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Social Network Advertising – Which One is Right for Your Business?

smiling girl holding a cell phone Have you considered advertising on a social network? If so, have you considered which social network would be most beneficial for your business?  One of the things to consider is what you are selling? Are you selling products or services? Or are you just getting educational information to people interested in the topic you are trying to get across? More important, who are you trying to reach? With the number of social networks, you should research who the primary users are and how often they are using the platform. Are you trying to reach millennials or are you trying to reach Fortune 500 CEOs and execs?

You can find your target audience on the top social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Spredfest’s statistics, in their article titled 2018 Social Audience Guide, compiles information on age, income levels, gender, and devices across these platforms. Let’s take a look at each social platform, and you decide which would benefit your business the best. The statistics are based on percentages of internet users who use that social networking platform.


Starting with the best known platform, Facebook has 2 billion active users every month. The largest age group of internet users  on Facebook is the 18–29 year olds, with 88% active on Facebook. 84% of 30–48 year olds are using Facebook, while 62% of those 65+ are active as well. When we look at income 84% of individuals on the internet using Facebook, are making less than $30K per year are on Facebook, while 77% of those making $75K per year are active.   52% of those on Facebook are female, while 48% are male.

Facebook is the favorite among the millennials and Gen X for their social sharing. 75% of Facebook users spend more than 20 minutes a day looking at posts from friends, with an overall average of 35 minutes per day from all users. Comparing the device usage there were 90M desktop users per month compared to 179M mobile users. They spent from 1.7 seconds on a mobile device and to 2.5 seconds on desktop with a piece of content.

If you are in the retail business, you would probably like to know that 30% of online retail shoppers that made purchases recently found new products on Facebook. This alone is reason enough to add Facebook to your list of social platforms for advertising.


phone screen with instagram login pageWhile Facebook tops the list with active users, Instagram has a bigger following with 800 million active users each month and 500 million daily active users. The age groups here are not as close in size with the 18–29 age group having 59% down to only 8% of those 65+ years old. Here, the income levels of internet users who use Instagram make 38% less than 30K per year, and 31% make $75K and up. The gender makeup is 58% female and 42% male.


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Instagram is the favorite of teens with 53% saying it is the best way to find new products. Device usage here is 21M desktop compared to 91M mobile users per month at an average of 15 minutes activity per day.


Pinterest has 200 million monthly users. We see 36% of the internet users in the 18–29 age group use Pinterest, while 34% of the 30–49 group are active users. The income statistics are a little surprising with 35% of all internet users that are on Pinterest are making over $75K per year, while 30% are making less than $30K per year. Spredfast found that 60% of all Pinterest users are female, and 40% are male with an average of 14.2 minutes per visit. 27M are using desktops while 70M are using mobile.

Pinterest has some interesting statistics. Men are the largest growing segment, and they make up 40% of new signups. 80% of the millennials on Pinterest have said Pinterest is where they find things they want to buy, making this a powerful influencer on the segment of their users. Another interesting stat is that 10% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they find something in Pinterest over any other network. One final tidbit, 67% of Pinterest users will do research and read reviews on their mobile site while at the store shopping. Additionally, users interacting with Promoted Pins spend 7 times as much.


twitter spelled out in tilesTwitter has 317 million active monthly users. 36% of internet users who use Twitter fall into the 18–29 age bracket, and 10% of the 65+ year old internet users are on Twitter. If you are in the income bracket of making less than $30K per year, you are part of 36% of internet users on Twitter while 30% of internet users on Twitter make $75K or more per month. Women aren’t as likely to use Twitter. Spredfast reports 47% of Twitter users are female and 53% are male. Device usage leans towards desktops with 83M compared to 31M on mobile devices, and an average 2.7 minutes per day with 75% of all Twitter users checking the site daily to get their news.


LinkedIn reports 106 million monthly active users. 36% of the internet users using LinkedIn are in the 18-29 age group, and 16% are 65 and over. 21% of internet users on LinkedIn make $30K per year or less with 45% making at least $75K per year. The gender breakdown is 46% female and 54% male with 60 million monthly desktop users and 20 million mobile users per month averaging  17 minutes per visit. LinkedIn is the most popular social network with Fortune 500 CEOs, while 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn.


YouTube has 1 billion monthly active users. 11% of internet users on YouTube are in the 18–24 age bracket and only 3% 65 and over. The largest segment is the 35–44 year olds with 26% of internet users on YouTube. The gender breakdown for YouTube is 45% female and 55% male with over 50% of views coming on mobile devices with average user time of 40 minutes per day. Spredfast reported YouTube reaches more 18–49 year olds than any cable network in the United States with 2 million videos per minute.


Snapchat has 300 million active monthly users with 39% of teens polled saying Snapchat was their favorite social network. The 13–17 age group of internet users on Snapchat is 23% with 55+ being a scant 2% and the 18–24 year olds holding the largest group at 37%. 70% of Snapchat users are female and 30% are male. Snapchat is only on mobile devices, and active users open the app at least 25 times a day averaging 25 minutes per day.

Social Network Recommendations by Industry


man grinding metal with sparks flying

Spredfast put together a table of industries and how well they were received by each social network. They listed the industries retail, media, sports, consumer product groups, financial services, automotive, and health care. The industries not listed for a network indicates that they do not get a good response,  and therefore would not be a good fit for your advertising dollars.

  • Facebook is best suited for retail, media, financial services, and health care. However, the sports and the automotive industry don’t fare as well with Facebook. Want to leanr How To Get Started with your first Facebook campaign?
  • Instagram is best suited for retail, sports, and automotive; while media, consumer product goods, and health care are secondary. Want to Learn how to increase brand awareness on Instagram?
  • On Pinterest you will find that retail, consumer product goods, automotive, and health care are the top industries.
  • If you use Twitter, media, sports, financial services, and health care are the main industries while consumer product goods and automotive are secondary. Your Clients are on Twitter, You Should Be Too!
  • LinkedIn is best suited for financial services with media and an automotive following, depending on the content strategy.
  • YouTube is prime for media, sports, consumer product goods, and automotive. Retail, financial services, and health care do not fare as well.
  • Snapchat is ideal for retail, media, sports, and consumer product goods; while financial services and automotive industries are not as well received. Want to know more on How To Engage Your Followers on Snapchat?

Which is Right for Your Business?

As the statistics show, there are many factors to take into consideration before making the decision of which social network will work best for you.

Authorship: Gary H. 

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