98 percent of the users of any given social media platform also use at least one other social platform.

Individual social platforms are also subject to significant audience overlaps, with 85% of TikTok users ages 16 to 64 saying they use Facebook, and almost 95% of Instagram users in the same age group saying they also use YouTube.

While the general concept of audience overlap may not come as a surprise, the extent of these overlaps has relevance to marketers.

The key takeaway is that brands do not need to be active on every single platform, and in fact the data show that a presence on just one or two of the larger platforms offers the potential to reach almost all social media users.

However, this doesn’t mean that we as marketers should focus solely on just the larger platforms.  Data supports the argument for a more strategic, portfolio-based approach to social media.

Rather than focusing only on reach, we should explore other factors, such as the specific creative opportunities offered by each platform’s content formats, or the different engagement opportunities available on more ‘niche’ platforms.

So, rather than getting distracted by platform user numbers, we as marketers should ask:

  • Who do I want to engage?
  • Why might they be using social media?
  • Which platform(s) will be most relevant to their motivations?
  • How can I use these channels to achieve my desired outcomes?

Marketers need to take a more strategic approach to social media advertising.