Have you ever wondered the purpose and driving force for which each social media network is utilized? Whether LinkedIn is your main game, scrolling through Tumblr is your favorite pastime – or maybe you just use them all – most of us feel confident in one or more, assured that what we are posting will get views.
Members are no indication of foot traffic, however. You may have created an account for Pinterest once to DIY design your bedroom… and then never got around to it. Then, deleted the app off of your phone. This is the classic example illustrating the prime difference between user accounts and active users.
Whichever social network you prefer, and whichever you tend to be the most proficient in is not indicative to it being the most successful marketing platform for your business. With the internet at times feeling like a dark, mysterious void of endless vastness and complexity, narrowing it down to numbers may seem unfathomable. So here are the graspable, yet ever-changing statistics since January 2016:
Out of the 7.4 billion people that live on the planet, less than half are internet users. Still, 3.419 billion is an impressive number.
From there, 2.3 billion are social media users, and 1.968 have social media downloaded on a mobile device.
If you think 2 billion isn’t a high enough number, let us put that in perspective for you. About 318 million people currently reside in the US. If you were to place a conceptual sum on the number of worldwide social network users, you would have to multiply the population of the United States roughly 6.2 times.
That’s a lot of people.
What’s shocking is that the United States is in the lower to middle percentile range of active users (see chart), with East and South Asia, and even parts of Europe seizing the top of the ranks. (Granted, this is probably because over half of the Earth’s population is in Asia)
What does this mean for the world? It means the likelihood of these statistics peaking soon is low. The world has room to grow.
In 2014, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram all had significant growth in active users versus user accounts, with the first two going as far as doubling that growth. What this means is that the amount of users who continually access the site is twice as high as those who created an account on the site. (An active user is defined as someone who accesses the site at least once a month). With Facebook, this statistic is reversed, with 80% of internet users having created a Facebook account, with only half actively using it. Facebook has roughly 1.7 billion active users per day.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs?
Consider your audience: out of these demographics, 16-34 year olds consistently dominate half of any receivable social media content. 16-24 seems to be slightly more prominent, especially on SnapChat and Kik. These two avenues would be a great place to advertise something exclusive to that age group. Any product or service proven to have a high demand from that given demographic is a good indication of how well-received the ad will be.
Have you ever watched daytime television in the middle of the week? The commercials are primarily advertising products the retired and elderly would purchase. Diabetic solutions, yogurt to make you “regular”, and medication to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis. Why? Because the senior citizen community are the most likely to be flipping through the channels at 11am on a Thursday, and least likely to be on a city bus scrolling through their phone.
If you insist on using a platform like Snapchat which incidentally has that younger audience, make sure the ad itself appeals to a younger eye and trends with current styles of that age group.
Like everything else in life, persuasion and marketing start fundamentally at the right place, at the right time. Do not underestimate the plausible success of a well-placed ad. Facebook ads allow you to filter your promotion through to a targeted audience based on interests, hobbies, lifestyles, occupations, gender, and locations.
It is safe to say that social media is taking over the world… literally. Using it to advertise can prove beneficial and cost-effective, but first one must understand the how, and the why. When cyberspace overwhelms you, always consider the facts, charts, and graphs – and go from there. Understand and respect the psychology of why customers are at where they’re at.