Is it the Likes? The followers? The hits? Or all of it that matters to you when looking at social media? What numbers do you need to pay attention to?

Every quarter, we get new statistics that are supposed to help us understand the state of social media. These are great tools, right? But which are the tools that will best help you measure what you are doing? To know that, let’s take a walk through some of the numbers and your most frequently asked questions.

Is Facebook is still the most active social media platform?

Nearly 1.5 billion people are actively using this platform every month. There are 936 million active daily users. While there has been a lot of talk of the decline of Facebook and many younger people would not admit to using it — the numbers show they do. So, yes, Facebook still dominates as the top social network.

Infographic of the social platforms, their activity and history from Buffer.
Infographic of the social platforms, their activity and history from Buffer.

Why has my organization’s post reach on Facebook been declining?

Facebook’s algorithms are always changing, especially for business pages. This is a push by Facebook to get businesses to pay for a boost of reach. And if Facebook is where your audience is, then you don’t have much choice because otherwise, only certain people and limited numbers will see your posts without the paid boost.

Is 80 percent of Twitter really done on mobile?

Yes. When you think content on Twitter, think mobile. Most of us who use Twitter aren’t on a desktop. So consider good visuals, including infographics, videos, or even gifs. You also want to have clickable links as well.

 Are there really 2.5 billion pictures being liked daily on Instagram?

Another big yes. Social media is heading towards being primarily mobile. And Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates among the platforms. This means people are browsing the mobile app and returning several times a day. You want to always have a picture readily available to post.

 So, 76 percent of all online adults are on social media?

Again, yes, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, of all adults who are online, 76 percent have one or more social media profiles. And it should not surprise you that young people dominant across all boards when it comes to being the most frequent users of the platforms.

Gender on social media from Pew Research Center
Social media and gender from Pew Research Center.

Which gender uses social media most?

More women then men use social media, but men are catching up.

Women have dominated social media since 2010. But this year, men’s usage is only about 10 percent below women, although more women are on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Any differences in usage when it comes to race?

No, there are no notable differences in social media usage when it comes to people of different races, the Pew Research Center study found. So you have a fair chance of reaching a diverse audience on any platform with knowing this information.

Are many organizations paying for social media?

Yes, to the tune of $26 billion dollars. And that doesn’t look like it’s going to go down. In fact, it’s projected that by 2017, social media advertising spending will amount to about $40 billion. People now know that for their organization to get the engagement they want, it’s going to come out of your pocket. Even those with small budgets need to put a little toward paid social media. That means you also need to put more time toward a successful strategy if you’re putting money out there.

What are some your other questions on the numbers? I want to hear them.

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