Kristen Herhold
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In 2008, just 24 percent of Americans had a social media profile. Now, in 2018, 81 percent of the population is on social media. This means fifty-seven percent more Americans use social media than just 10 years ago. In fact, social media is estimated to take up five years of your life — making it a significant part of our everyday routine.

Because almost every American consumer is on social media, it makes sense that 71 percent of small businesses also use social media. Yet although most companies are on social media, more businesses owned by women have social media accounts: 74 percent of women-owned businesses use social media, versus 66 percent of men-owned.

Women-owned businesses are more likely to use social media for one main reason: more women in general use social media than men. For example, 52 percent of U.S. women and 48 percent of U.S. men use Facebook.

“Women get the value of social media,” said Darren Cabral, CEO of social media marketing agency Suits Social. “They are more social in general, so they get the value of putting things out there and connecting with the community.”

Social media is also the only industry where women earn more than men – Instagram influencers in the U.K. earn 35 percent more than their male counterparts.

Women aren’t the only group that is more likely to use social media for their businesses; 79 percent of millennial-owned businesses are on social media, compared to 65 percent of businesses owned by people older than 35. More millennials are on social media than older generations, which is why more of their businesses are likely to value social.

Businesses use a variety of social media platforms, but it’s hard to find one that isn’t on Facebook, despite recent scandals. In fact, Facebook remains the most popular platform for both businesses owned by all genders and generations: 86 percent of businesses use the platform, almost double second-place Instagram, at 48 percent.

There is no excuse for a company to not have a social media strategy. If a company does not have enough human resources to manage social media on its own, it can hire a social media marketing agency for help.

Social media is important for businesses to reach a wide range of customers, and more women and millennials understand that.

Fairygodboss, for example, is a women-owned business whose target audience is largely millennial women, and the company uses social media not only to engage its own users, but also to help promote and collaborate with other women entrepreneurs.  “It’s about creating not only a community within our followers but using social media to create a community of women entrepreneurs, movers, and shakers, too,” Fairygodboss Editorial Associate Liv McConnell tells Clutch.

Companies need to be where their customers are: social media. Yet, 29 percent of businesses aren’t. No matter what stage a company is in, whether it’s brand new or decades old, it can benefit from a social presence. Social media helps more people learn about your brand and reminds them to keep coming back.

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Kristen is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns at [email protected].co.

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