I recently got very excited about discovering social media usage statistics, which I posted on our Facebook page. But after some thought I realsied it’s all very difficult to gauge. For instance, Instagram has a very low usage in South Africa, but it’s influence in the 25 – 35 hipster demographic is very powerful. And on the other end of the scale, Google+ has a huge active usership, but I am pretty sure those users are on Gmail, Docs and the rest, not Google+, which Google have integrated into their ecosystem. So to take these statistics and say, “We’re going fulltime on Facebook and Google+!” Is a naive standpoint.

Here are the official stats according to We Are Social:


It’s the engagement that is key. The only way to gauge this is by using these platforms. While Google+ is great, it’s mostly useful for your Google search presence, and not so much for social interaction.

Another example is in the political arena. I saw Helen Zille spearhead the DA crew into using Twitter actively and aggressively after I attended a blog awards ceremony a few years back. Their usage and effective results brought to light how powerful Twitter is in this arena.

And then, you’ve got Instagram, which according to the stats is on par with BBM, but we have small businesses all over the country appealing to a hip, financially viable audience selling things like spectacles, bags and clothing. Check my wife’s optometrist account to see how it’s done: https://www.instagram.com/ritawallsoptom/

So the long and the short of it is, if you’re looking for the areas to focus on in social media, check who’s already using it. If you’re a journalist looking to build your personal brand, it’s Twitter all the way. But if you’re a small business selling pretty things for girls, you’re good for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.


But there just aren’t any rules and that’s what makes it such a fun market. What worked today may not work tomorrow. That’s also why a strict time schedule for your business social media posts is not a good idea.

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