The latest social media stats from Pew Internet Research promise a very happy new year for social media marketers. The study released yesterday reveals that 73 percent of online adults use a social networking site (SNS), the highest percentage we've seen yet.

Even more exciting is the news that 42 percent are now using multiple SNS. This means the cross-promotion possibilities for social media are increasing and we can have confidence in exploring other platforms besides the big two, Facebook and Twitter. For people who are concerned that their Facebook messages are not being seen (still the king of stats by the way), the fear of investing time on other platforms where audiences are building should begin to disappear. Here are some of the key takeaways of the new research:

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  • Instagram users are just as likely as Facebook users to check the site daily. Photos and videos are still the media that grabs attention.
  • LinkedIn and Pinterest both have more users than Twitter and Instagram. But, don't let those numbers fool you, just let them inform your process. The people are there, but are they your people? You still need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and understand if they will help you reach your goals. Pinterest's strength is still women (4-to-1) and LinkedIn's strength is still professionals. Take a good look at the demographic information on the research report.
  •  The majority of single-platform users are on Facebook. Facebook is still at the top of the heap. Your challenge for 2014 is learning how to build a corps of ambassadors there that will magnify your content so it gets seen.If you haven't dabbled in Facebook ads yet, this might be the year to try it out.  If your Facebook strategy is pushing news-only, you may get lost in the fray.
  • The demographics of each individual platform will help you focus in on strategy. If you're just looking at bottom line numbers for a platform, your strategy is lagging behind. There is an excellent breakdown in the report on platform-related demographics. Become familiar with who is where. It will help when you are deciding a personality for each platform you use.
  • It's a good idea to know how often people visit your sites. Pew's research also included numbers on how often people visit each platform. This data can help you decide on content. Since Pinterest users are most likely to visit once a week or less, that should take the pressure off having to add content there daily. On the other hand, the majority of Instagram users are there daily.

Just one more hint on how to use the latest social media stats from Pew. Once you get a good idea what the national numbers are, you can use them as a base to inform your social media strategy. If you want to go one step more, you can do your own audience research and find out how your numbers match up. Happy New Year! May this be your best social media year yet!