Crisis Communications: Understanding your Social Media Demographics (Infographic)

Understanding which demographics most use which social media channels and why is the first step in developing a relevant and targeted social media marketing campaign – and of course, zoning-in on your organization’s specific demographics is the next step. But these demographics go far beyond just plain old marketing. They’re required knowledge when it comes to your crisis communications – and by required knowledge I mean acquire this knowledge before you’re faced with a crisis and plan your crisis communications accordingly.

For example, if you’re a large organization with different targeted audiences you need to understand, not just that your organization uses Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, for example, but which demographics and which target audiences are primarily on which platforms – and how each of them uses the platform. In a crisis, you don’t want to be communicating with your target audience on Facebook if most of them are primarily on Linkedin and Twitter.

That said, I came across the following infographic (thanks Andy!) and found it to be rather interesting. Although it should not be your only determining factor of your key target demographics’ social media use, it does provide you with a good basis to start from. From there, it’s about testing, asking, engaging and doing your own research to identify the specifics of your organization’s targeted demographics and what their social habits and preferences are.

Infographic: the demographics of social media users


Source: Pew Research Center

Melissa Agnes is an international crisis management keynote speaker and consultant. President of the crisis management firm Agnes + Day, Melissa has developed a worldwide reputation for crisis management, planning and training by helping global brands and government agencies prevent and manage a wide range of issues and crises. She is also the editor of The Crisis Intelligence Blog and host of The Crisis Intelligence Podcast.

2 Comments. Leave new

Hi Monika,

I whole-heartedly agree with everything you've elaborated on. The point of publishing this infographic was to get organizations to start to think of this, and to provide them with a starting point. But by no means is this infographic detailed enough – nor could it be. Each organization's social media demographics and crisis communications needs are different. Like I said, the point was to create awareness as simply as possible. From there, they need to do their own homework, research, assessments and experiment with their channels and audiences in order to really complete their crisis communications plan.

I'd be interested in hearing others' experience as well. Let's see what I can do to get some more comments over here!

Thanks for the kind words, Monika! I'm glad to hear that you enjoy my blog :)


This may be a useful start Melissa but it is far from sufficient for crisis
purposes. My experience is that you need a pretty granular understanding of which stakeholder groups of your business gravitate where. Eg in one company where I worked our Facebook community largely comprised customers, prospects, staff, alumni and their families, whereas twitter followers were largely service providers and suppliers, peers, journalists. Linkedin tended to be advisors, staff, alumni and industry thought leaders. This understanding proved invaluable when needing to communicate in times of crisis. However the demographics in this infographic, even putting aside the limited relevance given its geographic specificity, would have been marginal at best. However, the central premise of your post, know which platform to use to reach a particular audience – and know this BEFORE you are in crisis mode – certainly holds true. Keep up the good work Melissa I really enjoy your blog. Would be interested to hear of others’ experience of this too…


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