Statistics can be made to prove anything -  even the truth. When it comes to parsing social media numbers, however, it's important to keep all the variables in proper context. Because this wildly popular medium remains in its relative infancy, it's often hard to contextualize what is actually important and what isn't. For example, is it more important for a brand to have 30,000 Facebook fans or 1,000 hardcore Twitter followers? Of course, the answer may depend on particular business goals, but the point is that it can be easy to get hung up on all those readily available metrics. And when it comes to Twitter these numbers border on the astronomical. After all, the platform favors quick bursts of information over lengthy contextual content. Still, the numbers are telling us a story and it's how you chose to leverage these statistics that is important. If you knew that the best time of the day to get re-tweeed is 5PM (apparently this is true), you'd likely start doing some testing of your own to maximize your efforts and nail down some re-tweets for your latest release. It's a well-worn fact that marketers love stats. So with that in mind I've compiled a bunch of alleged facts about Twitter from a combination of sources.  (All sources are in parenthesis)

Tweets and Twitterers

Twitter engagement

  • 200 million Twitter users (Twitter)
  • 450,000 new Twitter accounts open per day, or  5.2 every second (Twitter)
  • There are 1 billion new Tweets posted every week = nearly up to 180 million per day = 138,888 every minute = 1650 per second (Twitter)
  • Just 5% of users create 75% of the content (Touch Agency)
  • 52% users update Twitter status daily (Pew Research Center)
  • 24% of users check twitter several times a day (Pew Research Center)
  • 5pm is the best time to get re-tweeted (marketing scientist Dan Zarrella)

Twitter Usage

twitter bird

  • 200 million Tweets go out per day (Twitter)
  • A billion Tweets are sent every five days (Twitter)
  • 40% of tweets come from mobile devices (Twitter)
  • 50% use Twitter on more than one platform nearly. a 200% increase over last year (Twitter)
  • 182% increase in users over this time last year (Twitter)
  • 18,000 search queries every second (Twitter)
  • 10% of Twitter accounts follow more than 50 people (Silicon Alley Insider)*
  • Only half of Twitters' registered accounts follow 2 or more people (Silicon Alley Insider)
  • 1.5 Million Twitter uses follow more than 500 people (Silicon Alley Insider)
  • 75% of Traffic comes from outside Twitter (Twitter)
  • More than 1,000,000 apps that work with Twitter (Twitter)

Twitter User Demographics

  • 8% percent of American adults who use the internet are Twitter user (Pew Research Center)
  • 70% account are outside the US (Touch Agency)
  • 46% of users are male (Ad Age)
  • 54% of users are female (Ad Age)
  • 41.5% of Twitters users are 18-29(Touch Agency)
  • 42.3% are 30-49(Touch Agency)
  • 13.7 are 50-64(Touch Agency)
  • 2.6% are 65 and over (Touch Agency)
  • 11% of UK online population are on Twitter(Touch Agency)

Twitter and Brands

VirginAmerica Twitter

  • 30% of Twitter users have household income of over $100,000 (Business Insider)
  • Estimates suggest between 20% and 40% of Twitter users follow at least one brand (Touch Agency)
  • 75% of users are more likely to purchase from a brand they follow (Touch Agency)
  • 67% are likely to recommend a brand they follow (Touch Agency)
  • 3 million questions are asked on Twitter every month (InBoxQ)
  • 80% of customer services Tweets are negative or critical (InBoxQ)
  • It costs $120,000 each day for a promotional Tweet (Twitter)
  • 67% of Asia-Pacific companies have Twitter accounts, showing a dramatic rise from only 40% in 2010; follower numbers quadrupled from last year (Burson-Marsteller)
  • 83% of European companies now have Twitter accounts, up from 71% in 2010; follower numbers more than tripled (Burson-Marsteller)
  • US companies with Twitter accounts remained at 72% (no change from last year), but number of followers per account more than doubled(Burson-Marsteller
  • 1,000,000 people view Tweets about customer service each week (Twitter)
  • Twitter valuation is estimated at about $8 billion