If you’re searching for the latest social media marketing trends and statistics, then this is the guide for you. Social media’s impact on society continues to grow. 50% of Gen Z and millennial users now use social media to decide on their product purchases, compared to 38% of adults overall. Social media is fast changing with innovations happening every quarter. Feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start? We got you covered.
In this article, we’ll break down the key trends and statistics you need to know about social media marketing worldwide. Data is collected from trusted sources like eMarketer, GWI, Statista, Pew Research and other large research firms.
Table of Contents
- Social media ad spending based on device
- Social media advertising spends per user worldwide
- Social media advertising spend per user worldwide, by device
- Countries with the most social media advertising spends
- Most popular digital marketing channels
- Type of content marketers product
- Fortune 500 social media activities
- Social media marketing and automation
- Benefits of using social media marketing
- Social media effectiveness to drive sales
- Top tactics to drive virtual registrations – rated by marketers
- Ability to prove ROI and impact on Social Media Marketing
- Impact of social media marketing on online shopping orders
- Top media companies and brands based on advertising revenue
- Most valuable media and entertainment brands based on brand value
- Number of social media users in the world
- Most popular social media platforms
- Why do people use social media.
- Instagram is the most used social media platform for Gen Z audiences
- Do people follow brand and influencers on social media
- Shoppers who believe social media can be used to discover new products
- Trust in social media platforms, advertising and marketing
- Time spent on Social media
- How is news consumed on social media
Social media ad spending based on device
The global social media advertising market was valued at USD 181.2 billion in 2021. If we break that down by devices, approximately 35 billion dollars spent on desktops, and 146 billion dollars spent on mobile devices. It is expected that the market will be valued at USD 358 billion by 2026.
|Year||Social Media |
Ad Spending On Desktop (Billions USD)
|Social Media |
Ad Spending On Mobile (Billions USD)
Social media advertising spends per user worldwide
In 2020, the amount spent on advertisement per user worldwide increased by around 3.5 U.S. dollars to 28.3 U.S. dollars. By 2025, advertising spending per user is expected to increase to nearly 40 U.S. dollars, according to Statista.
|Year – Social network ad spending per user worldwide||US Dollars|
Social media advertising spend per user worldwide, by device
In 2020, social media advertisements amounted to 28.30 U.S. dollars per user worldwide. Most of this money was spent on mobile advertisements, which averaged 22.4 U.S. dollars per user. By 2025, Statista estimates that advertising spending per user in this segment will reach over 33 U.S. dollars.
|Social network advertising spend per user worldwide, by device (US dollars)||Social Media Advertising Desktop (US Dollars)||Social Media Advertising Mobile (US Dollars)|
Countries with the most social media advertising spends
United States is the country with the highest advertising spends worldwide ($80.6B), followed by China ($80.5B), United Kingdom ($12B), Japan ($8B), Germany ($4B), Canada ($3B), Australia ($3B), France ($3B), South Korea ($2.9B), Italy ($2.2B).
|Countries||Advertising Spends millions US Dollars|
Most popular digital marketing channels
44% of marketers – B2C and B2B – use social media in their marketing mix, making it the most popular digital marketing platform. Social media ranked higher than website/blog (36%) which was the second most popular digital marketing channels. Website/blog was previously the most popular platform in 2020.
|Digital marketing channels Marketers are using worldwide||Percentage of Total Marketers|
Type of content marketers product
Pre-produced videos are the most popular type of content – Over 81% marketers rely on this format, while 13% say they plan to use pre-produced videos. 73% of marketers they currently use Livestream videos as well, making it the second most popular content type products by Marketers. The least used content type is Virtual experiences (46%) with 33% of marketers report they plan to use more virtual experiences.
|Type of Content produced by Marketers||Currently use||Plan to use|
|User-generated content (UGC)||60%||33%|
|Virtual customer communities||57%||29%|
Fortune 500 social media activities
According to Statista, Fortune 500 companies increased their Instagram posting activity by 200% in the second quarter of 2022. There has been an increase of 133 percent in their Instagram video posts. However, user engagement only increased by nine percent. However, user engagement with Twitter posts rose by 263%, with posting and video posting activity rising only by 17% and 22%, respectively.
|Type of Social Media Activities of Fortune 500 companies||YouTube|
|Increase in posts||200%||16%||17%|
|Increase in videos||133%||27%||22%||77%|
|Increase in engagement||9%||10%||263%||81%|
Social media marketing and automation
47% of marketers reported that they relied on automation for their social media marketing efforts. Email marketing was the most automated marketing channel, according to 65% of respondents.
|Marketing channels using automation worldwide||Percentage of Marketing professionals|
|Social media management||47%|
|Workflows / automation visualization||16%|
|Sales funnel communications||14%|
|Dynamic web forms||12%|
Benefits of using social media marketing
Statista mentioned that the top benefits of social media marketing includes increased exposure (88% of respondents), increased traffic (79%), lead generation (69%), developing loyalty (61%), improving sales (60%), gaining audience insights (56%), and growing business partnerships (50%).
|Leading benefits of using social media by Marketers||Percentage of respondents|
|Developed loyal fans||61%|
|Provided marketplace insight||56%|
|Grew business partnerships||50%|
Social media effectiveness to drive sales
Social media is rated the 2nd best way to generate sales (18.9% of small medium business respondents). The most effective channel would be e-mail marketing as chosen by 36.1% of respondents.
|Digital marketing channels most effective in driving sales||Percentage of SMBs|
|Social media marketing||18.90|
|Web push notifications||1.70|
Top tactics to drive virtual registrations – rated by marketers
With the increase of webinar usage (+162% YoY, according to ON24), marketers are constantly on the lookout for the best ways to drive registrations. 80% of marketers rated the website is the most essential tool for driving registrations. 60% of respondents rated social media as on of the top three channels to drive virtual registrations.
|Leading methods of driving registrations to virtual events||Percentage of Respondents|
Ability to prove ROI and impact on Social Media Marketing
65% of marketers responded that they are are either uncertain or they disagree that ROI on social media can be measured. Only 5% and 30% strongly agree and agree (respectively).
|Marketers are able to measure ROI and Impact on Social media marketing||Percentage of Respondents|
Impact of social media marketing on online shopping orders
The average value of online shopping coming from social media marketing increased by 12% from Q1’22 to Q2’22, although direct navigation continues to be the most impactful overall.
|Average value of online shopping orders by traffic source, (US Dollars)||Direct navigation||Search||Social|
Top media companies and brands based on advertising revenue
According to Statista, Google is the largest media platform with a total USD 192 billion advertising revenue. Facebook, Bytedance, Alibaba, and Amazon are the next largest with 114.9B, 38.60B, 31.50B, and 31.20B in ad revenue respectively.
|Size of Media Platform based on Revenue, in billions US Dollar)||Total estimated revenue in billions|
Most valuable media and entertainment brands based on brand value
Based on brand value, Google is the largest brand in the world, worth 458B. Other top brands include Tencent (240.93B), Facebook (226.74B), Instagram (82.9B), Netflix (71.13B), Disney (55.22B), YouTube (47.10B), TikTok (44.52B), LinkedIn (35.52B), Baidu (23.36B), Snapchat (21.61B), and Spotify (19.28B).
|Most valuable media and entertainment brands and companies (based on brand value)||In Billion USD|
Number of social media users in the world
The use of social media continue to grow. In 2017, there were 2.73B social media users in the world and it is projected to increase to 5.85B in 2027 – That is almost double the growth. For context, there are estimated 7B people in the world, which means almost 83% of the world will rely on social media by 2027.
|Number of Social Media Users worldwide by year||In billions|
Most popular social media platforms
Facebook had the most monthly active users worldwide (2.9B users). The other platforms top 20 platforms include YouTube (2.5B users), WhatsApp (2B users), Instagram (1.4B users), Weixin/Wechat (1.2B users), TikTok (1B users), Facebook messenger (988M users), Douyin (600M users), QQ (574M users), Sina weibo (573M users), Kuaishou (573M users), Snapchat (557M users), Telegram (550M users), Pinterest (444M users), Twitter (436M users), Reddit (430M users), and Quora (300M users).
|Most popular social networks as of Jan 2022||Monthly active users (in millions)|
|Weixin / WeChat||1,263|
Why do people use social media.
47.6% of respondents mentioned that they use social media to keep in touch with friends and family. The other top reasons include filling spare time (36.3%), reading news stories (35.1%), and finding content (31.6%). The common theme is staying up dated with the world and discovering new content.
|Top reasons why people use social media||Percentage of respondents|
|Keeping in touch with friends and family||47.60|
|Filling spare time||36.30|
|Reading news stories||35.10|
|Seeing what’s being talked about||29.50|
|Finding inspiration for things to do and buy||27.70|
|Finding products to purchase||26.30|
|Sharing and discussing opinions with others||24.50|
|Making new contacts||23.90|
|Watching live streams||23.80|
|Seeing content for your favorite brands||23.10|
|Work-related networking and research||22.90|
|Finding like-minded communities and interest groups||22.10|
|Watching or following sports||22|
|Following celebrities or influencers||21.70|
|Posting about your life||21.40|
|Avoiding missing out on things (FOMO)||21.30|
|Supporting and connecting with good causes||17.40|
Top reasons people use specific social media platforms
Users have formed different expectations when visiting each social media platform. For smaller companies with lesser marketing resources, there isn’t a need to expand and be always-on on all social channels. The reasons a user might use a social network isn’t exclusive. For e.g. Users use both LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up to date with the world/news. Instead, focus on whether your target audience is targetable and present on each of these platforms to decide where to double down on. For example, if you’re targeting a B2B audience, LinkedIn would be a better place since they have comprehensive B2B targeting capabilities.
Instagram is the most used social media platform for Gen Z audiences
According to GWI, Instagram is the most used social media platform monthly by Gen Z audiences. While the number of users on TikTok grew by 32% YoY, most of these users were Gen X and Baby boomers. Apps like TikTok is giving audience bursts of short inspirations and fresh perspectives. When it comes to absolute number of users, Instagram is still the most used social media platform for Gen Z.
Do people follow brand and influencers on social media
According to GWI, 33% of Gen Z (age 16-23) respondents mentioned that they use social media to follow brands, while 36% of millennials (age 24-37) and 31% of Gen X (age 38-56) reported following brands they purchase from or are about to purchase from. 28% of Gen Z respondents also follow influencers and experts on social media. Millennials (23%) and Gen X (16%) also use social media to follow influencers.
|Age group||Percentage following Brands they purchase from/are considering purchasing from||Percentage who follows Influencers or other experts|
|Gen Z (16-23)||33%||28%|
|Gen X (38-56)||31%||16%|
Shoppers who believe social media can be used to discover new products
49% of Gen Z shoppers reported social media being their preferred destination to discover new products. Millennials (49%) and Gen X (27%) also mentioned social media is used to find new products, other than online search.
|Global shoppers who believe social media is a better place to discover new products than online search||Agree||Strongly agree|
Trust in social media platforms, advertising and marketing
48% of respondents in India reported that they trust social media advertising. United Arab Emirates (45%), Mexico (39%), Poland (38%) are the other top 5 countries who trust social media advertising.
|Trust in social media advertising in different countries||Percentage of Respondents|
|United Arab Emirates||45%|
Trust in social platforms has been in decline since 2021. Every social platform declined in overall trust from users. Sentiment regarding security (e.g. privacy), community (e.g. safety), and ad relevance are scored lower than 2021 benchmarks.
Pinterest and LinkedIn remain the most trusted social media platforms. Pinterest edged out LinkedIn by a slim margin based on perceptions of security and ad relevance.
Social media is rated the least trusted source in 2022 when compared with search engines, traditional media, and owned media. Social media has the largest decrease in trust, by 8%, compared to 2021. France, Germany, Canada are the least-trusting countries for Social Media.
Time spent on Social media
According to GWI, the time spend on social media has tapered off from it’s highest in Q2 2020 (2 hours and 30 mins) back to pre-pandemic levels 3 years ago.
This year, participants have expressed more interest in travelling more (+24%) and spending less time on social media (+9%), according to GWI. A reduction in the number of views or clicks in marketing campaigns might be due to overall decline of the users spending time on social media and not because of the effectiveness of the campaign. As of 2022, time spent on social is still plateaued.
How is news consumed on social media
Since Q2 2020, interest in news has generally decreased. People cited the negativity and sheer volume of COVID-19 related news was overwhelming. During this time, people gravitated towards social media where audiences can decide and tailor their news experience. An increase of +13% of audiences now use social media for their news sites. In fact, Gen Z are the most active age group using social media to follow topics, discover news, and getting updates from influencers. Brand and companies should lean on trending topics by creating and taking part in conversations of these topics on social media.
Understanding the trends and data points of an industry or platform is important. It will help you forecast challenges, plan effectively, and deliver better marketing results. Other than social media platforms, you could also explore influencer marketing trends and data points. Alternatively, if you’re in the B2B industry, we’ve written an in-depth B2B marketing statistics article.