Social media is one of the biggest social and technological evolutions in the last 20 years. With about six in 10 Instagram users logging in at least once daily and 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok, social media has become an integral part of our lives. The stats you need to know in order to find brand success on social media are varied and dense, so read on.
From the way we shop, to the way we get our news—even the way we talk to loved ones—social media has changed everything. With nearly 50 percent of American adults getting their news from social media often, this new and ever-evolving medium is clearly not going away anytime soon.
Social media gives brands of various sizes access to affordable marketing, allowing them to connect with their audience and interact. When thinking about your business and your brand, the question isn’t merely about whether you should be investing in social media (a resounding yes, you should be). The question is more about how far you should ride the social media wave that other smart brands are catching.
Whether it’s influencer marketing or story ads, brands using social media are watching engagement soar and conversions multiply. As a business grows, so does its social media following—and vice versa—making it the perfect tool for maximizing brand awareness.
With social media audience sizes growing every year, you’d be crazy to miss out on the marketing exposure that social media provides. So we did some research and compiled some illuminating social media stats that convey the exciting possibilities and opportunities for business and branding.
According to recent social media data, the number of people using social media worldwide is 4.59 billion—which equates to about 57 percent of the total global population. This number will only increase as the years pass.
Since 2004, social media has grown exponentially, and it still has a ways to go until it reaches peak popularity. These days, the average social media user spends around 15 percent of their waking life on social platforms. With social media platforms now being major sources of news and a smart way to connect with customers, these platforms are getting bigger by the day.
TikTok was the most popular iPhone app in the United States in 2021, while 26 percent of the entire US adult population gets news from YouTube. Further, the Pew Research Center study established that 59 percent of respondents consider YouTube an important source of news, while Facebook remains the most-used social network for news.
It’s not surprising that YouTube enjoys the tag of the second most visited website (in terms of search traffic) globally. Or that 130 million users on Instagram look at shopping posts each month. In short, there is so much activity on social media that can benefit your business in a multitude of ways.
Fun fact: a Facebook video post is known to increase interaction by 600 percent. Another vital stat for marketers: 12.5 percent of all active Facebook users aged 25 to 34 are female, while 19 percent are male.
With over 2.910 billion monthly users, 80 percent of adults in the United States claim they are active Facebook users—that’s more than three-quarters of the adult population of the US! With 11.2 billion total visits and 1.5 billion unique visitors, Facebook is the world’s third most visited website, just after YouTube, which is the second most visited website.
Interestingly, India is ranked first in Facebook audience size, with almost 400 million users. Following this, the US, Brazil, and Indonesia also have 200 million, 130 million, and 140 million Facebook users, respectively.
When it comes to posts, there are more than 350 billion images that have been uploaded on the social media platform, with 85 percent of smartphone owners downloading the Facebook app on their phones.
Top tip: Including Images in your posts on FaceBook, LinkedIn and in general all social media platforms have a hugely positive effect. Images in posts on LinkedIn for example typically result in a 2x higher comment rate.
With Facebook, the biggest social networking service in the world, be sure to know how you can optimize your content so it will perform well. For instance, Facebook engagement increases by 18 percent on Thursdays and Fridays. You need to be aware of how these algorithms work so you can have maximum reach.
Some predictions highlight how the number of Facebook users below age 25 will be less than 15 percent in 2023, whereas on TikTok the same cohort will amount to 44 percent. This is a significant shift and important for marketers to understand if they are focusing their marketing efforts on the younger generation.
In fact, TikTok is so widely loved by Generation Z that one fifth of them are using the platform more than five hours daily. No surprises that it’s extremely beneficial for brands marketing their wares to this demographic to get to know the site well. Unsurprisingly, money flows into TikTok at an incredible rate, with nearly 40 percent of the Gen Z demographic using TikTok videos to learn about new goods they could one day purchase.
Growth on TikTok has been meteoric. Back in January, 2020, a tiny 16 percent of marketers claimed to use the site. In 2021, that number grew to 68 percent. Predictions point to TikTok’s ad revenue most probably overtaking YouTube’s by 2024, with numbers suggesting that TikTok will welcome more than $11 billion in US ad revenue that same year.
What’s more, the platform continues to overtake marketers’ predictions, with massive jumps in effectiveness when it comes to marketing and business. In 2021, three percent of marketers claimed it was the most effective social media site for their business goals. In 2022, that number shot up to 24 percent—an increase of 700 percent in less than a year.
The Pew Research Center studied social media use by generation and the results are fascinating. According to the research, 84 percent of US adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are active social media users. For those aged 30 to 49, the number drops to 81 percent. For those aged 50 to 64, nearly 73 percent are active social media users. Those aged over 65 years use social media the least.
The highest number of social media users? Young adults. No surprises there. They also have the broadest access to smartphones. The older generations, meanwhile, are more likely to embrace tablets as their means of access to social media. What about baby boomers? They’re becoming more adept at using and interacting with social media platforms with every year that passes.
For Instagram, 69 percent of users are under 34 years, while the 25 to 34 year old age group is the largest of all demographics using the platform, which equals roughly 31 percent of total Instagram users. One quarter of US adults use Twitter, and roughly the same amount also use WhatsApp and Snapchat. Meanwhile, 40 percent of US adults surveyed by Pew Research Center say they use Instagram. Further, 57 percent of brands studied in Buffer’s State of Social 2019 report claimed that Instagram stories effectively promoted their products.
Understanding how the different generations relate to social media will help you greatly with any marketing for your brand. Stay informed and plan your branding and marketing strategies accordingly.
Yep, we’re all becoming addicted to social media. Whether it’s scrolling on Instagram feeds while we cook, or posting a picture of your daily coffee, social media is everywhere and we can’t look away.
The latest statistics tell us that each person spends an average of two hours and 27 minutes per day on social media. The average US adult spends 33 minutes a day on Facebook, while 36.9 percent of the total world population uses Facebook every month. That’s more than a third of the world!
As social media increasingly becomes a vital part of our daily lives, opportunities for businesses continue to grow. Brands wanting to reach audiences through social media marketing have never had a better opportunity. With lower marketing costs and more varied reach, it’s the perfect place for entrepreneurs, businesses, and online sellers to broadcast their stories.
Check out these compelling stats: 75 percent of internet users employ social media to look at and research products, with shoppers increasingly looking at reviews, product photos, and recommendations on social media networks. No such thing as an impulse purchase anymore—unless you’re on Instagram and clicking buy on a lip gloss you didn’t know you needed.
Since there are so many people scrolling through social media to get inspired and research what to buy, it’s important to maintain a strong online presence on these social media platforms—they are a cost effective way to market your message and raise brand awareness. It’s also crucial to embrace the social media platform that your target demographic is most into, and to engage, engage, engage. Comments, likes, chats, Stories, Reels, groups... embrace every aspect of social media and it will help build your online presence.
Breaking: 77 percent of consumers have come out and actually said that inefficient customer experiences detract from their quality of life. No surprises that customer service is a somewhat existential issue for brands both big and small.
Not only are your potential customers using social media, they are finding customer support on it too! Brands these days have a few options for excelling in customer support, but consumers are unanimous in their desire to connect with support teams on social media. From 2020 to 2021, the number of shoppers opting to use social media for customer support grew by 110 percent.
Customers use social media customer support to report on any service outages (say with a phone or internet provider); to discuss any issues they have with shipments or deliveries; or sometimes even to complain.
Fact: nearly 75 percent of consumers who had a great experience with customer support on social media claim they are likely to praise and recommend the brand to their family and friends.
As consumers increasingly head over to social for all their customer support needs, be sure that you can keep up with volume.The risk of losing customers is ever present, with 78 percent of customers deciding not to purchase if they have a negative customer service experience online. If you fail to provide timely resolutions on social media, as many as half of the consumers polled may decide to unfollow your brand, while 76 percent of consumers expect a reply within 24 hours on social. You have been warned!
Being prepared for the ebbs and flow of customer support requests is key—or else you risk your brand’s reputation. So if you’re launching a new product or having a promotion, be sure to have extra staff on call to deal with the inevitable influx of messages.
There’s no room for shoddy salesmanship and lazy customer service these days. Social media has inverted the balance of power between brands and consumers, giving consumers more say than ever before. Only on a social platform such as Instagram or Facebook can consumers compare a brand’s support practices to its competitors with a few easy clicks. After all, 30 percent of consumers will go with a competitor if offering a similar product with better customer support.
So if you want to up your game on social media, then put helluva effort into customer support. You simply can't afford to get stuck in the muddy waters of negative reviews. Good customer support on social media sites also builds a long-term level of trust and loyalty that will be good for your profits.
Influencers are huge in social media marketing right now and are a huge driving force behind profits on all the major sites. Brands are increasingly embracing social media platforms to spread their story and message—and for good reason. Almost half of consumers polled claim they are inspired and guided by influencers when purchasing something.
If you can't afford to pay an expensive celebrity influencer to market your products, it's a great idea to work with smaller brand ambassadors who have only a few thousand followers. Brand ambassadors have the same values as your company and share a natural affinity with your brand. They should align with your company’s ethos and philosophy and broadcast those values to their audience.
Some of the benefits of partnering with a brand ambassador include increased brand awareness; more qualified website traffic; and an increase in sales and leads. Although it can be challenging to track the efficiency of brand ambassadors, they are a wonderful way to begin spreading your message.
Instagram Stories are huge right now and they are an essential way to get new followers. Stories allow you to share glimpses from your daily life without having to save them to your profile.
One of the best things about Instagram Stories is the inherent creative choices for self expression they present. There are fun ways to create more engaging Instagram stories by using graphics, polls, Q and A’s and stickers. These visual tricks also serve to highlight the uniqueness of your own brand and often garner laughter, likes and responses. The creative freedom that Stories allows is also refreshing since the medium doesn’t demand high production values and gloss. It’s a kid’s playground for adults, in other words; one that allows us to market our products and services.
Even though most businesses will go through a crisis at some point, fewer than 40 percent of US business leaders have a “very relevant” crisis plan at the ready. And these days, crises are sure to take place in the very public domain that is social media. And since information travels like fire online, a small issue can escalate quickly if brands aren’t constantly working their social media channels.
When facing a crisis, consumers expect brands to be honest and responsive, not avoidant or manipulative. Further, 34 percent of consumers reported in a recent survey that they expect brands to respond to a crisis on social media within 30 minutes of it breaking. That’s a lot of daily focus and effort needed within your team to monitor for signs of impending drama. Stay alert. Systems on the go. You never know when things could go wrong.
Another survey shows how 61 percent of users would like brands to acknowledge moments of crisis in their communications when a crisis is taking place. If they do, 90 percent of social media users say that businesses will regain their trust if they admit they made a mistake or act transparently about what they're doing to remedy the issue.
Here’s what not to do: ignore the crisis and hope it will disappear. One brand that disappointed customers when handling a social media crisis—Peloton. In 2021, after the death of a six-year-old involving one of its treadmills, the company recalled its product—unfortunately they waited more than a month to do so. Customers weren’t impressed—they were downright disappointed, and the issue gathered heat. By the time Peleton began managing the crisis it was too late. The company lost so much consumer confidence it affected its sales and standing in the community.
More than 50 percent of marketers claim they spend 50 percent or more of their marketing budgets on social media ads. Indeed, the money spent on social media ads has been climbing steadily since 2016, with more than $521 billion funneled toward digital ads in 2021. Experts say that number could reach $876 billion in 2026, with social media ads a major portion of that spending.
In 2022, stats show that companies will put $177 billion toward social advertising in America, surpassing the amount put into television for the first time. Fortunately, all these social media ads are bringing in the dough. Data from a SurveyMonkey survey shows us that nearly 50 percent of social media users have gone and purchased a product after seeing an ad. And even though 74 percent of people are tired of social media ads, they’re effective.
Another report highlights how 28 percent of internet users discover new brands and products through social media ads, with almost 80 percent of users claiming they turn to social media when they’re looking for intel on brands.
Around 40 percent of marketers say the best return on ad spend is on Facebook, which has about 52,000 data points for each user on the social media site. That’s a huge amount of variable data—with in-depth ad targeting being the reason for the success of social media. For example, you can segment audiences by categories and interests, according to the wide range of data points. A huge amount of detail can be accommodated, but not for long.
Tracking-based ads are coming under new scrutiny, with Google claiming that third-party cookies will be removed in 2023, a move the company delayed, but one that regulatory pressure is driving. Likewise, Apple has gotten rid of the digital features that track users over various other apps. Things change swiftly in this space—so make sure you stay informed about SEO strategy changes at Google and beyond.
As social media continues to grow, so do the possibilities offered by smartphones—and it’s crucial for brands to keep pace. With mobile social media content more in demand than ever, 91 percent of social media users log in via mobile devices. Meanwhile, 80 percent of total time spent on social media sites takes place on cell phones and other mobile devices.
Even 22 percent of YouTube users access the site via their phones. That’s a sizable portion of users streaming videos on mobile devices. That’s why it’s a great idea to ensure content is optimized for the smallest of screens.
With smartphones taking such a starring role in social scrolling, you must also ensure that all your content is designed and optimized for mobile interfaces. There's nothing worse than seeing a page meant for web browsing awkwardly squashed onto a smartphone screen. This lack of quality will quickly lose you customers. The out take? If you want to have a broad reach and expansive engagement then you need to focus on mobile.
Let’s just get this out of the way: video traffic is not going anywhere anytime soon and will continue to grow. Example: it now accounts for 227.6 exabytes per month, a 400 percent increase since it measured 70.3 exabytes a few years back in 2016. Video is also around 80 percent of the entirety of IP traffic today. Huge.
Video is also the most rigorous way to shape a significant digital presence in your social media efforts and to advertise, too. Business Insider reports that mobile will be the number one factor in digital-video ad spend in the coming years.
Indeed, video has won over Gen Z on TikTok so much so that Instagram, in an effort to make the platform more like TikTok, adopted a video-heavy feed. Users staged a protest and Instagram had to reverse course, with CEO Adam Mosseri saying “I’m glad we took a risk—if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough,”
YouTube, being the first social media site to work with video, has never budged from their original remit—and no wonder. YouTube’s 14.3 billion visits per month are way more than Wikipedia, Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram. In the United States, 62 percent of users look at YouTube every day, while some people look at YouTube several times a day.
Even more astounding: visitors to YouTube spend an average of 19 minutes daily on the site. That’s a lot of time to be browsing a platform. This offers a lot of opportunity for marketers looking to spread their message. What’s more, 694,000 hours of video are played on YouTube per minute—which is more than Netflix.
Now that you know some key statistics, you can plan your social media strategy with confidence. Social media will continue to grow in importance and economy, so make sure you keep learning about new features on the different platforms and stay on top of, and engage with, trends.
Different social media platforms serve different purposes and demographics. With knowledge is power, the power to choose which social media platform works best for you and your brand. Use these social media stats to inform your choices, grow your brand, increase conversations and maximize your results.
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