Social Media Marketing: Statistics, Trends, and Data.

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.

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.

YearSocial Media
Ad Spending On Desktop (Billions USD)
Social Media
Ad Spending On Mobile (Billions USD)
201715.4035.92
201819.6254.21
201922.2373.84
202027.01103.40
202135.39145.80
202243.06186.50
202349.18220.50
202454.10248.90
202556.01275.80
202657.12300.80
Social Media Ad Spending Based on Devices

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 worldwideUS Dollars
201715.49
201820.48
201924.81
202028.30
202131.26
202233.57
202335.73
202437.81
202539.90
Social media advertising spend per user worldwide

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)
20174.6410.85
20185.4415.04
20195.7619.05
20205.9422.37
20216.2225.04
20226.4327.14
20236.6429.09
20246.8730.94
20256.8433.06
Social media advertising spend per user worldwide, by device

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).

CountriesAdvertising Spends millions US Dollars
United States$80,670
China$80,550
United Kingdom$12,160
Japan$8,913
Germany$4,482
Canada$3,993
Australia$3,782
France$3,292
South Korea$2,982
Italy$2,283
Brazil$1,944
Spain$1,918
Mexico$1,876
Netherlands$1,243
Sweden$1,100
India$1,099
Indonesia$1,057
Russia$904.80
Thailand$637.30
Norway592.80
Countries with the most social media advertising spends

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 worldwidePercentage of Total Marketers
Social media44%
Website/blog36%
Email marketing35%
Content marketing32%
Influencer marketing30%
SEO marketing26%
Virtual events25%
Most popular digital marketing channels

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 MarketersCurrently usePlan to use
Pre-produced video81%13%
Livestream video73%19%
Influencer marketing66%27%
Interactive content61%30%
User-generated content (UGC)60%33%
Virtual customer communities57%29%
Pre-produced audio56%28%
Live audio55%28%
Social GIF/memes46%42%
Virtual experiences46%33%
Type of content marketers product

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 companiesInstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube
Increase in posts200%16%17%
Increase in videos133%27%22%77%
Increase in engagement9%10%263%81%
Fortune 500 companies social media activities

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 worldwidePercentage of Marketing professionals
Email marketing65%
Social media management47%
Landing pages30%
Paid ads28%
Campaign tracking25%
Content management23%
SEO efforts18%
Account-based marketing18%
SMS marketing17%
Lead scoring17%
Workflows / automation visualization16%
Sales funnel communications14%
Push notifications13%
Live chat13%
Dynamic web forms12%
Social media marketing and automation

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 MarketersPercentage of respondents
Increased exposure88%
Increased traffic79%
Generated leads69%
Developed loyal fans61%
Improved sales60%
Provided marketplace insight56%
Grew business partnerships50%
Benefits of using social media marketing

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 salesPercentage of SMBs
E-mail marketing36.10
Social media marketing18.90
Landing pages11.20
Advertising8.30
Content marketing7.50
Web push notifications1.70
Other6.60
Not applicable9.80
Social media effectiveness to drive sales

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 eventsPercentage of Respondents
Website80%
E-mail76%
Social media60%
Partners (channel)51%
Programmatic advertising49%
Third-party databases45%
Sales39%
Top tactics to drive virtual registrations – rated by marketers

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 marketingPercentage of Respondents
Strongly agree5%
Agree30%
Uncertain35%
Disagree22%
Strongly disagree8%
Percentage of marketers who agree ROI and Impact on social media can be measured

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 navigationE-mailSearchSocial
Q2 ’20106.26100.1188.1973.49
Q3 ’20111.4093.7990.1774.20
Q4 ’20115.8298.0698.0779.51
Q1 ’21120.4796.0399.9174.30
Q2 ’21114.23104.31101.7074.64
Q3 ’21114.2398.5698.8074.76
Q4 ’21120.23107.61103.6981.12
Q1 ’22118.30105.14101.3977.32
Q2 ’22121.05109.65103.3286.21
Impact of social media marketing on online shopping orders.

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
Google192
Facebook114.90
Bytedance38.60
Alibaba31.50
Amazon31.20
Comcast15.60
Microsoft14.90
Tencent14
Baidu12.70
Disney12.50
Top media companies and brands based on advertising revenue

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
Google458
Tencent240.93
Facebook226.74
Instagram82.90
Netflix71.13
Disney55.22
YouTube47.10
TikTok44.52
LinkedIn35.52
Baidu23.36
Snapchat21.61
Spotify19.28
Most valuable media and entertainment companies and brands based on brand value in Billions (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 yearIn billions
20172.73
20183.10
20193.51
20203.90
20214.26
20224.59
2023*4.89
2024*5.17
2025*5.42
2026*5.64
2027*5.85
Number of social media users in the world (In billions USD)

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 2022Monthly active users (in millions)
Facebook2,910
YouTube2,562
WhatsApp*2,000
Instagram1,478
Weixin / WeChat1,263
TikTok1,000
Facebook Messenger*988
Douyin**600
QQ574
Sina Weibo573
Kuaishou573
Snapchat557
Telegram550
Pinterest444
Twitter436
Reddit*430
Quora*300
Most popular social media platforms

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 mediaPercentage of respondents
Keeping in touch with friends and family47.60
Filling spare time36.30
Reading news stories35.10
Finding content31.60
Seeing what’s being talked about29.50
Finding inspiration for things to do and buy27.70
Finding products to purchase26.30
Sharing and discussing opinions with others24.50
Making new contacts23.90
Watching live streams23.80
Seeing content for your favorite brands23.10
Work-related networking and research22.90
Finding like-minded communities and interest groups22.10
Watching or following sports22
Following celebrities or influencers21.70
Posting about your life21.40
Avoiding missing out on things (FOMO)21.30
Supporting and connecting with good causes17.40
Why do people use social media

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.

Top reasons a user use specific social media platforms

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.

Instagram tops the chart for most used social media among 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 groupPercentage following Brands they purchase from/are considering purchasing fromPercentage who follows Influencers or other experts
Gen Z (16-23)33%28%
Millennials (24-37)36%23%
Gen X (38-56)31%16%
Boomers (57-64)22%9%
Do people follow brands and influencers on social media

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 searchAgreeStrongly agree
Generation Z30%19%
Millennials29%20%
Generation X18%9%
Baby-boomers7%0%
Social media for discovering new products

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 countriesPercentage of Respondents
India48%
United Arab Emirates45%
Mexico39%
Poland38%
Indonesia38%
Italy31%
Singapore28%
China28%
Spain22%
Hong Kong21%
Australia20%
United States19%
France17%
Germany17%
Denmark14%
Sweden11%
United Kingdom10%
Trust in social media advertising by countries

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.

Trust in social media platforms

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.

Digital trust ranking of social platforms in 2022
Digital trust rankings in 2022 across social media platforms

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.

Trust levels in different online sources

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.

Time spent on social media on a typical day

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.

Daily time spent on social media by countries

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.

Gen Z uses social media to follow news and trending topics

Conclusion

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.

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