Social media is huge: the average person spends over a third of their time online on social media sites and apps, making it an incredibly important channel for advertisers. 

In fact, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK), social accounted for 65% of display advertising spend in 2022, equivalent to over £6.6 billion. 

So, you probably know the value of social media, but do you know how to maximise value from it? 

No two social media platforms are the same, and it’s important to understand the differences between them – both sizeable and subtle – to ensure you optimise marketing budgets and maximise impact when planning social media activity. 

How does the audience for Instagram differ from TikTok? What’s the best way to reach a 35-year-old? Which social media users are the most likely to visit ASOS? 

We’ve used Ipsos iris to answer these questions and more, helping to tease out key insights to help inform social strategy, improve content distribution and increase marketing performance. 

Social life 

The average person spends over a third of their time online on social media, but this rises to over half of people aged 15-24. 

Social media is also very mobile-centric: the social networking category is second in terms of the proportion of time spent on smartphones, out of the 26 major categories we measure. 

Your golden age 

There are distinct differences in reach and engagement between age groups. TikTok sees the most time spent per user among 15-34s, while Facebook still dominates among 35–54-year-olds and those aged 55+. 

X, formerly Twitter, is only the fifth for time spent among 15–34-year-olds and 35–54-year-olds, but second for over 55s. Are you picking the right platform for your brand and audience? 

Trending news 

Visitors of Metro, The Sun and the Daily Mirror are the most likely to visit Facebook, while Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Times visitors are the most likely to visit X. 

Ipsos iris can help to both understand which platform will be the best to amplify your content, as well as identifying the profile of users on that platform, to collate the best content to promote.  

Tailor-made for retail 

Social media visitors love to shop and are more likely to visit a wide range of top retail sites.  

Snapchat users (+91%) and TikTok users (+62%) for example, are particularly likely to visit ASOS, while X users are more likely to visit Wetherspoons (+29%) and Currys (+27%). 

Pinterest users are much more likely to visit Dunelm and IKEA, suggesting there could be the opportunity for partnerships or content promotion. 

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