While most social media metrics and statistics come directly from the social media platforms themselves, it's a breath of fresh air when an outside party steps in.

The Pew Research Center, known for its empirical social science research and public opinion polling, recently released its latest study on social media use in 2018. It's current and objective and just what we need right now.

As your business prepares to analyze its Q1 social media performance, keep the list handy to learn how Americans really use (and think about) social media.

7 must-know statistics about social media use in 2018 (and what they mean for your company)

Note: All data is from Pew Research Center’s 2018 Social Media Study.

1. More than two-thirds of adults, across a wide range of demographic groups, use Facebook. Those over 65 are the exception. Nearly 75 percent of Facebook users check Facebook daily, and 51 percent check Facebook several times a day.

  • Takeaway: Facebook remains Americans' most popular social network. That means that despite the troubles the platform is undoubtedly going to give your brand in 2018, you need to stick with it and make it work. Here's how.

2. 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and most (71 percent) visit Snapchat multiple times a day. To put that in perspective, only 54 percent of those 25 to 29 use Snapchat, and 26 percent of those 30 and 49.

  • Takeaway: For most businesses, you don't need to be on Snapchat. But if your target audience is between the ages of 18 and 24, it is a must for you. In fact, it should be the platform you invest in the most.

3. The average American uses three of the eight major social platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, WhatsApp, Pinterest and LinkedIn).

  • Takeaway: Get to know your audience better and pinpoint their three social media platforms. Focus your time and energy there — instead of spreading yourself too thin across all eight platforms.

4. Instagram showed the most growth. 7 percent more U.S. adults use Instagram than did back in 2016. The percentage of adults who use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest in 2018 is about the same as it was in 2016.

  • Takeaway: Instagram is now America's second social platform. There's a lot of room for growth, connection and authenticity here (especially with Instagram's Stories). Consider looking back at your Instagram budget from 2016. You should now be spending about 7 percent more time and money on Instagram.

5. Only 37 percent of those over 65 use any social media.

  • Takeaway: Frankly, if your target audience is over 65, you should not be spending too much energy on social media. Have a presence, keep your profile somewhat active, but focus on connecting with your audience in more traditional ways.

6. Women are still Pinterest's primary users. 41 percent of women use Pinterest compared to just 16 percent of men.

  • Takeaway: For a while, Pinterest was hyping how quickly it was gaining male users. Now, we know that trend hasn't really caught on.

7. Only 3 percent of social media users say they have a lot of trust in the information they find on social media.

  • Takeaway: Take time to fact-check and scrutinize the content you create and share on social media. Together, we all can do a better job of making sure the information we share on social media is accurate and true.