The social universe is a vast, crowded (and increasingly scary) place. For advertisers, this presents both challenges, and opportunities in reaching their desired audiences. A typical marketer will say that the more coverage, the better - leaving one to assume that their business should be on every social media platform. This is one way to approach it, but let’s be realistic: nobody has time to manage 10+ social accounts while expecting quality engagement across all of them.
Data-oriented marketers, however, would suggest the most efficient route: let the numbers guide where your message will have the most impact, allowing you to focus your efforts on the most effective, most engaging channels. This is the best way to assure that your time and resources aren’t tied up in refreshing your social media pages. Despite their similarities in functionality, each social network seeks to serve the unique needs of its users and advertiser stakeholders - which results in certain demographics skewing toward the networks with the functionality that matters most to them.
So how can businesses make sure they’re engaging on the right social media networks? Let’s explore some of the data to paint a better picture of the social landscape.
The Who, What, Where, When & Why of Social Media
Everyone has their own reason for using social media - but user demographics are usually skewed, depending on what sort of tools the network provides its users . For example: Twitter users are more interested in staying on top of real-time news and trends - whereas Facebook users are more inclined toward staying connected with family and friends. Both networks have built their functionality to meet those user needs.
Understanding the ways that users engage - and the tools that each platform has for those users to engage - is an important step for business marketers to take to make the most out of their online community-building efforts.
The Most Popular Social Media Networks (by the numbers):
Users of Facebook are there to stay in touch. Facebook gives its users the tools to share their own life story, while connecting with individuals, brands and groups.
Number of monthly active users: 2.91 billion
Largest age group: 25-34 (31.5%)
Gender: 43% female, 57% male
Time spent per day: 33 minutes
Instagram is a photo & video oriented platform that gives users the tools to share, discover, and engage with like-minded individuals via the use of hashtags.
Number of monthly active users: 2 billion
Largest age group: 25-34 (31.2%)
Gender: 48.4% female, 51.8% male
Time spent per day: 29 minutes
TikTok is the fastest growing social media network, boasting an epic 87% growth in 2020. While its growth may have slowed, its younger-skewing audience is incredibly engaged - spending an average of 89 minutes per day.
Number of monthly active users: 1 billion
Largest age group: 10-19 (25%)
Gender: 61% female, 39% male
Time spent per day: 89 minutes per day
Twitter Twitter users go to the application to stay on top of current trends and cultural topics. Visitors use hashtags, trending topics, and similar accounts to stay on top of conversations that are important to them.
Number of daily active users: 353 Million
Largest age group: 18-29 (42%)
Gender: 38.4% female, 61.6% male (no data on other genders)
Time spent per day: 31 minutes
The LinkedIn platform gives working professionals a place to organize and advance their career. With a slew of tools for B2B sales, job postings, and corporate thought-leadership, the network is considered the OG career platform.
Number of monthly active users: 810 million
Largest age group: 25-34 (58.4%)
Gender: 48% female, 52% male
63% of LinkedIn users access the network weekly, and 22% daily
Pinterest often flies under the radar, but with 431 million active monthly users, the platform serves a large, highly-engaged audience. Pinterest tends to skew to mature females aged 50-64, and generates a significant portion of traffic through organic image search results.
Number of monthly active users 431 million
Largest age group: 50-64 (38%)
Gender: 78% female, 22% male (no data on other genders)
Time spent per day: 14.2 minutes
Snapchat is a popular video & image app with its customer base skewing toward the younger GenZ crowd. Users check this app multiple times a day to see what their friends are up to and post their own updates
Number of monthly active users: 319 million
Largest age group: 15-25 (48%)
Gender: 54.4% female, 44.6% male
Time spent per day: 25+ minutes
It goes without saying that YouTube is a social video network, with the bulk of its engaged users being young & tech savvy. YouTube's tools give creators the ability to post both long & short-form content, with long-form making the up majority of YouTube's daily engagement.
Number of monthly active users: 2+ billion
Largest age group: 15-35
Gender: 46% female, 54% male (no data on other genders)
Time spent per session: ~30 minutes
Finding the Right Mix
Many social media users can be found across a number of different platforms. Brands can use this to their advantage by assuring their content is consistent across the most valuable networks.
Additionally, brands must tailor their social media strategy to account for the ways that users engage on each platform. Posting content for business leaders, for example, would be more engaging during business hours, when that audience is most engaged and in the business mindset. Here are some factors to take into account when planning your social coverage:
What time of day does your audience typically engage?
Does the platform give you insight into post performance?
What formats (i.e., text, video, images) does your audience engage with most?
What formats (i.e., text, video, images) does your brand have the capability of producing?
Do you want user comments?
As long as consumers lean further in to social media networks and the tools they provide, businesses will find themselves increasingly spending their time building customer trust & engagement on these platforms. Through thoughtful planning & strategic content placement, brands have the opportunity to build lifelong customer relationships - reinforcing their position in the market. For questions or to request more information about social media strategy, please reach out directly to Info@FreshSqueezeDigital.com.