Social media trends are clear

Social media continues to grow exponentially, helping businesses find new ways of extending their reach.  As technology improves and become more prevalent, more and more people are able to access information and resources online – literally at their fingertips – worldwide.

Here’s a snapshot

Inquiry Trends
One must have access to the internet to use social media. How many people are going online? According to InternetLiveStats.com, about 3.4 billion people are online, which is about 40% of the world population. In 1995, less than 1% of the world’s population was online.1
How many social media users are there, and how fast is that number growing? There are 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide. The number of social media users grew more than 13% in 2020, which amounted to 1.3 million new users every day, and roughly 15.5 new users every single second.2
How do users access social media? 98.8% of the 4.2 billion worldwide access social media via a mobile device.3
Which social media sites are the most popular worldwide? As of October 2020, the following social media sites were reported as the most popular:4

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Wexin/WeChat
  • Instragram
  • TikTok
Which social medias platforms are the most popular in North America? As of January 2021, the following social media sites have the highest market share in North America: 5

  • Facebook – 56.7%
  • Pinterest – 18.46%
  • Twitter- 15.99%
  • Instagram – 5.35%
  • YouTube – 2.08%
  • Tumblr – 0.6%
  • Reddit – 0.5%
  • Other – 0.33%
How much time does the typical internet user spend on social media? Users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social media.6
Which social media platform do marketers prefer? According to the 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, Instagram is hot, with it being the second most important social platform behind Facebook. Interest in YouTube is also high; it’s considered the number-one video channel and is used by 55% of marketers in their study.7

The preferred platform also depends upon whether one is a B2B or B2C content marketer.

  • B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn (96%), but they’re tied in their interest level for Twitter (82%) and Facebook (82%).8
  • B2C marketers prefer Facebook (97%), followed by Instagram (81%), then YouTube (72%).9
Who’s using social media and how are they using it? Here’s a sampling:

Facebook SocialPilot indicates:

  • Spend 58 minutes per day on the site.
  • Younger users (18-24 years old) spend most of their Facebook time on video ads compared to 65+ year old visitors.
  • 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily and 98.3% access it via their mobile device.
  • 52% of adults are consuming news from Facebook.
  • Over 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups each month and 500 million users use Facebook Stories daily. 10

Hootsuite indicates:

  • 21.4% of all users are ages 45 and older, but seniors make up the fastest-growing group.
  • 32.4% of all users are aged 25-34.
  • More males than females use Facebook, but male users ages 25-34 make up the biggest demographic.11
Instagram
  • Over half of the global Instagram population worldwide is 34 or younger.12
  • Overall, 51% of Instagram users are female. 13
  • 24% of users log in more than once a day 14 and those that log in, spend an average of 30 minutes. 15
  • The USA and India have the most Instagram users, and 43% of Instagram users have a college degree or above.16
Twitter
  • There are about 340 million users. Over 80% of them live outside of the U.S., but the U.S. is the site’s largest active audience.17
  • Twitter has more male users than female users in the U.S.18
  • 38% of US adults age 18-29 use Twitter.19
  • 85% of SMB users on Twitter say providing customer service there is important; it can lead to a 19% lift in customer satisfaction. 20
  • U.S.-based Twitter users are younger, have more education, and more income than the general U.S. population. 21

According to Hootsuite, the primary reasons for using social media range from staying up-to-date with news and current events, finding funny or entertaining content, and filling up spare time to promoting or supporting charity causes. People’s behaviors and preferences also vary with geography so be careful about projecting usage of these platforms worldwide based on stats from the United States, which makes up a small percentage (6.4%) of the world’s internet users.22

Does social media’s influence improve sales?
  • On Instagram, 81% of the people use it to help research products and services, and 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service in Stories.23
  • “54% of social browsers use social media to research products and 71% are more likely to purchase products.” 24
  • Almost 50% of Twitter users have made a purchase after seeing a Tweet from an influencer.25
  • Pinterest has higher than average order values due to more women social shoppers. 26
  • “SproutSocial shows 53% of consumers recommend businesses or products in tweets while a further 48% follow through to purchase those products or services.” 27
  • 80% of shoppers who said that they watched a YouTube video related to a product they want to purchase said that they did so at the beginning of their buying process.” 28
  • “A Deloitte report highlighted that consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to spend more on purchases. Moreover, the influence can be so high that 29% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase on the same day of using social media.”29
What fuels the growth of social media? Fixed internet and mobile internet connection speeds continue to accelerate. According to Datareportal.com,

  • Fixed internet increased 31.1% in download and 29.3% upload over 2020 recordings.
  • Mobile internet accelerated almost 70% over 2020.
  • Around the world, the average mobile data connection now offers download speeds of more than 47 megabits per second, which is more than 15 megabits per second faster than the average we reported in their previous annual report.30

With more countries moving to 5G networks, there will be a tangible growth in data consumption since faster connections mean people can enjoy richer content experiences. 31 5G has the ability to open up more opportunities for users to use their mobile devices for social, entertainment, and commerce-related activities.

How will these social media trends affect your business?  Are your customers active online?  Think about your target customer profile, key customer touch points, and then determine whether you can afford not to have a social media strategy.

Discover more…

  1. Campbell, Kim. “What’s the State of Social Customer Care in 2016?” Business 2 Community. Last modified July 8, 2016. http://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/whats-state-social-customer-care-2016-01588844#W5qkFKAgPGy68R4Y.97.
  2. Cooper, Paige. “The Best time to Post on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.” Hootsite Media Inc. (blog), last modified March 3, 2021, https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/.
  3. Jarski, Veronica. “The State of Social Media Marketing [Infographic].” MarketingProfs LLC. Last modified January 4, 2016. http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2016/29075/the-state-of-social-media-marketing-infographic.
  4. Kerns, Chis. “The “Social Icebert”: The Data on 1:1 Marketing May Surprise You.” Third Door Media, Inc. Last modified March 14, 2016. http://marketingland.com/social-iceberg-data-11-marketing-may-surprise-167569.
  5. Lua, Afred. “2018 Social Media Trends Report: 10 Key Insights Into the Present and Future of Social Media.” Buffer Inc. Last modified January 25, 2018. https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-trends-2018.
  6. Nanji, Ayaz. “How SMBs Are Using Social Media.” MarketingProfs LLC. Last modified March 31, 2016. http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2016/29629/how-smbs-are-using-social-media.
  7. Spiegel, Benjamin. “SocialPro 2016 Recap: What Your Social Data Should Be Teaching You.” Third Door Media, Inc. Last modified July 8, 2016. http://marketingland.com/socialpro-2016-recap-social-data-teaching-183533.
  8. “Social Media Referral Trends.” Net Applications. Accessed March 9, 2021. http://www.netmarketshare.com/social-media.aspx?qprid=90.
  9. “Wildfire Social Media Marketing Blog: How Large Brands Measure the Value of Social [Google Infographic].” Wildfire, a division of Google. Last modified January 7, 2014. http://blog.wildfireapp.com/2012/01/19/measuring-the-business-impact-of-social-media-infographic/.
Sources:
1Internet Users,” InternetLiveStats.com, accessed September 24, 2020, http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/.
2 Simon Kemp, “Digital 2021: Global Overview Report,” Kepios, accessed February 11, 2021. https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-global-overview-report.
3Ibid.
4“Most Popular Social Networks Worldwide as of January 2021, Ranked by Number of Active Users” Statista. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/.
55 “Social Media Stats North America,” StatCounter, accessed February 11, 2021, https://gs.statcounter.com/social-media-stats/all/north-america/#monthly-202001-202101-bar.
6Simon Kemp, “Digital 2021: Global Overview Report.”
7Michael A. Stelzner, “Social Media Marketing Industry Trends Report,” Social Media Examiner, last modified May 2020, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
8Content Marketing Institute, “11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2021,” SlideShare, September 25, 2020, https://www.slideshare.net/CMI/11th-annual-b2b-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends-insights-for-2021-238645831.
9Content Marketing Institute, “11th Annual B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2021,” SlideShare, September 25, 2020, https://www.slideshare.net/CMI/11th-annual-b2c-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends-insights-for-2021-241725618.
10Jimit Bagadiya, “367 Social Media Statistics You Must Know In 20201,” SocialPilot Technologies, Inc., accessed February 17, 2021, https://www.socialpilot.co/blog/social-media-statistics#tw-engagement-stats.
11Karin Olafson and Tony Tran, “100+ Social Media Demographics that Matter to Marketers in 2021,” Hootsuite (blog), last modified January 27, 2021, https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-demographics/
12“Distribution of Instagram Users Worldwide as of January 2021, by Age and Gender,” Statista, accessed February 17, 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/248769/age-distribution-of-worldwide-instagram-users/.
13Ibid.
14 Karin Olafson and Tony Tran, , “100+ Social Media Demographics that Matter to Marketers in 2021.”
15 Christina Newberry, “44 Instagram Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2021,” Hootsuite (blog), last modified January 6, 2021, https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/#Instagram_usage_statistics.
16” Percentage of U.S. Adults Who Use Instagram as of February 2019, by Educational Background,” Statista, accessed February 17, 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/246208/share-of-us-internet-users-who-use-instagram-by-education-level/.
17 Katie Sehl, “Top Twitter Demographics That Matter to Social Media Marketers,” Hootsuite (blog), last modified May 28, 2020, https://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-demographics/.
18 “Distribution of Twitter Users in the United States as of January 2020, by Gender,” Statista, last modified January 27, 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/678794/united-states-twitter-gender-distribution/ .
19 Andrew Perrin and Monica Anderson, “Share of U.S. Adults Using Social Media, Including Facebook, is mostly Unchanged since 2018,” Pew Research Center, last modified April 10, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/10/share-of-u-s-adults-using-social-media-including-facebook-is-mostly-unchanged-since-2018/.
20 Jimit Bagadiya, “367 Social Media Statistics You Must Know in 2021.”
21 Ibid.
22 Simon Kemp, “Digital 2021: Global Overview Report.”
23 Christina Newberry, “44 Instagram Stats That Matter to Marketers in 2021,” Hootsuite (blog), last modified January 6, 2021, https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/#Instagram_usage_statistics.
24 Aleh Barysevich, “How Social Media Influence 71% of Consumer Buying Decision,” Search Engine Watch, last modified November 20, 2020, https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/11/20/how-social-media-influence-71-consumer-buying-decisions/.
25 Ibid.
26 Brent Barnhart, “Building Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2021,” SproutSocial, last modified January 25, 2021, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-marketing-strategy/.
27 Aleh Barysevich, “How Social Media Influence 71% of Consumer Buying Decision.”
28 3 Ways Digital video has upended shopping as we know it,” Think with Google, Google, last modified July 2018, https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/video/online-video-shopping/
29 “How Does Social Media Influence Consumer Behavior?” Clootrack, accessed February 22, 2021, https://clootrack.com/knowledge_base/how-does-social-media-influence-consumer-behavior/.
30 Simon Kemp, “Digital 2021: Global Overview Report.”
31 Ibid.

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