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Departments | Oct 2017

Everything You Wanted to Know About Social Media (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

The 411 on today’s most-relevant social platforms.

Whether you are just starting on a social media marketing strategy, designing a new campaign, or figuring out if Snapchat makes sense for your practice, it is important to get schooled on the most relevant platforms, who uses them, and why and how they use them.


Facebook is still in first place in the social media landscape. It is used by 65% of Americans age 12 to octogenarian. Just about everyone uses Facebook, except perhaps tech-savvy millennials who have moved on to apps. Some things you might not know about Facebook use:

  • Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users and 1.09 billion active users in an average day.
  • Of those, 1.51 billion monthly active users and 989 million mobile daily active users access Facebook on a mobile device.
  • Nearly 85% of daily active users are outside North America.
  • 50 million businesses use Facebook Pages, and 2.5 billion comments are posted on Facebook Pages every month.
  • Nearly one-third of Facebook users engage regularly with brands.
  • More than 2 million advertisers use Facebook to market their businesses.


The majority of Twitter users are news junkies or media people who use the network to stay in the know. The microblogging platform is also a place for people to connect with brands and is often considered the new customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Several intriguing points about Twitter:

  • Twitter has 310 million active monthly users, of whom 83% use it on their mobile devices.
  • About 6,000 tweets are sent every minute.
  • 79% of Twitter users are outside the United States.
  • 86% use the site to get the news in real time, 81% to keep up with news daily, and 40% to keep up with breaking news.
  • More than half of Twitter users (53%) never post.
  • More than 130,000 advertisers use Twitter to market their brands.
  • Twitter users are three times more likely than Facebook users to follow a brand.
  • 42% of users learn about products and services on Twitter, 41% offer their opinions about products and services, and 19% use Twitter to reach out to customer support.


Instagram ranks as one of the five most used apps, and it continues to skyrocket in popularity. Owned by Facebook, it is also an important platform for brands and marketers to invest both time and money in. Statistics show the following:

  • Instagram has more than 400 million active monthly users, 75% of whom are outside the United States.
  • Users like 3.5 billion photos daily and share 80 million photos every day.
  • Instagram is considered the second most important social network for teens and millennials, behind only Snapchat.
  • Instagram has the highest per-follower engagement rate, 2.3%—58 times more than Facebook.
  • 68% of users regularly engage with brands.
  • Instagram users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than users of any other social media platform.


Snapchat is currently the fastest growing network, sailing past Instagram as the platform of choice for the under-35 set. Although users may skew younger, they are no longer the only ones who use this trendy app. In fact:

  • Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users and now ranks as the second most used social network after Facebook.
  • Of Snapchat’s monthly US users, 18-to-24-year-olds account for 37%, followed by 25-to-34-year-olds at 26%, and 13-to-17-year-olds at 23%.
  • More than half of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25.
  • Users consume 10 billion videos per day and spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app daily.
  • Approximately 65% of daily active users create new content daily; 54% use the app daily, and 32% use it two to five times per week.
  • More than 400 million snaps are sent every day, 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second, and more than one-third of daily users create stories (ie, photos and videos that you can post to your feed that expire after 24 hours and can be replayed as many times as you want. Snaps, by contrast, are sent directly to selected individuals).
  • When asked what they like most about Snapchat, 48% of users cited “creating my own stories.”
  • 58% of college students would like to purchase a product or service if they got a coupon on Snapchat.


Owned by Google, YouTube is the social destination for all things video and boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide and 4 billion daily views. According to statistics:

  • Almost one-third of all people online are YouTube users.
  • YouTube reaches more 18-to-49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States.
  • 80% of viewers are from outside the United States
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices, and the average YouTube viewing session on a mobile device is 40 minutes.
  • US users spend an average of 5 hours per month on YouTube.
  • YouTube viewers who completed a TrueView ad (ie, video ad format that lets a viewer skip the ad after 5 sec, along with other viewing option) are 23 times more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, watch more by the brand, or share the brand video.


Pinterest is most popular with female users, but men are slowly getting hooked. It is the network of choice for shopaholics and people who like to plan holidays, weddings, events, and parties, as well as travel, decorating, crafts, or buying a car or a house. In short:

  • Pinterest has more than 100 million active monthly users.
  • In the United States now, one-third of new users are male.
  • 75% of Pinterest usage takes place on mobile devices.
  • The average pin is repined 11 times.
  • More than one-third of Pinterest users choose Pinterest over Google search.
  • More than 14 million articles are pinned every day.
  • Two-thirds of all pins come from a business website.
  • In the past 6 months, 93% of pinners shopped online.
  • Pinterest is a powerful driver to ecommerce sites, including Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.
  • People referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase on ecommerce sites than other social networks.
  • More than half (52%) of pinners have seen something on Pinterest and made a purchase online, and 72% have made a purchase online.

Sources: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, Google, BusinessInsider.com, socialmediaexaminer.com

Wendy Lewis
Wendy Lewis