What User Data Suggests About How Businesses Use Facebook

In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Facebook, which launched back in February of 2004, we set out to discover who’s on Facebook these days and determine what that information implies about how businesses use Facebook.

Strictly in terms of the number of users, Facebook is considered to be the social networking platform of choice. After tracking information about social media sites, the Pew Research Center reported at of the end of 2013, 71% of online adults use Facebook, up from 67% in 2012. A big find from the study was that 42% of adults who are active online use multiple social networking sites. However, of the adults that do only use one social media network, 84% reported that one network to be Facebook.

Facebook Usage Breakdown

Usage by Gender

Unlike Pinterest, which is heavily dominated by females, Facebook is closer to a more even playing field with females constituting 57% of users and males constituting 43% of users. Of all females who are active online, 76% use Facebook; of all online males, 66% use Facebook.

Usage by Age Group

Statistics show that Facebook is aging, meaning that the percentage of users over the age of 65 are increasing. At the end of 2013, 45% of internet users 65 years or older were using Facebook, up 10% from 2012 when only 35% of online adults over 65 used Facebook.

Similar to Pinterest, the biggest percentage of Facebook users are between the ages of 35 and 54 with this age group making up 45% of all users. The 18-34 age group accounts for 20% of Facebook users while the 55+ age group accounts for 35% of users.

Frequency of Use

Image from Pew Research Center Social Media Update

Image from Pew Research Center Social Media Update

Of the 5 social media sites that Pew Research Center investigated for their social media site study, Facebook was the site most likely to be visited on a daily basis by users. 63% of users reported visiting the site daily with 40% checking in multiple times per day, resulting in high levels of engagement. 22% reported logging in to Facebook at least weekly and only 14% said the visit less often than that.

Active Facebook Users

Despite the many social networking sites that have been introduced more recently than Facebook, the number of monthly active Facebook users continues to grow steadily. Although the site already proved to be successful within just the first year of its launch, reporting 1 million monthly users in 2004, by the end of 2013 there were 1.23 billion monthly users.

Average Number of Facebook Friends

The Pew Research Center also collected information on the number of friends Facebook users have. On average, adult Facebook users have 338 friends. The median number of friends adult Facebook users have is 200, meaning that half of all those users have more than 200 friends in their network.

Nevertheless, the trend is that younger Facebook users have larger friend networks. The report revealed that 27% of 18-29 year olds with Facebook accounts are friends with 500 or more people. On the flip side, 72% of users 65 years or older have 100 friends or fewer.

Facebook Users are Mobile

According to a blog post on The Guardian, 556 million people used either their smart phones or tablets to access Facebook at the end of 2013.

Impact on How Businesses Use Facebook

When considering integrating your brand with any social media site, think about the audience that your messages will reach. Who is receiving your messages? Who can view your business page? Is your buyer persona comfortable with receiving messages from your business on this platform?

Age and Gender

Taking all of this information about who is on Facebook into consideration can give you a better idea of the audience members you have the potential to speak to when posting to Facebook as a business. Knowing that users are fairly evenly divided between males and females and that most users are between the ages of 35 and 54, you know you’ll have a good chance of reaching this demographic if you choose to promote your business on Facebook.


Understanding that a majority of Facebook users are active on the site daily, you can post new content from your business on a daily basis without fear of users feeling bombarded by your brand. At the very least, share new content weekly to stay prevalent on the site.

Large Networks

Knowing that each individual Facebook user has a fairly large friend network means that news can spread fast on this site. Your business can use this to its advantage because when you share awesome content, followers may be inclined to share that content with their friends, allowing your brand to reach even more people.

Mobile Users

Finally, realizing that a significant number of people access Facebook on their phones or other mobile devices may mean that the content you share on Facebook is tailored for mobile audiences. Posting a lot of images, short content and easy-to-click links are a few ways to do this.

Facebook Impact on Traffic

Image from HubSpot

Image from HubSpot

If you’re struggling to find convincing evidence that Facebook can help your company generate business, look no further. By establishing your brand on this social media site, you have the potential to significantly increase inbound traffic. The average company saw a 185% increase in traffic after crossing the 1,000 Facebook likes mark.

If you’re interested in learning more about starting your own Facebook business account, download our free e-book: Intro to Facebook.

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