Social media is changing lives and transforming how we interact with our friends, family, community and businesses. Here’s what you should know about the latest social media statistics for 2021 ⇣.
- Nearly half of the world’s population uses social media.
- An average user spends more than 2 hours per day on social media.
- Almost 40% of small businesses use social media ads to generate revenue.
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared by users on social media.
- Almost 9 out of 10 brands use more than one social media channel.
- On average, Facebook users like 12 posts and comment on 4 posts each month.
- In the U.S., more than 85% of brands offer customer service on Twitter.
- Instagram advertisement engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google.
- 100 Million job applications are posted on LinkedIn every month.
Social media is changing lives and transforming how we interact with our community and businesses
The impact is evident by the fact that more than half of the world is using social media. If Facebook were a country, it would be the largest in the world.
Similarly, our grandparents are the fastest-growing users on Twitter. From virtual appointments with doctors to opening a bank account and responding to natural disasters, social media is transforming our lives.
Here is an overview of the changing landscape and how our communities are feeling the impact of social media.
Social Media Statistics & Trends for 2021
Here is a collection of the most up-to-date social media statistics to give you the current state of what’s happening in 2021 and beyond.
There are approximately 4.2 billion active social media users around the world.
Source: Digital 2021 Global Overview Report ^
Recent data suggest that nearly 53.6% of the global population uses at least one social media platform.
Despite the consistent growth of social media channels, the market continued its development, expanding 13% between 2020 and 2021. Statistics also reveal that the total number of users nearly doubled from 2.31 billion in 2016 to 4.20 billion in 2021.
Experts attribute the surge in the popularity of social media to the widespread use of mobile phones because nearly 4.15 billion users use mobile phones to access their favorite social media platforms.
A typical user spends nearly 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social media.
Source: We Are Social ^
With every passing year, we are spending more time on social media. In 2015, the average user spent 1 hour and 51 minutes on social platforms. The duration has increased 30.65% to 2 hours and 25 minutes in 2021.
The time spent by users in different countries varies significantly. The trend is more visible in developing countries.
For instance, an average user in the Philippines spends 4 hours and 15 minutes on social media channels than only 51 minutes of use per day in Japan.
Facebook is the most widely used social channel used by 2.7 billion active users. Source: Kepios Analysis ^
Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp are the top three most widely used social media platforms globally. YouTube and WhatsApp have almost 2 billion users each. WeChat is the most popular non-US-based brand that has over 1 billion active users.
TikTok, QQ, Douyln, and Sina Weibo are other non-US-based brands that make up the top 10 list. Not every company reveals its numbers. Therefore, experts rely on the active user base and addressable advertising audiences to get measurable statistics.
Leading social media platforms will continue to dominate.
Source: Talkwalker 2021 Social Media Trends Report ^
The latest trends suggest that the leading social media platforms will continue to grab user attention. The top brands have the capabilities and the technology to maintain their dominance.
These social media giants can adapt quickly to the changing trends and counteract the popularity of other channels. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can engage socially conscious audiences and stop the spread of disinformation. The large size of the US and European consumer market means that these regions’ top social media trends will continue to shape the global landscape.
59% of advertisers think that Instagram offers the highest engagement rate among social media channels.
Source: Viral Nation ^
Brands increasingly use social media channels to engage their audience and to communicate with customers. Research suggests that Instagram can offer advertisers more opportunities to engage their clients.
Instead of liking the post and sharing content, the Instagram platform quickly delivers a compelling message, resulting in effective communication. Facebook and Twitter follow Instagram as the most viable channels to engage customers.
On the other end of the spectrum, only 4% of experts voted for YouTube as the most effective channel to engage an audience.
Almost 89% of marketers acknowledge that ROI from influencer marketing is better or comparable to other marketing methods.
Source: MediaKix ^
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses popular social media users to advertise products. In recent years, influencer marketing has gained enormous traction. The increase in the marketing budget is mainly the result of more significant return-on-investment from this method.
Almost 17% of marketers spend more than half of their marketing budget on influencer marketing. As a result, most marketers think that influencer marketing is better than any other form of marketing on social media.
Poor response time is the leading cause of unfollowing a brand on social media.
Source: Social Bakers & Eptica Digital Customer Experience Study ^
Almost 56% of consumers on social media suggest that they will unfollow a brand if they don’t get good customer service. For example, the average response time on Facebook is almost two hours, which is unacceptable.
The extended response time on social media is not practical because most users expect brands to respond within 30 minutes. In comparison, the response time on Twitter is only 33 minutes, closer to consumers’ expectations.
Approximately 57% of customers prefer to use a social media platform to contact customer service.
Source: Ameyo ^
The importance of answering customer inquiries over social media is becoming increasingly important. Only 23% of customers prefer face-to-face interactions when seeking complicated customer service issues.
Therefore, advanced technologies can help handle 67% of social media inquiries without using other customer service channels. A mobile-friendly website can help because almost one-third of consumers use their mobile phones to resolve problems.
The use of social media decreases with age.
Source: Pew Research ^
According to Pew Research, 90% of social media users in the United States aged between 18 and 29 use at least one social media site. In comparison, only 7% of users in this age group used at least one social media platform in 2005.
The use of social media decreases with age as 69% of users aged between 50 and 64 use at least one social media website compared to 82% users aged between 30 and 49. It is also interesting to note that only 40% of social media users aged 65 and above use social media.
More women than men are using social media sites.
Source: Hootsuite ^
Women are increasingly using social media websites. Some websites such as Snapchat and Instagram continue to report higher participation of female audiences compared to males.
In developed countries such as the United States, Scandinavia, West Europe, and Australia, more women use social media than men. In contrast, the participation of women in Southern Asia and the Middle East remains low.
In Southern Asia, 76% of males use social media websites compared to only 24% women. This is a stark contrast to Northern Europe, where females comprise 53% of social media users.
LinkedIn and Facebook remains the top choice of the business community to engage their customers.
Source: Hootsuite ^
LinkedIn is the preferred choice for building a B2B relationship. An overwhelming 86% of organizations consider LinkedIn their best option to enhance B2B partnerships. In contrast, 98% of companies favor Facebook for social media marketing.
Despite the preference, most business managers think that they find it challenging to measure the ROI of their social media spending. Lack of time and staying up to date on social media are also among the top concerns of social media managers.
To reach new customers, social media costs significantly less than traditional channels.
Source: Asset Digital ^
Using social media costs only $75 to reach 2000 potential customers. This is much better than traditional magazine advertising and broadcasting, which costs $500 and $150 to reach the same audiences, respectively.
To keep clients engaged, more than half of the companies post daily on social media websites. Many brands use more than one social media platform to reach their marketing goals. For instance, it is common for brands to simultaneously use LinkedIn and Facebook to communicate with the business community and generate publicity.
Twitter is the go-to social media channel to keep customers updated regarding new product launches and developing news.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you use social media?
Social media is a great tool to get updates on your favorite products. You can use it to get instant notifications related to new updates and product launches.
If you’re a business owner, you should use at least one social media platform to keep your audience engaged. Social media also allows businesses to interact and communicate with customers through regular media posts.
Which social media platform should you use?
The choice of social media platforms mainly depends on the brand you like to follow. However, specific social media platforms are preferred for particular reasons.
For example, Twitter may be a better option if you’re interested in news and product updates. Facebook is known to create brand loyalty as it may be easier to communicate with the brand. Instagram is becoming a top choice for visual content. Similarly, LinkedIn is preferred by businesses for B2B interactions. YouTube remains the top choice for video content.
How frequently should you post on social media?
If you’re a business owner, it is practical to post at least once a week. Most established businesses post daily on their social media profiles. Depending on the industry, you can also post three to four times a week.
Due to multiple products and updates, it is also common for large companies to post many times during the day. In contrast, new businesses prefer to start slowly and increase the post frequency as they grow their businesses.
What is the best time to post on social media?
Experts suggest that the best days to engage your audience is between Tuesday and Friday. The best time to interact with your clients is between 8 am and 2 pm during office hours.
While it may seem strange, but weekends and after-office hours are often less effective because most people use these times to catch-up with their family and pending tasks.