Where to Spend on Social Media

I confess I am not a huge fan of social media. I find most of it to be a cesspool of noise and distraction.

That being said, social media has been helpful to Digital Opera in terms of providing better customer service, finding new customers and saving money on advertising.

We’ve also gotten very good at driving traffic to the websites we manage from social media. While Google is still the king of sending traffic to the sites we manage, traffic from social media has been catching up rather quickly.

But it’s just a fact that most of us running a business and taking care of customers don’t have time to learn all the nuances of all these platforms, nor do we have the patience for it. You would like to take advantage of it, but how?

I’m a firm believer in keeping things under one roof, so if you have the resources, by all means, hire an in-house social media manager or team with whom you can pick your platforms, then set goals and strategies and give your new hire the room to make it happen.

If not, consider contracting it out to save some money. Digital Opera can certainly help with that, and the number one question and concern our clients have is “What platform?”

That largely depends on where and who your market is and that is beyond the scope of this article. What I want to do today is just show you which platforms offer the widest possible reach for a U.S. or Canadian based business and hopefully get you started on thinking about which ones would best apply to your situation. Digital Opera is doing exactly that as we prepare for 2020.

There are two ways to track these: How many users are active on the platform each month and how many unique visitors on the platform each month. Here they are in order of their usage and popularity in the U.S. and Canada:

  • Facebook – 2.23 billion monthly active users
  • Youtube – 1.9 billion monthly active users
  • WhatsApp – 1.5 billion monthly active users
  • Facebook Messenger – 1.3 billion monthly active users
  • Instagram – 1 billion monthly active users
  • Tumblr – 642 million unique monthly visitors
  • Tik Tok – 500 million monthly active users
  • Twitter 335 million monthly active users*
  • Reddit – 330 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn – 2941 million monthly active users
  • Viber – 260 million monthly active users
  • Snapchat – 255 million monthly active users
  • Pinterest – 250 monthly active users
  • Medium – 60 million monthly active users


I put an asterisk next to Twitter because there is a growing body of evidence that Twitter is useless for must of us. If you are hoping to manipulate reporters, get media attention, or to reach only wealthy people in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles, then Twitter might be the best place for you.

But the Pew Research Center shows only 22% of the adult population of the U.S. has anything to do with Twitter, and as few as 10% of them account for 80% of all tweets. So If, like me, you’ve suspected Twitter is a waste of time, there is a growing pile of evidence that that is true.

That points out the reason you have to be judicious with your spending on social media: It is very easy for the social media networks to inflate their numbers and their influence, and they have a vested interest in doing so.

So first identify who you want to reach and then decide which platforms to use to get to them. Hopefully, this list will give you a good idea of where to start or which platforms to pivot to.