(Image Credit: Flickr via MoneyBlogNewz)