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Let's Dive Deeper Into Google Analytics Audience Reporting

On Friday I wrote about how to make Google Analytics Personas work for you and how to create detailed audiences. I want to take a minute to take that just a step further, which is based on my presentation last night at HootUp Dallas.

Part of the presentation was exploring tools like the Demographics Pro for Twitter app for HootSuite to understand your twitter demographics better. I'm a firm believer in that each one of your networks reaches a different audience depending on which network it is. I'm positive that your social networks act like a Venn Diagram. There may be people are in the intersections of your circles (cross-platform audience, we'll call them), they represent a lower percentage of your audience than the ones dedicated to a single network.

We've all heard our own friends saying things that make us sigh and shake our heads in disbelief. "I don't get Twitter." "Facebook is for my mom." "Nobody is on Google+." "Pinterest? I'm not a girl." You can't expect your audience to be on every platform and you also can't expect your audience to be exclusive to one platform.

I thought I'd peak into a client's analytics to see if I could support my theory. For the test, I will be diving into the each social media referrer to determine the demographics of the website visitors from the individual social networks. Note that I'm going to combine desktop, tablet and mobile visitors. Additionally, to make it easy, I've created simple advanced segments by source to group the demographics by network.

Let's start with Facebook:

For the client I'm looking at, Facebook makes up about 5% of the referral visits to the website, with 33% of those being new visitors.

A snapshot of the age and gender reveals that the majority is 35-44 females, followed by 25-34 female, 55-64 females, 45-54 female and rounding out the top 5 45-54 males. Your next step here would be to mapped out the referrals and then include the age/gender segments that you mapped out before. Now you're going to be able see the different affinities, in-markets and "other categories" on a much more granular basis. (But for today, let's stay a little more high level.)

Not that I'd expect you to remember, but for continuity I'm using the same client's data as my last post, which had the highest rate of visits coming from 55-64 females. We're already seeing a variance of the website visitor demos and Facebook referral demos.

Let's hop on over to Twitter:

Twitter makes up a significantly less percentage of visitors, at 2.18%. The age gap in visitors is much greater from Twitter than it was from Facebook. For Twitter the 25-34 age group is 10% higher in visits than the 35-44 group. Interestingly, 45-54 and 55-64 are about even (and 7% lower than 35-44) and are higher than 18-24. Likely due to the product that's being sold and the affordability of the product, but interesting nonetheless. But, again, the gap between 25-34 and 35-44 was much less on Facebook than Twitter. Also interesting is that overall there are slightly more men coming to the site from Twitter than Facebook.

Adding the secondary dimension of age plus gender, the most visits are coming from 25-34 female, 35-44 female, 55-64 female, 45-54 female, 18-24 female. Again, we're skewing younger on Twitter than Facebook. So maybe you're friends are right when saying, "Facebook is for my mom."

And finally, Pinterest:

Well, I'll be damned, your friends are genius. "Pinterest? I'm not a girl." Referrals from Pinterest, while small, was 100% female. Also fascinating is that for this client Pinterest seems to have skipped over the 45-54 female demographic.

 google analytics pinterest demographics

google analytics pinterest demographics

As you can see, the graphic, the gap between 25-34 and 18-24 is the widest at 20%. It's also significant to know that while we're not appealing to the 18-24 demographic on Twitter and Facebook, we're definitely hitting them on Pinterest.

So what's our conclusion?

Well, I think it's good I did not tell lies last night and my theory proves correct. Each network, as well as the website in general, attracts different age/gender demographics. Facebook skews older, Twitter slightly younger and Pinterest way younger. Are these similar for your websites and clients? If so, then it's time to start rethinking your content strategy and how you're presenting yourself to each audience you've built.