2018: How customers use social media and what you can do to adapt your strategy

Screen representing automating multiple social media accountsUnderstanding how customers use social media is important for getting that digital marketing strategy nailed down.

With the end of the year almost upon us, the air is thick with stats and reports that spell out precisely how social media has been used this year. We’ve picked our favourites, listed the headline stats and drawn some conclusions to help you get started with developing your 2019 strategy.


How customers use social media: 2018 in numbers

Here are some of the headline statistics from a comprehensive report originally compiled by The Manifest:

1) General usage

  • In Q1 alone, the total number of global social media users increased by over 100 million
  • 86% of people logged into at least one social media account each day
  • 72% of people used social media on multiple occasions each day
  • All in, the average Joe will spend an unbelievable five years of their life on social media (that’s more time than is spent eating, grooming or socialising in person)

Takeaway: Social media isn’t just a nifty tool for businesses, it’s re-shaping our entire society.

So, rather than firing off the odd Tweet every now and again, you need to make social media a cornerstone of your business and marketing strategies.

2) Popular platforms/devices


  • On a weekly basis, a majority of people use Facebook (82%), YouTube (75%) or Instagram (53%)
  • A slim minority of people use Snapchat (39%), Pinterest (38%) or Twitter (36%) on a weekly basis
  • Users reported using a variety of social media sites more in 2018 than they did in 2017, including YouTube (63%), Instagram (61%), Snapchat (58%) and Facebook (52%)
  • Compare this to 2016/17, where less than one-fifth of people used platforms including Snapchat (15%), Facebook (15%), Instagram (9%) and YouTube (7%) more often

Takeaway: The young pups may be growing up fast, but there’s still dominance amongst the old dogs when it comes to revenue-generating potential.


  • The most popular methods of accessing social media channels are via mobile apps (67%), computer web browsers (57%), mobile web browsers (41%) and tablet apps (31%)
  • Almost half (46%) of social media users would rather access social media channels via mobile apps
  • Just 6% of people prefer using their computers to access social media sites

Takeaway: If you haven’t already, you need to start adopting a mobile-first approach to your social media (and SEO) strategy.

3) Gender divide

  • 75% of women access social media more than once per day, compared to only 64% of men
  • More than half of women (52%) are more likely to use mobile apps to get stuck into their social media channels
  • One-third (33%) of men are more likely to turn to their computer web browser in order to access social media
  • This reflects wider trends surrounding women’s use of mobile devices – they typically install 40% more apps than their male counterparts
  • Both men (81%) and women (83%) tend to access Facebook at least once per week
  • However, men are more likely to use Twitter (51%) or Reddit (29%), while women are more likely to access Pinterest (44%)

Takeaway: You may be slightly more likely to see results among women when you launch a social media marketing campaign.

However, you should look to adapt your choice of platform/approach depending on the types of customer you’re aiming to attract.

With such a degree of insight into how customers use social media, you should be able to make 2019 your best-performing year on social media yet!

Get the expert advice you need to start next year with a bang; join us at our next ‘Embrace The Space’ social media training workshop.

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