Using data to set your social media strategy

Our ability to use data to make decisions about how best to leverage social media for our school districts has never been more available. Over the past several months, several new research studies were released by the Pew Research Center that can be used to pinpoint demographics and usage habits for us to make strategic decisions about social media as a part of our communication strategies.

Fact: Five years ago, just 29 percent of online adults used social networking sites. Today, that figure has more than doubled to 72 percent.

What It Means: As if we didn’t know, social media is not a fad or a fading trend. Social media are a collection of communication channels that are here to stay. In the next five years, we can likely expect that 72% to grow to well over 90% of all internet users. The fact is your district must adopt some sort of social media strategy.

Fact: Three quarters (74 percent) of all women internet users are on social networks, 8 percent more than men. Women are significantly more likely to use social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Women are actually five times more likely to use Pinterest than men.

What It Means: As you think about which platforms to use and what the strategy is for them, consider that your audiences will be large numbers of females. It is important to gear your content for this audience and what would be most interesting to them.

Fact: While age demographics have shown growth among older audiences, social media is still a young person’s playground. Eighty-nine percent of social media users are in the 18-29 year-old demographic. 

What It Means: I think we have all realized that the next generation of parents will be the most connected generation of parents ever. Consider your social media strategy a proactive investment in the future. Still, every other age demographic has seen significant growth over the years. For example, 78 percent of 30-49 year-olds are using social media and close to 45 percent of those over age 65 are on a social network.

There is much more interesting data in various studies. If you want to explore even more data to help you make more strategic decisions about social media, feel free to check them out:

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