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It's probably an understatement to say that Twitter together with Facebook is one of the most used buzzwords by online marketers these times. All kinds of firms, large or small around the world are now using Twitter to engage customers. Will it give an advantage over competitors? Will it make me look trendy to the eyes of my customers? And if I don't use it, will I lose relevancy in my category against competitors?

In this post I'll use the Global Web Index data to trace some basic profiling of Twitter users in order to better understand its scope in a marketing campaign.

How big is Twitter? (Really)

First of all let's take a look at the actual popularity of Twitter around the globe. The chart below shows actual Twitter versus Facebook users (at least monthly) for each country. This datum is a much more accurate reflection of usage than the simple user count. The fact is that most of the people who sign up, not only post rarely, many of them never come back.Twitter vs Facebook by country

Frequency of visiting Twitter by gender

So who does use Twitter?

Let's start with a basic gender segmentation. I select frequency of using Twitter and split the result by gender.

First of all we see there’s a slight prevalence of males among frequent users but probably not as much as you'd expect from a technology yet to go mainstream.

Twitter users by age and education

Young educated males

The mean age for daily Twitter users is just above 30 showing an inverse correlation with frequency of use. Education on the contrary is directly correlated with Twitter usage (being 30 = College and 40 = University.)

Twitter users by seniority at the workplace

In English, Twitterers are far more educated than the average.

This is reflected strongly in the type of frequent users. The blue fields in the left chart represent management positions while yellow and orange are for team members and support level employees.

The striking fact here is that half of daily and weekly Twitter users hold a position of responsibility in their job while non users are more likely to be junior staff. This might be a clue in favour of the use of Twitter in B2B communication.

Twitterers are NOT mainstream consumers

Digging more into the job fields we find a big delusion because a very big slice of daily twitterers work in IT or in marketing. So once again, the medium is the message. People working in IT are likely to use IT based communication tool and marketers are probably talking to themselves more than they are talking to customers.

Twitter users by profession

At this point we have a fairly good set of information to draw some conclusions.

Regular Twitter users are educated, tend to be in their 30s and holding a position of responsibility all of which means that Twitter is good for engaging decision makers and liasing with people in business to business space.

Marketing professionals may use Twitter to communicate with their colleagues, to be updated on the hot topics while the use of Twitter to engage mainstream, FMCG customers appears to be less useful.

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