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There are 2.8 billion people on social media. For a little perspective on how huge that number is, 2.8 billion was the total population of Earth in 1955. This figure now represents 74% of the world’s internet users, and shows 21% growth since last year.

According to “The State of Social 2017” webinar, 110 million people started using social media over the past three months, taking the global total to more than 2.8 billion users. This means that social media users are still increasing at a rate of more than 1 million per day – that’s 14 new users every second!

Mobile social media users grew by 149 million in the past 3 months, with roughly 50 million new users per month, or more than 1.6 million new users every day.

What happens in a single minute on social networks:

  • 1,300 blog posts
  • 7 million Facebook posts
  • 2 million YouTube video views
  • 360,000 tweets
  • 56,000 Instagram posts

So, one thing is sure: there are a lot of people across social channels. Question is, are they all using the same sites?

Each social media platform is created to serve different purposes and functions. From being the more professional, to showcasing our best photography; from helping us follow our interests and discovering new things, to promoting fun and creativity with crazy filters; the range of uses is certainly broad. These different uses and features inevitably define the type of audience on each platform.

What can be more important in digital marketing than knowing your target audience? Knowing where they live in the digital world and how they spend their time online. Interestingly, a big percentage of internet users are only active on one or two social networks – only 12% of consumers are active on four sites or more, while 52% of social population, is active on one or two platforms.

That means companies need to invest time learning which platforms their audience are on, and making sure they are reaching those users with the right messaging.

Are your company social platforms aligned with your customers?

One of the most interesting stats from this year’s State of Social study is that many companies aren’t reaching their audience on the most efficient channel. According to the data, there’s a mismatch between where companies are actually investing on social media and where customers actually are. The top four places for companies are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, but for consumers it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr.

Facebook is on the top of both tables. Companies realise the vital need of having a strong presence on Facebook – 96% have a company page – because of the huge potential audience out there. Surprisingly though, only half of the businesses are on Instagram, which has over 600 million active users every month. Instagram is also the fastest growing social network: it grew 15% in 2016, while the social network sector as a whole, saw a 3.1% growth.

Similarly, YouTube seems to be slightly more important to companies with a 61% penetration, but it’s even more engaging in the eyes of consumers: 1 billion people are actively using the video platform every month.

The mismatch is even more evident when we look at Twitter. The microblogging platform is the second most important network for companies, however, it’s only the fifth most populated network and one of the least engaged.

If we compare the two tables above, it seems clear that a lot of the companies need to take another look at where their customers actually are, and to perhaps rebuild their marketing and communication strategies based on it.

Social Media Insights

Consumers are looking for content that informs them, educates them, entertains them or inspires them, and the platform they choose is important to understand how to communicate with them.

Here are some insights you should take into account when building your online and social presence.


  • Most popular social network – 1.87 billion users and 5 accounts created every second
  • Predominantly female – 83% of online women vs 75% of online men
  • Best platform to reach older Millennials and Generation X
  • Highest engagement rates


  • Second most popular network – 1 billion users
  • Predominantly male – 55% male vs 45% female
  • It reaches more people than TV in the US amongst people aged 18-49
  • Search + Social


  • 161 million daily active users
  • 7/10 users are Millennials
  • 30% teens say it’s the most important social network
  • Users aged 25+ open Snapchat 12x per day and spend 20 minutes or more in app


  • Fastest growing social network
  • 53% of users follow brands
  • Mobile-only network
  • 90% users are under 35


  • Media & celebrities favourite network
  • Users only spend an average of 2.7 minutes on app per day
  • On the more professional side of social networking with a more highly educated user base
  • Typically lower engagement


  • Largest percentage of high-income users – 45% of people earning $75k/year or more use LinkedIn vs only 21% of $30k/year
  • Users are typically less likely to use other social platforms
  • Males more active than females
  • Most professional social network