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Twitter User Demographics Versus Political Ideology

Twitter User Demographics Versus Political Ideology

Every year social media user demographics shift considerably.  For politically affiliated groups…this can be problematic.

In this article we analyze the current user demographics of Twitter, how they have changed over the past year, why paying attention to this is important, and why you should use Twitter in your political activist efforts.

Below is an infographic that illustrates the most current Twitter user demographics for 2014:

Twitter User Demographics Versus Political Ideology

2013 to 2014 Twitter User Demographic Changes

Notable shifts:

  •  More females have joined Twitter relative to males (up from 15% to 18%)
  • More African American and Caucasian users joined Twitter.  Hispanic users declined
  • The 65 and older age group grew almost as fast as the 18 to 29 age group
  • More college educated users joined Twitter relative to other education levels
  • The wealthy and poor grew faster than the middle class
  • Suburban users increased while rural, and urban users decreased

If we compare gains, and losses of various demographics against the exit poll data for the 2012 election then we can figure out which political party benefited the most from the changes in Twitter user demographics.

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:

average number of Facebook friends by age demographic

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.

viral nature of engagementAfter 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 Twitter

Twitter is an incredibly powerful social network for any political candidate or group to be a part of:

  • 59% of journalists use Twitter which makes it a great resource for getting earned media
  • 52% of Twitter users get their news from it.  You could position yourself to be the primary political news source for Twitter users in your area
  • Tweets (content share on Twitter) is indexed by Google.  That means what you post on Twitter will impact where you show up in search engines.  With 85% of U.S. adults using the internet…this fact can’t be ignored
  • Twitter is a completely open social network.  This means that you can literally contact anyone on the platform, whereas, Facebook requires you to actually have someone “like” your page before you communicate with them
  • Twitter doesn’t discriminate against the visibility of your content based on some complicated algorithm.  Facebook does and they recently said that if you want exposure on their platform then you’ll have to pay for it
  • You can actually locate voters from your voter file, and systematically connect with them on Twitter.  Send me an email if you want more information (
  • News hits Twitter faster than any other news source
  • It’s really easy to grow your following.  Especially if you’re using tools like PoliticIt Campaign

Have you noticed a shift in the demographics of Twitter?  Feel free to comment below.

(Sources: Pew ResearchArbitron and Edison Research)

(Photo Credit: Flickr Via Bernard Goldbach)

(Infographic Art Work: Shai McDonald)

Josh Light

Josh Light

Josh Light is the CEO and Co-Founder of PoliticIt.
Josh Light


I enjoy tweeting about startups, and economics.
@adamdangelo enjoyed your interview on Econtalk. Fascinating insight on Quora being a signal and helping to create content. - 2 months ago
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