Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

Introducing Your Friends, Fans and Followers

Social Media is among many things, our gateway to discovery and interconnection. While social networking may seem trivial, truth is that we get out of it what we put into it. But this goes beyond the time and energy we spend on day-to-day participation. Our investment in social media earns its largest dividends when intent and purpose meet personification and engagement.

We are defined by what we share and who we know and in the world of business, media, and education, the architecture of a social network is already transforming social graphs into interest graphs. This isn’t about connecting with anyone and everyone; this is about connecting with the right people, at the right time, and in the right place. They are our social catalysts who will not only engage but more importantly, help us scale. As a result, our social network becomes a connected series of social nicheworks where each community around us is cultivated individually based on interests, motivations, and expectations. This is bigger than interpersonal relationships however.

Businesses in any industry, must also focus on direct connections. For brand managers, plugging into interest graphs is just the beginning. Actions speak louder than words and by focusing on the diversified needs and expectations of social consumers, we can indeed connect what I call the Last Mile of P2P person (customers) to person (representatives) online relationships

Brands + Social Consumers + Influencers = Brandgraph.

the goals for brands in social networks are manyfold…

1. Build communities and relationships

2. Create brand lift

3. Activate communities to take action

4. Establish goodwill

5. Evolve social from a cost center to also a profit center

Nice to Meet You

While it’s not enough to measure the success of social media campaigns by the quantity of the 3F’s, knowing who they are and what moves them is imperative. Once we understand who we’re reaching and why, we awaken to the reality that no one social media size fits all. We are, after all, identifying and connecting with the varying faces of social consumerism.

Understanding why consumers follow brands represents the ingredients for the development of a meaningful content and engagement recipe.

We recently peered into the looking glass to humanize the population of Twitter. Now, the team at Ad-ology shared another report to help us personify the 3F’s so that we can begin the diversification of our social programming.

Ad-ology interviewed a national sample of 2,111 Americans about their interests and attitudes about the presence of brands in social networks. Let’s take a look at the people behind the Likes and Follows.


Age: Twitter

42.3% of those who follow a brand on Twitter fall between the ages of 25-34

21.1% = 35-44

19.7% = 18-24

11.3% = 45-54

Age: Facebook

Like Twitter, the majority of brand followers in social represent the 25-34 age group. Compared to Twitter however, there’s a large difference, 42.3% Twitter and 30.1% Facebook. The top age groups also follow Twitter’s composition…

27.3% = 35-44

14.8% = 18-24

13.7% = 25-54

Race: Twitter

The majority of followers who responded in this survey reported that they were white, 81.7%. However, culture is important to engage at varying levels and requires the balance of demographics and psychographic connections.

Race: Facebook

While Facebook follows the trend of ethnic makeup, we do see a variation in the percentages. On Twitter, English speaking Hispanics following brands represent 8.5%, the second largest percentage. On Facebook, they represent 4.7%, the third largest percentage, behind the African American community, which represents the second largest percentage with 10.2%.

Children: Twitter

56.3% reported that they do not have children while 43.7% of Twitter users who follow brands do have children.

Children: Facebook

Twitter and Facebook are practically identical in this category. Fans and followers without children outnumber those with children at home.

Twitter: 56.3%

Facebook: 55.3%

Marital Status: Twitter

Similar to those with and without children, we find that the majority of participants who reported following a brand are single (59.2%).

Marital Status: Facebook

On Facebook, the division between married and single people who Like brands is nearly equal 51.9% and 48.1%. On Twitter, almost 60% of users who follow brands are single.

Education: Twitter

According to the survey, 31% of Twitter users following brands have completed some college. 28.2% have earned their Bachelor’s Degree. And, 19.7% have continued to finish Grad School.

Education: Facebook

According to these numbers, Twitter and Facebook appeal to an educated group of people and over one-third, in turn, choose to connect with brands.

Gender: Twitter

On Twitter, more women than men follow brands, 54.9% vs. 45.1%. Women, in general, outnumber men on social networks and also boast the greatest amount of influence across the entire Twitterverse.

Gender: Facebook

Similar to Twitter, more women than men connect with brands on Facebook. Interestingly though, more women Like brands on Facebook than they do on Twitter, 65.8% (Facebook) vs. 54.9% (Twitter.)


Consumers are already indicating that they are ready to help you…they just need recognition, engagement, and most notably, empowerment.

It is those brands who understand who they’re not only trying to reach, but also those consumers trying to connect with them that will succeed in creating a meaningful and interactive community within social networks of relevance. Ultimately however, looking beyond demographics will enable brands to demonstrate empathy to engender the emotional connections that transcend economies and the network du jour.

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook

If you’re looking for a way to FIND answers in social media, consider Engage!: It will help

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Image Credit: Shutterstock

50 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Introducing Your Friends, Fans and Followers”

  1. Joe Sorge says:

    Brian, you can put in to words and infographics and charts what we can only tweet! Thank you for this. It will serve as my official bookmark for demonstrating the answer to the “why” question.

    You rule, good Sir.

  2. ScttCwn says:

    Great article and research…..I find it interesting to see how twitter over-indexes in the single status. I agree with Nick and will put. As brands venture into the social space they are forming loving relationships with their consumers. They require work, patience and commitment… you LOVE your consumers?

  3. Devin De Roon says:

    A lot of work was put in to make this happen. Great work! It was very interesting to see all of the different charts.

  4. Pingback: Real-Time PR

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