Twitter Audience vs Facebook vs Instagram

Social media platforms have provided people with the ability to interact and engage with each other and easily seek out like-minded individuals. This has allowed for much greater connectivity between users, linking us to our ideal audiences like never before.

Twitter offers not only a unique audience, but a massive one as well. With millions of daily users, the power and scope of Twitter’s audience and platform consistently proves to be a tremendous tool for building one’s own personal or professional brand.

According to Twitter Marketing, people using the social platform are “influential, receptive, and drive results like no other.” In this article, we will explore just what makes Twitter’s audience so influential, and how the demographics and behaviour compare to other social media platforms.

Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Instagram

When comparing Twitter to other popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, there are some key differences in how the different audiences utilize their respective platform.

Understanding the general purposes and intentions behind why people are using a particular social media channel can provide a good amount of insight into what different users are interested in and help those looking to grow their own audience to better connect with the people on their chosen platform.

Here is a quick breakdown of how each of these platforms are utilized by their users:

Twitter: Twitter is centered around the concept of sharing ideas, opinions, and information through both text and media. Many users consider Twitter a good source for real-time information about breaking news stories – as such, conversation surrounding public affairs and politics tend to be robust on the platform.

Facebook: Facebook provides users with the ability to stay in touch with friends and family they may not otherwise be close with. Facebook groups are one of the platform’s most utilized features, allowing users to join private or public groups centered around a shared interest.

Instagram: Instagram is all about imagery and tends to be one of the hubs for online shopping. The typical Instagram user is likely to follow businesses and brands to discover new products. Instagram is also known for being one of the primary platforms for social media influencers to promote their personal brands.

The Twitter audience overall tends to be a bit more rambunctious and socially involved compared to audiences on other platforms. This, in turn, has resulted in Twitter users being more receptive to accounts tweeting out socially relevant information and support for specific causes.

The ultimate difference between Twitter and other social media platforms is that Twitter focuses on real-time conversations and allows users to connect directly with major celebrities, political leaders, and other figures of authority. This dynamic has led to a shift in how the average Twitter user learns about news and receives information regarding important events.

Advertising Opportunities

When it comes to advertising on social media, all three of the platforms mentioned above have unique strengths in terms of what advertising opportunities they offer.

Both Twitter and Facebook offer fairly sophisticated targeting tools within their advertisement offerings, allowing you to use their ads to reach specific users according to a set of data based around their behavior and interests. By using targeted ads, it is possible to narrow down who your ad reaches based on location, hobbies, income, or many other factors.

Though Facebook and Instagram currently have Twitter beat in terms of their reachable audience network and total monthly active users, Twitter’s engagement rate for advertisements marks it as a strong competitor. Twitter’s ad engagement is reported at around 1-3 percent, compared to Facebook’s 0.119 percent.

Additionally, Twitter rolled out some new updates for its advertisements in November 2020, including:

  • A rebuilt ad platform architecture with improved systems
  • The addition of the Advanced Mobile Measurement program
  • A new Tweet Composer to help with creative copy for ads
  • Improvement of advertising algorithms

A Look into Twitter Demographics

Understanding Twitter’s demographics is key for gaining better insight into how the audiences found on Twitter receive and react to content and information.

Here are some fast facts and statistics focused on Twitter’s most popular demographics:

Most Twitter users are between the ages of 18 – 49, with the largest group being 25 – 34 year-olds (source).

Users within the United States make up the largest percentage of Twitter users, followed by Japan and India. (source)

In the U.S., 36 percent of Twitter users identify with the Democratic Party, compared to 21 percent identifying with the Republican Party. (source)

People view ads for 26 percent more time on Twitter compared to other platforms. (source)

In one study, 56 percent of users surveyed reported using Twitter for reading or learning about the news. (source)

From these statistics, it’s clear to see that Twitter’s average audience are younger millennials living primarily in the U.S., though Twitter has an apparent international reach as well with its significant popularity in Japan and India.

Moreover, this look into the average demographics of Twitter reveals that users on Twitter are looking to be informed and connected to what is going on currently in the world around them. This has become decidedly more noticeable over the course of 2020, as people became more vocal on social media due to pandemic-related quarantines and restrictions limited the general public’s opportunities to socialize.

This brings us to one of the most talked about topics on Twitter’s platform: politics.

The Relationship Between Twitter and Politics

Since its creation, Twitter has always been a hub for social conversation, especially regarding trickier to navigate subjects such as politics or religion. However, the political discourse on Twitter became particularly pronounced over the period of time from 2016-2020, during Donald Trump’s term as the U.S. President.

Former President Trump’s use of the platform over the course of his presidency led to many legal and moral considerations being brought into question regarding the ethics of politicians on Twitter, and the subsequent responsibility of those tweeting for their followers’ actions.

This matter came to a peak on January 6th, 2020, when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building. In response to this event, Twitter permanently banned the @realDonaldTrump account, citing the reason as “risk of further incitement of violence.”

This is not the first time Twitter has chosen to permanently remove users from its platform, nor will it be the last. An additional 70,000 accounts associated with conspiracy theories surrounding the U.S. elections were removed following Trump’s ban as well.

AP reports on Mike Lindell getting banned

Despite this mass removal of accounts, Twitter remains a major platform for social and political conversations. In fact, the majority of Twitter’s American users even supported the ban of the politician from the platform. However, there is now new discourse over the appropriateness of deleting accounts and how it impacts a free and open internet.

Check out what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to say in regards to the ban in this Twitter thread from January 13:

Unique Features of Twitter Marketing

There are many aspects and features of Twitter that make the marketing experience a unique one on the platform. Learning how to use the features and built in tools that Twitter provides can greatly improve a business or brand’s overall marketing strategy.

There are several important Twitter features you should be using to enhance your marketing, including:

Lists: Twitter’s Lists feature is a great way to curate and organize the content and information you are consuming. It can also allow you to connect with other accounts similar to your own, or with users you share similar interests with.

Pinned Tweets: Twitter allows users to “pin” a Tweet to the top of their profile, which permanently fixates the Tweet above all the more recent Tweets until the user decides to unpin it. Pinned tweets are great for promotion, as they have a longer viewing lifecycle than unpinned Tweets.

Additionally, keeping up with new features and how to use them as they are released is key to staying ahead in the latest marketing trends on Twitter.

Final Thoughts

The fact of the matter is that Twitter is as good of a marketing or business tool as it is a social media platform. Audiences on Twitter are receptive to seeing advertisements and are interested in learning new information, two major advantages for anyone looking to build a following.

Twitter’s platform is designed for conversation, and its userbase are certainly the conversationalists. While on other platforms users may just scroll endlessly, Twitter users tend to engage more with the content they are seeing, especially if that content contains media such as images or videos.

Twitter is a fast-paced marketplace of ideas that favors those who can keep up with events and conversations in real-time. The power of the platform is ultimately in the hands of those who use it, and the potential for growth is worth taking the time to learn how to best appreciate Twitter and all it has to offer.