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Analyzing Social Media Followers of a Top News Story

The story of Miles Scott being transformed into the Batkid for a day was one of the most discussed news items on social media in 2013. The topic’s social media followers contributed over 600,000 tweets, 80,000 Facebook community page likes and over 1,000 pins.

These are amazing numbers, but who were the people contributing to the story online? Marketers and journalists can do a better job capitalizing on trending news by better understanding of their audience.

To figure this out, we analyzed who were tweeting, liking & pining the Batkid news item by social network.

We used our Search API on about 4,500 users who commented on the topic on one of the 3 major social networks – Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Our API searched the web for information about these users and returned their gender, age, job title, employer, location and education.

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Breaking down the social media followers

Demographic Index

Below we can see that men are much more likely to comment on the news story than women are. Men significantly over-index for both Facebook and Twitter.

Also it’s clear that people ages 26 – 45 are much more active on Facebook and Twitter and the older Pinterest users are more likely to pin something related to the Batkid story.

Analyzing Social Media Followers of a Top News Story image batkid social index1

click to enlarge

Professional Profile

This story caught the attention of people who have media or creative jobs. Across all 3 networks they were either the 1st or 2nd most active.

Facebook was a popular choice for people in technical industries. Twitter is the channel for marketers and Pinterest was definitely not the choice for upper management.

Analyzing Social Media Followers of a Top News Story image batkid professional info

click to enlarge

Education

Whose users pay a lot for tuition? Pinterest’s do. Whose save the most money on their college education? Twitter’s.

Analyzing Social Media Followers of a Top News Story image batkid interactions by school type

Location

Facebook users are the most likely to be from California, meaning this San Francisco-based story is a local story for them. On the other hand, Twitter was used by a lot of Canadians.

Analyzing Social Media Followers of a Top News Story image batkid interactions by country

Conclusion

The users who interacted with this news story paint very different picture of the social networks compared to the site averages.

News Item vs. Network Average

  • Facebook median age for likes is 33. This is 7 years younger than the site average*.
  • There were 3x more people ages 26 – 45 using the hashtag than the age group’s representation of Twitter’s total user base*.
  • Pinterest news item pinners were the least likely to be executives and managers yet the site’s users are most likely to have high incomes*.
  • Media professionals are likely to like, tweet or pin the news item regardless of the network.
  • Twitter is used by more marketers than any other network.

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