In a world where the top social media platforms boast of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of active users globally, businesses that ignore this marketing channel do so at their own peril. For those that don’t, we’ve prepared the following social media marketing statistics with all the crucial information needed in 2020 to excel in both established and up-and-coming social media platforms.
These stats are divided into relevant categories from a business perspective, starting with some general facts on social media marketing. Those are followed by statistics on aspects like effectiveness and consumer behavior, while the next section covers key trends in social media marketing. Finally, we have some striking platform-specific information for marketers. All of that will help you develop a comprehensive understanding of social media marketing for the new decade.
Approximately 3.5 billion people across the world were using social media in 2019, which is about 45% of the world’s population. In fact, considering that many social media platforms do not allow very young users to sign up, some stats put total social media users at close to 60% of the eligible population. This growth is fueled by the ongoing digitization, which is bringing millions of new users online every week.
(We Are Social)
That’s more than 92% of the total number of social media users. This shows that the use of mobile is more prominent in social media than in overall internet use. This underscores how important it is for digital marketers targeting social media to focus on creating mobile-friendly content.
This is the reason why the numbers of active users across different social media platforms don’t seem to add up. Social media statistics suggest that the average user also spends 2 hours and 16 minutes on social media each day. The degree of engagement varies a lot across different cultures. Users in the Philippines report spending more than 4 hours daily on social media, while Japanese users spend just 36 minutes on average.
While not high as elsewhere, the time Americans spend on social media is still significant compared to other media. Interestingly enough, SMM stats show that this average daily social media time stateside is plateauing. It fell by 1 minute in 2018, having climbed 6 minutes in 2016 and 7 minutes in 2017.
Young consumers are spending more time online than ever before, as the per day average in 2019 stood at seven hours. Brands need to try out unconventional methods to reach out to this age group that already accounts for 40% of global consumers. One of the most likely places to target these consumers is on social media platforms.
In 2019, social media accounted for 13% of the total global ad spend, ranking as the third-largest advertising channel, behind TV and paid search. Much of this growth is driven by SMBs that are investing heavily in digital marketing in general, and social media marketing in particular. At the same time, this growth rate is expected to slow down in the coming years, to 17% in 2020 and 13% in 2021.
The examples of each are Facebook, LinkedIn; Pinterest, Flipboard; Digg, Reddit; YouTube, TikTok; Twitter, Tumblr; and Blogger, Reddit, respectively. It must be noted that the same platform can provide multiple types of social media services. For example, Instagram can be seen as both a social network and a media sharing service. Some people also include other kinds of services as part of social media. These include social review sites (TripAdvisor, Goodreads), community blogs (Tumblr, Medium), and sharing economy networks (Airbnb, Kickstarter).
The app reached the figure of 500 million active users within three years following its launch in 2016, 150 million of whom are based in China. The app was the third-most downloaded app in Google Play Store in Q1 2019 and the most downloaded app in the Apple App Store. Check out our TikTok statistics to learn more about this platform that has taken US teens by storm.
This is more than companies working in B2C services (11.6%), B2B services (12.6%), and B2B products (9.4%). The social media marketing budget is obviously higher (17.1%) for companies that have 10% or more of their sales coming through the internet, compared to those with no sales (10.1%) or less than 10% of sales (10.7%) from the internet. The smallest companies (less than $25 million in revenues) spend more on social media marketing (14.7%), as they look for low-cost ways to compete.
(The CMO Survey 2019)
Despite the slowdown of social media advertising growth, marketers do believe that overall social media marketing spend will continue to rise. The expected marketing budget shares of social media marketing in the next five years are projected at 24.6% (B2C products), 23.7% (B2C services), 23.0% (B2B services), and 20.7% (B2B products). For companies with 10% or more sales from the internet, the share is expected to grow to 27.6%, compared to 20.7% for those with no sales and 20.8% for those with less than 10% sales from the internet.
(The CMO Survey 2019)
It’s well-known that social media has moved far beyond the days when it was used only for sharing personal updates and catching up with friends. Social media users don’t just follow brands they are familiar with; they actively research products, using resources like peer reviews and recommendations, how-to-videos, etc., and consequently make purchase decisions.
The exact percentage of marketers relying on social media is difficult to come by, with some sources claiming more than 95%. Facebook, which is the most widely used platform for marketing, had an already high 86.3% penetration rate among US marketers in 2018. This rate inched up to 86.8% in 2019 and is expected to climb to 87.1% in 2020.
Fewer than 8% of marketers believe that social media marketing is “somewhat ineffective” or “very ineffective”. Another 19.1% are uncertain because calculating ROI for social media is more difficult than it is for other marketing channels. However, with 77% of consumers saying they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media, digital marketing professionals are increasingly confident in the benefits of social media marketing, with nearly 90% seeing it as very or somewhat important to their overall strategy.
Other important benefits include more inbound traffic, improved search engine rankings, higher conversion rates, better customer satisfaction, improved brand loyalty (especially among young consumers), greater brand authority, access to key marketplace insights, and industry thought leadership.
(Blue Fountain Media)
Social media marketing effectiveness statistics show that this channel helps cut the effort involved in marketing without having to sacrifice the results. Even just a few hours a week has proven to deliver positive results for many businesses, as long as this time is spent with a proper strategy on having a conversation with your customers and targeting them with appropriate content.
Social media marketing statistics clearly demonstrate that investing in building a strong social media presence positively impacts online traffic. That said, it’s not just online traffic that improves through social media marketing. 78% of consumers also report visiting a brand’s physical store, if it exists, after following it on social media. This means that even if a brand doesn’t rely on online sales, it still makes sense to invest in social media.
Apart from simply being able to reach customers better through relevant digital media, social media statistics for business point to more reasons for higher spending by consumers. These include the perception of a closer relationship, easier availability of information, and faster response to queries and issues.
Marketers don’t just ensure better direct lead generation and conversion through social media. Nearly three-fourths of satisfied customers are likely to recommend strongly performing brands to the people in their network, amplifying the effect of marketing efforts.
Another study reveals that 84% of sharing of business-related content takes place outside of social networks, on channels like email, instant messenger, and SMS. This means that while it’s useful for companies to focus on the whisper in their own social media channels, they also need to go beyond and monitor unbranded conversations to gain potentially valuable insights for their social media marketing strategies.
Social media marketing growth statistics suggest that marketers expect nearly a 2x increase in the value of the influencer marketing industry between 2019 and 2022. Instagram, the current influencer marketing leader, is expected to continue its fast accumulation of users. Marketers continue to see the utility of influencers, with nearly 70% finding influencer marketing very effective or somewhat effective for business. Experts also predict a shift away from influencers on niche blogs to those on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
Social media marketing ROI statistics show that only 20.3% of marketers think they can quantify the impact of social media marketing. It is clear that the conventional method of calculating ROI purely in terms of profit vs. investment doesn’t provide the full picture of the benefits of social media marketing.
Engagement on social media meanwhile is measured through factors such as likes, shares, and comments, as well as interaction with the brand, discussions, and user sentiment. Social media ROI statistics further point to factors such as traffic (51%), leads (48%), sales (43%), reach (36.4%), and brand perception (22.5%).
This low rating has remained roughly constant over the last few years. Similarly, companies self-score an average of 4.3 on being able to link social media to the firm’s marketing strategy. This is where various social media marketing tools come in, including services like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Rival IQ, and hundreds of others used for social media analytics.
(The CMO Survey 2019)
Social media marketing stats further show that 90% of social media users have already used these platforms to communicate with a business, underscoring the importance of social customer care. This includes not only helping customers with prompt resolution of issues through social media networks but also ensuring the overall brand message is consistent with other marketing channels.
Unfortunately for social media marketers, the same study also reveals that only 8% of consumers agree with this stat. This points to a mismatch between what customers want and what businesses believe customers want. The full benefits of social media marketing are available to those brands that can make sense of the deluge of data coming their way through various social media channels, draw useful insights, and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
Overall, 22% of Gen Z and millennial internet users in the US used TikTok in 2019. While this is still far behind established social media players like YouTube and Facebook, the growing popularity of TikTok, a platform that has garnered 500 million monthly active users within three years of its launch, is likely to redefine the strategies marketers use to reach young customers.
Despite TikTok’s rapid growth, social media advertising statistics show that tapping into its popularity to reach customers is still new and relatively difficult for social media marketers. TikTok’s ad platform’s beta version was released only in April 2019, and ads are still rare and relatively expensive compared to other platforms, including Instagram, its closest rival in terms of content type and user base.
Instagram Stories has been one of the most popular new features from the last few years, with more than 500 million people using it every day, according to the latest Instagram Stories stats. Its popularity among users has also encouraged its quick adoption by marketers, with at least 50% of businesses on Instagram worldwide creating at least one story in a typical month. Some analysts further reckon that sharing through Instagram Stories has already surpassed sharing through the platform’s regular feed.
Realizing that the ephemeral format of stories, first introduced by Snapchat, is a huge hit with users, Facebook has introduced the feature across its entire family of apps. The aggressive play has worked out well, with social media ads statistics showing that millions of advertisers have now bought Stories ads across the Facebook family to target the one-third of the platform’s users who are posting or watching Stories every day.
The affinity for UGC among millennials is even stronger, with 86% saying that such content is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service. With media sharing platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok available to marketers, using UGC to make inroads into their targeted segments can be a helpful strategy in 2020. Social media marketing statistics suggest that brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product videos.
Despite several signs that messaging apps have become extremely popular — they counted 2.52 billion users worldwide in 2019 — most marketers don’t seem to be making use of this channel. Marketers would be surprised to learn that the top messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have 20% more monthly active users than social networks. Stats on social media marketing also show that more than 50% of consumers prefer messaging over all other channels to communicate with companies.
Much of this growth came from Facebook Gaming, which saw a whopping 210% surge in hours watched, a 6% increase in streamers, and a 78% rise in the average number of viewers per hour. Its main rival, Amazon’s Twitch is seeing new non-gaming growth avenues. In another sign of the popularity of live streaming, Facebook Live stats show that 1 in 4 videos on the platform is live-streamed, while the service’s daily watch time has been doubling every year.
Experts on social media marketing trends say that combining social media marketing with augmented reality could boost sales for e-commerce businesses. Instagram is already testing an AR functionality for ads to let users try on products like sunglasses and lipstick before purchasing them. AR in advertising is also considered useful for encouraging impulse purchases, which, digital marketing statistics show, young consumers are particularly prone to make.
Instagram has introduced shoppable posts for a few brands, letting users purchase products directly through them. A feature called Instagram Checkout lets users complete the entire purchase process without stepping away from the platform. This blending of social media and e-commerce is already being used by over 130 million Instagrammers every month, according to social media marketing stats.
One of the most important current digital marketing trends is using Big Data for marketing strategies and developing the capability to automate certain market responses in specific customer scenarios. Social media is an important source of customer data for predictive analytics, meaning that companies at the forefront of this marketing domain can also use it to improve their future strategies.
(The Next Scoop)
Engagement rates vary across industries even for a single platform. On average, however, Instagram provides 10 times higher engagement to brands compared to Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
CPMs vary significantly across platforms and industries. On average, however, Facebook is the most expensive, with a CPM of $9.06. For LinkedIn, the figure is $6.05. Social media marketing industry stats for CPC, however, rate Facebook as the cheapest, at $0.51. The CPCs for Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are $0.53, $1.28, and $5.61, respectively.
With a billion monthly active users, Instagram is particularly popular among young social media users, with more than 70% of its active users under 34. Half of these users also follow at least one brand. The platform’s young user base, high engagement rate, and multiple ways of presenting brand information all work out great for marketers. Instagram marketing statistics also show that 83% of Instagrammers discover new products and services on the platform.
59% also cited too much negativity as a reason, followed by issues such as tiresome political posts (58%) and privacy concerns (57%), according to social media marketing stats. Better alternative social media options, and the presence of parents and relatives on Facebook, are also fairly common reasons for the decline in the social network’s use.
Another indication that SMBs are driving social media advertising’s growth is that Facebook, which has over 140 million businesses using its family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp) is seeing its advertiser base getting more diverse, according to Facebook stats. Slowly but surely, SMBs are also realizing that social media platforms offer great benefits like targeting and localization.
Other social media traffic stats sources claim an even higher figure — nearly 8 billion. According to Facebook video statistics, a total of 100 million hours of video are watched on the platform every day. While both these figures are lower than those for YouTube, the social network’s main rival in the video stakes, Facebook has 500 million users of video on a daily basis, far above YouTube’s daily user base.
Facebook also scores massively in terms of money earned through video ads. It made $6.8 billion (including videos on Instagram) in 2018, compared to YouTube’s video ads earnings of $3.4 billion. Social media marketing facts show that in-feed Facebook and Instagram videos are used by marketers to capture user attention and build brand awareness.
The platform’s users have saved over 200 billion pins as of date. Over one-third of the monthly active users are US-based. The platform has maintained a 30% year-on-year increase in MAU, while its Q2 2019 revenue climbed about 62% year-on-year to just over 261 million.
Pinterest’s visual nature makes it more engaging for users and a great marketing tool for brands. The latest Pinterest stats show that 77% of weekly Pinners, as the platform’s users are known, have discovered a new brand or product, while 83% have made a purchase based on content seen on the platform.
Among the most notable social media marketing facts for businesses is that LinkedIn’s advantage is that a high percentage of its users are in senior positions in various organizations, giving marketers access to key decision-makers. According to LinkedIn statistics, at least 90 million of its users are senior-level influencers, and 63 million are in decision-making positions. Given its specific advantages, the platform remains relevant, posting revenue of $6.7 billion in 2019, up from $5.2 billion in 2018.
Social media stats for business further show that the platform is particularly popular among B2B marketers, with 95% using it for organic content marketing. 65% of B2B marketers have used LinkedIn for paid ads to acquire customers, while 45% of marketers report having gained customers through it. All these factors make LinkedIn the top-rated social media platform among B2B content marketers.
Snapchat statistics show that the platform has been steadily increasing its user base, adding 7 million daily active users in Q3 2019 alone. Social media traffic stats further show that the average number of daily Snaps has now grown to more than 3.5 billion. The platform remains the most popular among young social media users, having reached 90% among 13 to 24-year-olds in the US, who also consider it the most important social media platform.
Snapchat Discover has been a very popular feature among both users and social media marketing companies. The feature shows ad-supported short-form content from third-party publishers, and the audience watching it daily grew by an impressive 35% in 2019. The feature is also the main reason for the platform’s ARPU increasing to $1.91 in Q2 2019 from $1.40 in Q1 2018.
That social media marketing needs to be a critical component of every business’s marketing machinery today is indisputable. Marketers, however, need what their customers want when devising their social media strategies. These social media marketing statistics show that much still remains to be done by brands so that they can move closer to meeting their customers’ expectations.