Social media hasn’t been around that long. And yet it’s already an integral part of most people’s daily routines.
Of course, as marketers, we already know that. We know people are using social media.
What we need are specifics:
- Which channels are increasing in popularity?
- Which ones are decreasing?
- What’s the best social media channel for your audience?
- We’ve compiled a list of 24 social media statistics for marketers (updated for 2021) to answer all of those questions and more.
Social media usage
1. More than 4.5 billion people use the internet, and 3.8 billion of those use social media
So we all knew social media was popular, but to find out that around half of the entire global population is using it is pretty astounding – especially when you think about it from a marketing perspective.
If you work on your social media channels by focusing on posting great content and building your following, you have the power to reach SO many people.
2. 89% of mobile app users are using social media apps
It’s difficult to believe that social media used to be a desktop/laptop-only kind of game. Nowadays it’s almost second nature to have your social channels on your smartphone, just a tap away.
Social media apps tied for first-place along with chat apps, leaving the likes of dating apps (11%), music apps (52%), and even gaming apps (47%) in the dust!
3. 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for the business
With all the other options out there, you may be thinking: “Why should I spend time, effort, and marketing budget on social media?”
This statistic should give you your answer.
Despite it growing more competitive every year, a large majority of marketers still feel a benefit from social media marketing – and the next stat should give you a hint as to why!
4. The average person spends 3 hours a day on social networking and messaging
If you break marketing down into simple terms it’s all about getting your content, product, service, brand, or whatever it is you’re selling, in front of potential customers.
This data shows that your customers are likely spending a lot of their free time on social media sites – so it’s important for you to have a presence there.
And not only a presence, an active presence. Social media is about interaction, so make sure that you’re posting comments, liking photos, and just generally getting involved!
5. 80% of people check their smartphones within just 15 minutes of waking up
This should come as no shock. You may even start your day like this! We’re a world of smartphone addicts.
So, what has this got to do with social media?
Well, as mentioned above, social media is one of the main things people use their smartphones for – so it’s likely that when people check their phones in the morning, they’re looking at their social media apps.
This is useful for marketers because it can help you to organise your posting schedule. Why not try posting first thing in the morning for a couple of weeks? This could skyrocket your interaction!
6. 15% of video marketers plan to include TikTok in their 2020 video marketing strategy
Every year we conduct a State of Video Marketing survey and this year was the first time that we included TikTok in that survey.
TikTok has absolutely exploded in popularity recently, and it would be a mistake for any marketer to ignore that.
This statistic shows that some marketers are switched on to the value of TikTok, but most aren’t.
Getting in ahead of the curve could give you the edge you need to get noticed and gain traction before your competitors join the platform.
If you want to learn more about TikTok, check our article: What is TikTok? A complete guide for marketers.
7. TikTok is currently 3rd in the global app download ranks. It’s been in one of the top 5 positions since September 2019
This stat further solidifies TikTok’s position as a key player among social media channels. This is no longer a passing trend.
As the 3rd most downloaded app in the world, TikTok boasts huge potential for you to reach customers all over the globe. The app is currently available in 141 countries and is in the Top 25 apps in 136 of those countries – people love TikTok!
8. 80% of TikTok users are either Gen Z or millennials
Despite its clear popularity, there’s no point pushing all of your marketing efforts into TikTok if your audience isn’t there.
As this stat demonstrates, TikTok is an app that is dominated by the younger generations. Gen Z refers to those born between 1997 and 2012, which means in 2020 these people could be anywhere from just 8 years old, to twenty-three.
If your ideal customer skews towards this younger age and you’re not on TikTok, you’re really missing a trick!
9. The number of US adult users of TikTok grew 5.5 times in just 18 months, from 2.6 million to 14.3 million
This statistic is very interesting. It highlights that TikTok is now branching out to appeal to a wider audience.
Initially, TikTok was very much an app used by teenagers and, while this category still dominates, it’s great to see more adults on the platform.
This is compelling from a marketing perspective because it not only shows the phenomenal rate at which this social media community is growing, it also presents TikTok as another way to communicate with your customers – regardless of their age.
10. The top 3 attributes TikTok users want brands to be are innovative, reliable, and smart
While there’s lots of marketing potential on TikTok, it’s important to tread carefully. TikTok is relatively new territory for marketers and users are unlikely to respond to promotional posts and straight-up ads that might work on Instagram or Facebook.
This stat highlights the type of content that TikTok users would be accepting of: innovative, reliable, and smart.
This example from Chipotle is exactly the kind of content that does well on TikTok:
It’s fun, a bit different, and definitely not promotional.
11. 67% of marketers plan on increasing their Instagram organic activities over the next 12 months
This statistic is from a Social Media Examiner study that found that Instagram was the main platform where marketers planned on doing more organically in 2020.
When split into B2B and B2C, the study found that 71% of B2C marketers planned on increasing activities, compared to 64% of B2B.
This could reflect a dip in the success of paid campaigns on the platform, or it could represent the increasing number of users that has been steadily growing year on year.
12. 28% of video marketers plan to include InstagramTV in their 2020 video marketing strategy
After a slow start in 2018, more and more people are watching InstagramTV, or IGTV, as it’s commonly known.
And it seems that in 2020 this trend will extend to more video marketers. There are already many brands doing great things with IGTV, like Tiffany & Co.:
IGTV is a great option for marketers because it allows you to upload video content to Instagram that’s anywhere from 1 minute to 60 minutes long, unlike main feed videos which are limited to 60 seconds.
13. 62% of people say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories
‘Stories’ is one of Instagram’s most popular features. They’re a great way for users to digest content in snappy 15 second segments, and the fact that they disappear after 24 hours also makes them more attractive to people just scrolling through.
If your brand has more than 10,000 followers on the platform then Instagram Stories are also great for showcasing your products. With more than 10K followers you can include a link in your story that takes people straight to your product page. All they need to do is swipe up:
14. Story ‘stickers’ enhance video performance 83% of the time
Speaking of Instagram Stories, there’s a lot of extra bells and whistles you can add to increase performance – GIFs, music, quizzes, and stickers:
According to the stat above, story stickers do wonders for video performance. However, the same study found that using multiple stickers can reduce performance. So there’s a balance.
According to Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, you should use stickers when they ‘help communicate key information about your brand or product,’ but avoid them if they ‘contribute to visual clutter.’
15. Depending on the number of followers and the type of post, marketers pay Instagram influencers anywhere between $43 and £3,138
Influencer marketing has been a rising trend for the past couple of years and it’s currently bigger than ever, according to this Google Trends chart:
The statistic above is interesting, because it can often be difficult to know how much to pay social media influencers for their posts.
It’s also great to see such a wide price range. It means influencer marketing isn’t just for the big companies with the big budgets!
Here’s more data from that same study:
As you can see, Instagram Stories are the least expensive – probably because of their short shelf-life.
And videos are the most expensive, likely because of the extra effort involved on the influencers behalf.
Here’s a post by influencer, Zoella:
As you can see, the text ‘AD’ is used but that doesn’t seem to have impacted the amount of engagement with the post.
16. Only 59% of marketers class Facebook as their most important platform, down from 67% in 2018
This statistic highlights a steady decline in Facebook’s popularity in recent years. However, despite this decrease, Facebook still owns the biggest piece of the social media pie:
Instagram is slowly catching up, with 17% of marketers noting it as their most important platform, up from 14% in 2019.
This image highlights the importance of being active across different social networks because you never know which one is going to spike in popularity next.
17. 88% of people use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends. Only 17% say they use Facebook to follow brands
As one of the original social networks, Facebook has always been about staying in touch with family and friends – and it’s likely that will never change.
However, some people do use it to follow brands. And, even though 17% may seem like a small percentage, when you look at Facebook’s huge user base that’s still a lot of people!
On Facebook you just need to make sure your marketing efforts are focused towards the right kinds of people.
18. An average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month
This doesn’t sound like a lot. But it shows that users are clicking ads on Facebook – so they must be paying attention to them.
With Facebook, as with all social media sites, it’s important to experiment with paid and organic efforts to discover what works for your brand.
If your brand, product or service is more tailored towards women then you could be in luck. The above statistic is an average between men and women. Men only click on 10 ads per month, while women click on 14.
19. Mobile-first video has a 27% higher likelihood of driving brand lift
Video is one of the most effective ways to reach customers. And mobile is one of the most popular ways for users to visit social media sites. So, when you pair the two it’s easy to see why there would be an increase in brand lift.
Investing in mobile-first video, instead of trying to adapt your current videos to fit on a mobile screen, clearly has an impact on how much users enjoy the content – resulting in a higher brand lift.
20. Facebook is still the most-visited social media site, and is currently ranked as the 4th most visited site in the world!
Most of the Facebook stats listed here could be seen as negative. And there’s no denying that the platform is experiencing a decline.
However, as one of the most visited sites in the world, Facebook is still worth your time as a marketer – at least for now!
It’s important to monitor activity closely to know whether any of these social media sites work for your brand.
21. 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users
The above generations cover everyone who was born between 1946 and 1996.
In other words, whatever age your customers are it’s likely they’re using social media in some form!
This shows how great social media is as a platform for connecting you with potential customers.
22. People 65 and over are the fastest growing group on Facebook
Facebook is no longer the playground of choice for teenage internet users. More and more older people are taking to Facebook to catch up with friends and family, read the news, and even buy products from brands.
If your ideal customer skews towards this older age range then it definitely pays to be marketing on Facebook – especially with their advanced targeting capabilities that allow you to target potential customers based on their age, among many other things!
23. Most TikTok users are from affluent households with a total income of $100K+
Until very recently, TikTok was seen as an app for teens to play around on and make fun videos with their friends. And, while that is still what the platform is predominantly used for, there are older users starting to appear on the platform.
What’s more, the majority of these users are from affluent households and so are therefore more likely to have disposable income to spend on new products and services that they see being advertised on the platform.
24. Globally, Instagram has a pretty even split of male (48%) and female (52%) users
This is useful information for any marketer to know as depending on the products or services that your brand offers you may want to advertise to different genders.
This even split makes Instagram a great platform for all brands. And the targeting capabilities are the same as Facebook, so if you created a paid campaign you could easily target the gender that you want to focus your products or services towards.
It’s been clear for a long time that social media is the place to be. But showing up is one thing. Showing up smart is another.
With the data compiled in this list you’ll be able to make informed decisions related to different social media channels so that you can increase awareness, boost engagement, and keep generating business for your brand.
Click here to learn more about how to make your brand shine on social media.