Social media continues to increasingly embed itself in our lives. Are you interested in using social media to grow your audience and generate a positive ROI on social media marketing?
If so, only by understanding the scope and breadth of social media use can we be in a position to harness its potential. And in doing so be better prepared as businesses and marketers to meet our audiences where they are at.
So let’s look at some social media facts and emerging trends.
Social media facts and emerging trends
There is no doubt that social media is changing our world and has turned traditional business models on its head. Consider the following trends:
- Live video continues to make headway with research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, indicating approximately 52% of live streaming video viewers worldwide are watching content on social platforms compared to a streaming service, TV network site/app, or TV service.
- 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
- Chatbots are becoming more commonplace and Facebook messenger chatbots are having a phenomenal growth spurt.
- Micro-influencers are increasingly becoming the focus of companies wanting to increase their credibility.
- Businesses that want to take their presence on social media platforms to the next level are investing in paid ads. Research shows that social media advertisements will surpass newspaper ad spending by the year 2020.
- Social listening is helping brands and social media platforms listen to your conversations and provide more targeted messages and ads.
- User-generated content is favored by brands and businesses to improve their credibility, engagement, and standing.
- Augmented reality is becoming more mainstream in its adoption on social media platforms. Snapchat’s face filters and Facebook’s camera effects platform are just a couple of examples.
- Referral traffic and organic reach are decreasing according to research and so businesses need to employ other strategies to market on social media platforms.
- Social is so much a part of our lives that businesses cannot ignore it and more businesses are posting on social media on a daily basis.
Additional trends worth taking note of include:
- Big Social Data continues to take on prominence as brands mine conversations on social to provide an opportunity to create reactive products and services that serve their audience needs.
- The data game is also changing with consumers taking power back over their data.
- A greater understanding of the “anti-social” – the negative consumer backlash to the pressure of being always on.
- Privacy is important to us even though we are social beings. Private platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp continue to grow. Even Mark Zuckerburg announced that the future is private. In other words, businesses need to adapt to reach consumers where they are and in ways that respect their expectations.
- Minority groups can pack the biggest social clout ignoring them and the ability to hyper localize your advertising could be detrimental to your business.
- Social currency or the ability to send and receive payments via social is another trend that is making waves for businesses.
What does the social web look like in 2021?
According to Wearesocial and the Global Digital Survey, the continuing growth in mobile social users seems to stand out. With a worldwide population of about 7.7 billion people, it worth noting some of the numbers below.
- There are over 4.3 billion active internet users worldwide
- 3.5 billion people have social media accounts
- Over 5.1 billion people have access to the internet via mobile devices
- More than 3.4 billion people are active mobile social media users
What is interesting to note is that little has changed with the popularity of major social media platforms. Facebook continues to dominate the playing field globally. It is also worth noting the increase in the use of social media messenger and chat apps.
Also according to Statista, accessing social media platforms via mobile devices continues to be strongest across Asia.
Social media facts based on digital growth and content consumption
The image below shows the overall year-on-year growth globally of digital adoption. The highest concentrations are in Asia followed by Africa.
It is also worth noting that the increase in digital growth and increasing internet use is occurring in South Asia, Western Asia, and Africa.
The image below shows the increasing use of mobile devices to connect to the internet.
Content is what fuels the growth and the content trends are certainly skewed to more interactive content types.
Consider these mobile social media facts and trends:
- There is a focus for businesses to extend their reach on social media platforms. Facebook continues to dominate with a total advertising audience (monthly active users) of over 2.1 million people.
- Increased smartphone adoption and better mobile broadband connectivity have allowed for mobile phones to be most people’s primary day to day device. It is fair to say that a mobile phone is now the main way people access connected services including the internet. What this means is that there is a shift in the way people access and consume information and content.
- Platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger are largely ‘private’ experiences, with little (if any) information visible to strangers.
- Fewer ‘personal’ stories are being shared on public channels like Facebook and Twitter.
- When seeing a social media advertisement, more than 30% of people respond by visiting the website or the online store.
- 70% of users admit that Twitter ads are usually informative enough to buy the most-suited products and services.
- Global share of the world’s businesses using social media marketing for more than 5 years is 24%.
This change in user behavior requires a fundamental change in mindset for marketers as they think about ways to connect with these audiences.
Relevant social and ‘snackable content’ will continue to be a valuable component of brands’ social mix. However, people still trust personal recommendations more than any other source of discovery. So businesses and marketers need to focus their efforts on finding ways to inspire social conversations in these more private channels.
Facebook continues to be a force to be reckoned with. In its efforts to continue to be relevant to its audience it has added to its portfolio other platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram.
The images below provide a snapshot of the Facebook audience and their profile.
Social media facts relating to Facebook that are worth taking note of from sources like Pew Research include:
- Around seven-in-ten U.S. adults (69%) use Facebook
- Among U.S. adults who use Facebook, around three-quarters (74%) visit the site at least once a day
- Around four-in-ten U.S. adults (43%) get news from Facebook
- Many adult Facebook users have altered their use of the platform
- The average user spends 38 minutes on Facebook a day
- The most popular page is Facebook with over 214 million fans. The most popular non-Facebook-owned page is Samsung with over 159 million fans.
- Facebook is the digital channel with the most influence on purchasing decisions in the United States
- Facebook has 80 million small- and medium-sized business Pages
- As of Q2 2019, Facebook currently sits at 2.41 billion monthly active users.
- Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly active users.
- India is ranked first in terms of Facebook audience size with 270 million users. The United States, Brazil, and Indonesia also all have more than 100 million Facebook users each.
- 10% of global active Facebook users were women between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and male users between the ages of 25 and 34 years. These constituted the biggest demographic group of Facebook users.
- 62% of Facebook users have some form of university education, while 30% report high school as being the highest level of education reached.
- Almost 85% of Facebook’s daily active users are outside of the U.S and Canada.
- According to Facebook, over 200 million people are members of meaningful Facebook Group.
- 1.1 billion Facebook users speak English.
- 200 million people participate in meaningful Facebook Groups.
- People regard Facebook as the hardest social media platform to resist.
- 71% of people have increased their online video viewing
- Facebook owns 24.5% of all digital video ad spending in 2018
- Marketers spend 20 times as much on TV ads to reach around twice the audience as their Facebook videos
- Mobile-optimized Facebook video lifts brand awareness to 67%.
- 30% of mobile shoppers say video is the best medium for discovering new products
- Facebook users watch ads five times longer when they’re consuming video intentionally
- People gaze five times longer at video than at static posts on Facebook.
- The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 6.01%.
- 150 million people are using Facebook Stories.
- Facebook Live broadcast watch times quadrupled in one year.
- 95.1% of people consume content faster going to Facebook on their smartphones than when using their desktop.
- The best ad title on Facebook should consist of five words, while 13 words go for a link description.
- The average cost per click in Facebook ads is $1.72 across different industries.
- Facebook’s mobile ad revenue increased 50% year over year in June 2018.
- An average Facebook user clicks on 8 ads per month
- E-commerce-specific ad engagement has risen from one percent to three percent.
- 24.2% of Facebook Pages are using paid media.
- The average price per ad increased by 17% in Q2 2018.
- According to Forrester’s analysis, ad price growth can’t continue indefinitely. Facebook’s been warning of a revenue deceleration since early 2017. While investors may be spooked, marketers can use this number as a barometer for their social ad spending.
- The average organic reach for a Facebook post is 6.4% of a Page’s likes.
- The average engagement rate for a post is 3.91%.
- 30% of marketers think Facebook offers the highest digital ad ROI.
Twitter isn’t a new social network but an important space for brands to make an impression on customers and future customers. The images below provide a snapshot of the audience and their profiles.
Social media facts relating to Twitter that are worth taking note of include:
- Twitter has 330 million monthly active users
- Twitter is the top social network for government officials.
- 80% of Twitter users are on mobile.
- 80% of Twitter’s users aren’t American.
- 24% of US adults use Twitter.
- User growth is predicted at less than 1%, in the US.
- 80% of Twitter users are affluent millennials.
- 500 million people visit Twitter each month without logging in.
- There is a total of 1.3 billion accounts, with 330 million monthly active users.
- There are 500 million Tweets sent each day. That’s 6,000 Tweets every second.
- Twitter’s top 5 markets (countries) account for 50% of all Tweets.
- 71% of Twitter users use it to read the news.
- 75% of B2B businesses market on Twitter.
- 85% of SMB Twitter users say providing customer service there is important.
- Only 3% of customers will @ you when they complain.
- Twitter posted a 50% increase in ad engagements between October 2017 and 2018.
- Twitter ads are 11% more effective than TV ads during live events.
- 40% of users say they’ve made a purchase because of an influencer’s tweet.
- The lifespan of a tweet is about 15-20 mins.
- Tweets with a GIF get 55% more engagement.
- 93% of Twitter videos are viewed on mobile.
- Tweets with video attract 10x as much engagement
- Promoted tweets with video saved 50% on their cost per engagement.
- In-stream video ads lift purchase intent by 6%.
- People are 31% more likely to remember things they saw on Twitter.
- Tweets accompanied by an image get 150% more retweets, 18% more click-throughs, and 89% more likes.
- The average response time for companies on Twitter is one day, seven hours, and 12 minutes. Yet, 64% of customers on Twitter expect a response from companies within one hour.
- Using Twitter for customer service, companies see a 19% increase in customer satisfaction.
LinkedIn continues to dominate the professional social networking scene despite being one of the oldest social networks. In fact, it is experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity as you can see from the audience overview below.
Social media facts and statistics relating to LinkedIn that are worth taking note of include:
- LinkedIn has more than 740 million members from over 200 countries
- 133 million+ of LinkedIn users come from the United States alone.
- LinkedIn is the first channel B2B marketers use to distribute content.
- The world’s largest professional network on the Internet is located on LinkedIn from over 200 countries and territories.
- More than 70% of LinkedIn members live outside the United States.
- Every second, two new professionals join LinkedIn.
- 45% of LinkedIn users are experienced, senior managers.
- 57% of LinkedIn use is on mobile.
- 91% of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content.
- The salary 44% of LinkedIn users take home equals to $75,000 per year and is above the national median in the United States.
- LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.
- 25% of all U.S. adults are LinkedIn members.
- Every day, users publish 2 million posts, articles, and videos on LinkedIn.
- 50% of B2B web traffic originating from social media comes from LinkedIn.
- 80% of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn.
- InMail has a 300% higher response rate than email.
- 58% percent of B2B advertisers like the ROI on LinkedIn ads.
- Video posts are 5 times more likely to get comments.
- 27% of US adults use the platform.
- The average CEO has 930 LinkedIn connections.
Some would not consider YouTube to be social media network, but there are many reasons to classify it as one. In fact, it could be argued that it is one of the biggest social media networks available.
Consider these statistics:
- There are 9% of small businesses presented on YouTube.
- On average, YouTube has 5 billion video views daily.
- 68% of YouTube users admit they watched a video to decide whether to buy something.
- Technically, YouTube can be interpreted as the second largest search engine in the world.
- The top two reasons people watch YouTube is to relax and feel entertained.
- One out of three internet users usually gets attracted by YouTube.
- YouTube users are three times more likely to prefer watching a YouTube tutorial video compared to reading the product’s instructions.
- 70% of watch time comes from mobile devices.
- 500 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute.
- The average person watches 40 minutes of YouTube content a day.
- More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
- 90% of American 18-24-year-olds use YouTube.
- The average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes.
- The user-submitted video with the most views is the video for Luis Fonsi’s song ‘Despacito’ with 4.36 billion views.
- YouTube sees over 1bn mobile video views per day
Pinterest is another platform that continues to be a force to reckon with in that it is predominately female-centric (but that is changing with 40% of new users being men) and visual but continues to engage users. In fact, Pinterest users are 2x as likely to say their time was well spent on the platform as compared to other social media platforms.
If there is a social network that has demonstrated the power of visual media to influence people, it would be Pinterest.
Robert Moore of RJ Metrics provides insight into the storytelling that visual media on Pinterest communicates –
Pinning is aspirational, which means that data on pins is data on people’s aspirations.
Consider these statistics:
- 300 million people use Pinterest monthly.
- There are 3 billion of Pinterest boards in total.
- 60% of Pinterest users are women.
- 72% of Pinterest users access the platform to decide what to buy offline.
- Pinterest is reported to be the 2nd highest source of traffic to Shopify stores.
- Two-thirds of pins refer to brands and products.
- Prime Pinterest category in the U.S. is Art, Art Supplies & Hobbies.
- 98% of Pinners report trying new things they find on Pinterest
- 85% of Pinners say Pinterest is where they go to start a new project
- Pinterest reaches 83% of all women 25-54 in the US
- Retail brands can see 2x higher returns on Pinterest than any other digital channels.
- At least half of Pinterest’s users live outside the U.S
- Pinterest has a tendency to deliver $2 in profit per $1 spent on advertising.
- After finding ideas on Pinterest, 98% of users go out to try them out.
- Ninety percent of weekly users turn to Pinterest to help them make their purchasing decisions
- Users prefer reaching the platform via their smartphones, specifically 80% of Pinterest users are using it on their phones.
- The average time spent on Pinterest is 14.2 minutes
- 59% of millennials in the U.S are discovering products on Pinterest.
- 90%of weekly social media users go to Pinterest and make purchase decisions afterward.
- 55% of pinners use Pinterest to look for particular products.
- 51% of female users got acquainted with new brands on Pinterest.
- Pins reflecting on life moments lead to a 22% lift in sales.
- Pinterest reaches 7 in 10 US moms, 1 in 3 US dads, and 7 in 10 US millennial women.
- 67% of Pinterest users are under 40-years-old
This photo-sharing app is no longer the primary domain of staged food and sunsets. Now, part of the Facebook enterprise it is a powerful social network.
- Instagram has 1 billion+ users.
- 88% of users are outside the U.S.
- 95% of U.S. Instagrammers use Youtube.
- Pizza is the most popular Instagrammed food, behind sushi and steak.
- The most liked picture on Instagram is one of an egg.
- 37% of Americans now use the platform.
- 24% of US teens cite Instagram as their favorite social network.
- 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35.
- Over 500 million accounts use Instagram stories every day.
- Half of the users that subscribed to Instagram show daily activity in stories.
- On average, users ‘like’ 4.2 billion Instagram posts per day.
- 38% of users are known for checking Instagram a few times daily.
- Around 200 million Instagram users visit one or more business profiles every day.
- Six in ten online adults have signed up to Instagram.
- 78% of influencers choose Instagram to share sponsored content.
- Nearly 80% of all Instagram users follow a business.
- Photos showing faces generally get 38% more Likes than photos without ones.
- The study analyzing top brands on Instagram has shown that engagement per post has grown by 53% year over year.
- Thursday is considered to be the best day in the week to post on Instagram for brands across all industries.
- According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed stories are made from business accounts, with one in five stories receiving a direct response from viewers.
- 60% of all Instagram users (around 600+ million people) look for and spot new products on Instagram.
- There are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram.
- Over 95 million photos are uploaded each day.
- There are 4.2 billion Instagram Likes per day.
- More than 40 billion photos have been shared so far.
- The average Instagram user spends 15 minutes a day on the app.
- When Instagram introduced videos, more than 5 million were shared in 24 hours.
Snapchat has had a fast rise to prominence from what started off as a fairly obscure mobile network a few years ago. It has gone mainstream in a big way and was on the radar of some large digital firms including Facebook that reportedly offered $3 billion in 2013 for it.
The images showing the audience profile below shows why that is the case.
Social media facts relating to Snapchat that are worth taking note of include these statistics:
- Snapchat has 301 million+ total active monthly users.
- 20% of US college students use Snapchat.
- The average Snapchat user visits the network over 20 times per day.
- On average, a Snapchat user generally spends 30 minutes on the platform every day.
- 4 billion Snapchat snaps are viewed daily.
- Snapchat’s revenue spent on ads is expected to grow to $767 billion by 2020.
- 47% of US teens consider Snapchat their most important social media network.
- 78% of internet users aged 18-24 use Snapchat.
- 19 million visitors check Snap Maps on a daily basis.
- Last year Snapchat reached an 18.7% increase in ad revenue compared to the previous year.
- Snapchat is forecast to have 103.6 million users in the U.S in 2022.
- Snapchat has 203m active daily users who create 3.5 billion snaps everyday. Over 50% of them are under the age of 25.
- 24% of US adults use Snapchat
- 75% of American 13-35-year olds use the platform.
Other social media facts
- Consumer trust in social media channels has plummeted since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and fake news. On the upside trust in industry experts, journalists and immediate circles did increase. Brands will, therefore, need to invest in employee advocacy programs, personalized messaging at scale and building customer communities.
- According to Hootsuite, Stories will surpass feeds as the primary way in which people share content.
- More competition for paid social advertising means that marketers are being forced to up their game by focusing on better targeting, creatives, and budgets.
- Better and improved social shopping technologies have fuel e-commerce sales allowing brands to enable shopping from within a platform.
- Better targeting and conversational tact will be required to harness the growth of messaging apps.
What does this mean for you?
While social media facts provide some idea of the extent of social media use and the role of mobile in empowering people and their social media usage, the game is changing.
So how can you use visual media, mobile and social media content to get your message across to your audience?
To help get you thinking about your social media strategy, consider the following:
- Consider comparing the benefits and return on investment (ROI). In other words, weigh up how important social media will be in achieving your goals and whether it will provide an ROI. A growth marketing framework to drive business growth can help.
- There are a number of social networks so consider thinking beyond major platforms and use ones that work best for your audience
- Invest in content that is shareable to increase the engagement on social media
Are there other ways and considerations in your social media strategy and investments, let us know in the comments below.