Top Social Media Statistics for Building a Social Media Strategy for 2021

by Hassaan Khan
10 minutes
Social media

Have you ever noticed social media experts and digital marketers often quote social media statistics in their articles or videos?

Since social media statistics help businesses and individuals understand the current state of social media, which helps them determine the strategies for the next 12 to 18 months from a social media attention standpoint.

Establishing a proactive social media strategy isn’t a piece of cake. Most businesses and individuals you come across don’t keep up with their social media publishing; they go all in for a limited period and ghost for a couple of weeks. A vast majority don’t pay attention to it; either because they have no idea about it or they aren’t ready to spend their time and money.

If you have been one of those individuals or businesses who haven’t allocated your energy and resources to building a social media strategy so far, then some social media statistics would change your mind. Let’s admit that today social media is known for its diversity, wide reach, and effective communication. It’s also true that social media has never been this important.

Every business out there is trying to reach more prospects using the resources available at their disposal. It’s understandable that businesses are throwing a lot of money into social media advertising to capitalize on social media attention. It does seem normal that social media is an essential part of today’s marketing arsenal.

As far as an infusion of social media into marketing is concerned, such decisions don’t happen until companies look through the data or social media insights. The analysis provides them with a better understanding of making informed decisions.

It’s mind-boggling to comprehend that just a single social media platform has over 2 billion users. Moreover, there are a handful of mainstream social media platforms to keep an eye on for building an effective social media strategy for 2021 and beyond.

There are a bunch of such social media statistics that I want you to wrap your head around. Before spilling a number of social media statistics, it’s important for everyone to be clear about what I mean by social media statistics.

What are Social Media Statistics?

Social media statistics are insights across all major social media platforms that indicate the popularity of the platform, the number of active users, and the amount of content being uploaded on different social media platforms.

These social media statistics turn out to be important data as it gives signals to the end-users about the opportunities and attention on every top-tier social media network. Social media experts, marketers, and agencies use such data for assessing the scope of the social media platform for the next few years to come.

Furthermore, marketing agencies and SAAS companies do surveys and publish reports for user engagement and content marketing. Businesses and social media activists are keen to get their hands on such reports to understand social media trends as well as a quote in their content.

Why Social Media Statistics Matter in Building a Social Media Strategy

Building social media strategies requires some due diligence, and one of the fundamental steps of establishing a social media strategy is choosing the right social media platform to jump on and get started with it. However, the platform selection doesn’t happen on a whim, but instead, it takes time to comprehend social media trends.

One of the convenient methods of understanding the popularity of social media platforms is looking through the survey reports for finding social media statistics. The reason is that social media statistics showcase where the audience’s attention lies at the moment and how far the social media platform has come.

The social media statistics give experts and businesses a sense of direction from a social media engagement standpoint. Once the path has been determined, it means a clear social media strategy has been crafted, which includes:

  • Who the target audience is
  • What demographics do they belong to
  • What social media platforms do they exist on
  • What they’re interested in
  • What you need to cater to them

It’s been learned through experience that putting out social media content without a clear roadmap leads nowhere. On the contrary, if we put out content that followers are genuinely interested in would go a long way.

I recently asked my YouTube subscribers in the community section that what their area of interest is, and that’s how they responded to me:

Even though the sample size isn’t big enough, but it’s fine as the poll is created two days ago. More subscribers would respond to it once it gets a week older or so. Anyway, now I have this data to create relevant and compelling content that might interest them.

It isn’t just me who thinks surveying your audience is a great way of understanding what your audience wants.

I stumbled upon Liz Ryan‘s poll on LinkedIn; she was surveying about her followers’ age groups:

As you can see how this survey data helps social media influencers and enthusiasts in understanding their audience’s needs, it’s vital to pay close attention to social media statistics to see a wider picture. When you get access to the social media statistics, it gives you a perspective on establishing a social media strategy.

Let’s dive deep into some of the important social media statistics that every business, marketer, entrepreneur, and blogger should know.

Top Social Media Statistics for Building a Social Media Strategy for 2021

Let me shed some light on some of the interesting social media statistics across different social media survey reports:

Facebook is the leading social media platform

It’s been learned through a WeAreSocial article that despite many challenges, Facebook continues to dominate the social media stage. It has been a leading social media platform as the total active monthly users crossed the historic 2.5 billion mark back in 2019. Furthermore, the giant social media platform continues to grow in 2020-21.

However, the noticeable point is that advertisers weren’t able to reach the total number of monthly active users. Instead, only 1.95 billion users were accessible through Facebook advertising.

One of Facebook’s success stories is Facebook Messenger. It’s fascinating to see how Facebook transformed its chat tool; it began with a messaging feature and now it has turned into a stand-alone platform. Facebook Messenger caters to over 1300 million monthly active users, which is phenomenal.

Interestingly, digital marketers and businesses can reach one-third of all the world’s adults aged 18 and above, as well as more than half of all the world’s adults aged 18 to 34 through various tools available at their disposal.

These mind-blogging statistics about Facebook are a vital signal for social media influencers, experts, and professionals whose bread and butter depends on social media platforms.

TikTok is the sixth most used social media app

TikTok has been a major social media success story in 2019-20. The Chinese social media giant has become the sixth most popular social media app in the world. It’d be hard to believe if you haven’t had any sort of interaction with the app. As far as TikTok numbers are concerned, it has amassed 800 million monthly active users. However, 500 million users are from China alone, which amounts to 80% of the total user base, and 300 million from the rest of the world. TikTok had gained a massive user base in India before it got banned in the country; the Indian user base was amount to 10% of the total users.

It’s important to look at it from the social media marketing standpoint as it rapidly climbed up the social media platforms leaderboard. Plus, the TikTok influencers are getting an insane amount of views on their 15-second videos. So the staggering viewership indicates the audience’s attention on the platform, which is the key to building a social media strategy for any brand or individual.

Reddit is a rapidly growing social media platform

Reddit has made it to the list of growing social media platforms in 2019. According to the Digital 2020 Reports, Reddit has been one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. Despite the fact that Reddit is a bit different from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it has always been an interesting social media network for niche audiences.

The platform’s monthly active user numbers have surged by 30 percent. What’s more interesting is that Reddit has gained new 100 million users in just one year. Most of you might not be active on this platform, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a mainstream social media platform.

The reports suggest that the platform now attracts 430 million users each month. It’s anticipated that Reddit would continue to grow in the next few years, which puts this platform among the leading social media networks on the internet.

Pinterest continues to grow

Pinterest is one of the popular social media platforms that has grown in the past five years. The platform is typically known for attracting the female audience, especially in fashion, home and decor, entrepreneurship, and health genres. However, the male audience has also registered their existence over the past few years. Overall Pinterest marketing has top-notch popularity among marketers these days.

The upward trajectory of the growing number of users tells the story as the image-sharing platform’s active user base grew by 29 percent over the past year. Pinterest has managed to grasp 70 million new monthly active users over the last 12 months. Therefore, the total active monthly users reached 322 million at the start of 2020. Meanwhile, the company has also added new countries to its advertising targeting options, resulting in attracting more businesses towards the platform.

Pinterest reports that 169 million Pinterest users can be reached through their advertising platform, which opens a new window of marketing opportunities for businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs. Furthermore, 72% of the ad audience is female, which shows the potential for female-dominating niches.

Facebook and Instagram are favorite platforms of Millennials and Gen Z

Millennial is the generation born between 1981 to 1996, whereas Gen Z refers to the generation that was born between 1996 to 2010. However, these brackets may not be accurate because various sources suggest slightly different age brackets for these generations.

When it comes to social media, Millennials and Gen Z are vital to the growth, virality, and success of any social media platform. The Social Bakers social media trends report tells that Millennials and Gen Z’s favorite social media platforms are Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram turned out to be the most popular choice for the 25-34 age bracket, especially the females. The next up was 18-24 and 35-44 age groups. Similarly, Facebook seemed to be popular among the 25-34 age group, followed by 35-44 and 18-24 age groups.

Facebook and YouTube are dominant in the United States

Facebook and YouTube are the most used social media platforms in the United States. According to the Pew Social Media Facts Sheet, Facebook and YouTube are the dominant players in the U.S. social media market.

It’s been learned that the Pew Research Center began analyzing the trend of social media adoption in 2005, and just 5% of American adults were using at least one of these platforms back then. The percentage of social media users to half by 2011, and it’s gone to 72% in 2019.

The surveys conducted between 2012 to 2019 suggest that 69% of the U.S. adults were using Facebook in 2019 and 73% of the adults were using YouTube. Instagram is the third social media platform that’s climbing up the ladder as 37% of the adults were found using Instagram.

However, other social media platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter didn’t seem to make an eye-opening increase during the period.

Furthermore, 74% of the adults were using Facebook on a daily basis and 17% on a weekly basis. On the other hand, 51% of the adults were using YouTube on a daily basis and 32% on a weekly basis.

An average user spends three hours daily on social media

Social media is addicted so much so that we don’t realize that we are in this trap that sucks our time and attention. Our meal gets cold when we want the best picture for Instagram, or we spend time retaking the shots for the best vacation YouTube video.

Do these things sound familiar? Aren’t we all are guilty of scrolling through the social media feeds for minutes just to find out something fun and exciting?

According to GlobalWebIndex 2019, an average user spends 3 hours daily on social media. The weird thing is that it doesn’t surprise any of us as we do spend a lot of time on social media.

The purpose of quoting this social media stat isn’t to discourage users from using social media. Sure, there are countless opportunities waiting for all of us; people get hired through social media, or find a new client, or become influencers.

Undoubtedly, the perks are there, but when we strive to get riches at the cost of our time, energy, and money, it’s a bit unfair thing to do to ourselves. Creating a balance is the way forward.

Consumers trust influencers’ recommendations

Influencer marketing is a rapidly growing marketing trend, and the influencers are cashing in on the attention, followers’ loyalty, and social media engagement. It has opened a new door of opportunities, not just for content creators but also for brands to market their products. In today’s day and age, an average 12-year old might not know a handful of celebrities, but this youngster would have favorite YouTubers to follow. The grown-ups even go to YouTube for tech reviews, or to find a tutorial on fixing the computer. Isn’t that right?

According to Fourcommunication, 49% of the shoppers revealed that their purchase decisions are influenced by the influencers’ recommendations. No wonder brands are turning towards influencer marketing and paying close attention to it.

Influencer marketing hasn’t just revamped the marketing but also added a new pillar to social media marketing. Not too long ago, social media marketing used to revolve around Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube ads. Now influencer marketing companies are helping brands connect with the influencers.

Advertisers Prefer Instagram over Facebook due to Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have been the talk of the town among social media advertisers. There is a shift of ad dollars happening from Facebook to Instagram. The influx of advertisers from Facebook to Instagram is due to the rise of Instagram growth with Instagram stories.

According to Digiday, Merkle’s clients’ ad spend on Instagram was 23 percent more than Facebook. Smirnoff ad spends on Instagram Stories was also spiked in 2018.

Social media experts believe that one of the major reasons why brands aren’t reluctant to spend money on Instagram ads is due to the attention of the younger audience on the platform.

Digiday quoted an infographic (based on a survey of 1000 people in the UK) from VidMob, which revealed that 63% of the millennials consume Instagram stories, 49% prefer Snapchat, and 44% use Facebook Stories.

A Vast Majority of Social Media Users Access Social Networks on the Mobile Devices

Social media and mobile technology seem to be going hand-in-hand, and rightly so. According to this article, 91% of social media users access social media on mobile devices. It’s not a surprise that social media platforms are accessed on mobile devices more than desktops.

The IT, Tech, and Publishing industries are rapidly moving towards mobile-friendly interfaces to cope with future challenges. Google appears to be a long-time advocate of providing a seamless mobile-friendly experience to website visitors. The search engine rolled out a mobile-first indexing system, which means mobile-friendliness is a major ranking factor in the SERP.

You don’t have to be a social media guru to connect the dots that social media is now predominantly a mobile-centered realm. Do you know Gary Vaynerchuk once revealed that he keeps an eye on the top 100 apps in the App Store? The takeaway is that whether you’re a brand or a consumer, ignore the mobile phone and apps means you’re likely to miss out on a lot of social media opportunities.

What Will Your Social Media Strategy for 2021 Be Like?

I have shared a handful of social media statistics that would essentially assist you in shaping your social media strategy for 2021.

Some businesses keep an eye on the influencers to steer their social media marketing, while others hop on various social media trends. However, it’s always important to grasp the ground realities and keep an eye on the emerging trends.

When you go through several social media statistics gathered through multiple sources, building a social media strategy becomes more convenient than ever.

We at ContentStudio strive to deliver valuable social media marketing tips to the audience, prospects, and customers across the globe. We’d be thrilled to find out what you’re going to take away from this blog post.

Does this guide help you in choosing the right social media platform for you?

I can’t wait to see what you have to say about this.

Hassaan Khan

Hassaan is a blogger and freelance writer. He has published articles on SEMrush, ThriveGlobal, BlogPress, FreelancerMap, and many other popular publications. He writes about freelancing techniques, tips, and career growth. Subscribe to his blog.

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