54 Compelling Social Media Marketing Statistics You Must Know in 2021

55 Compelling Social Media Marketing Statistics You Need To Know For 2023

Understanding the latest social media marketing statistics is critical to your marketing success today.


As marketers, we know that brand growth is a numbers game.

Even with brand awareness, there’s a number that can describe an increase or decrease in each KPI.

However, the marketing world has changed a lot over the last decade. In particular, social media marketing has become more than just paid advertisements on a single popular platform. Younger generations don’t even remember a time when social media wasn’t an important part of their lives–and, consequently, when their favorite social network was not inundated with digital marketing campaigns!

Now more than ever, if you aren’t marketing on at least one social network, you are missing out on a lot of sales. In fact, you’re probably falling behind in your marketing campaign efforts. Let’s take a look at the social media advertising statistics behind these realities.

Social Media Usage Around the World

social media usage around the world

Social media is widely used by people all over the world, from Twitter users to Facebook messenger devotees. While it does require an internet connection, even this requirement is getting easier to meet. Smartphones, for instance, are easier to use than laptop or desktop computers for the average user. Even on slow internet connections, social media is opening up a new world for people in developing countries. For developed countries, social media is almost ubiquitous and designed for daily users–and social media marketers need to take note.

1. Between 2021 and 2022, social media users increased by over 10%. In raw numbers, this represents more than 376 million new users and a total social media reach of 4.62 billion.

Between 2021 and 2022, social media users increased by over 10%.

2. Social media being used by 4.62 billion people represents just over half of the global population and represents 93.4% of internet connected people.

3. Experts believe that in five years, there will be 4.4 billion people on social media.

4. Internet users are expected to spend more than 1/3 of their internet time on social media. This total internet consumption adds up to 1.25 years. This provides many opportunities to reach customers.

Internet users are expected to spend more than 1/3 of their internet time on social media.

5. The part of the world with the highest level of social media saturation are in Northern Europe and Western Europe. Saturation rates in these areas stand at 85% and 84% respectively. (Further reading: 5 Most Popular Platforms for Social Media Marketing in China)

6. By contrast, the African continent social media saturation ranges from 8% (Middle Africa) to 45% (Southern Africa).

7. In January of 2022, the average Internet user spent an average of 2 hours, 27 minutes between messaging apps and social media.

Social Media in the United States

social media in the United States

Since the United States is both where most popular social networks were created and is home to the world’s largest economy, what goes on here is vital for most brands looking to improve their reach on social media networks.

In addition, the US is home to Silicon Valley, the largest source of technological innovation in the world.

American internet-related statistics are also important because of the huge number of users concentrated in one place. Finally, Americans buy a lot of goods and services relative to their incomes, making entry into their social channels absolutely vital for digital marketing strategies.

8. In the US, at least 82% of internet users are on social media. The total number of social media users will likely reach 257 million by the end of 2023.

9. Most American adults don’t limit themselves to just one social network. In fact, 56% of Internet-connected adults have multiple social media accounts.

In fact, 56% of Internet-connected adults have multiple social media accounts.

10. According to Emarketer, social media has a wide range of saturation based on age. Millennials lead the way with 90.4% being active users. For Gen X, that number is 77.5%, and Baby Boomers still participate at a rate of 48.2%.

11. Studies show that 90% of teenagers have used or are using social channels.

12. Even when the entire adult US population is considered, social media is widely used. In fact, 68% of adults are on social media. There are few places which are so effective at reaching customers.

13. Children are getting social media profiles relatively young. In fact, an astounding 44% of 8-11-year olds are on at least one social media network. This number increases sharply in 12-15-year olds, with usage at 87%.

Social Media Usage by Device

social media usage by device

Remember when slow desktops were the only way to access the internet? Well, times have changed, to the relief of social media platforms and active users. For sure, most of us have at least one laptop or desktop, if only for work or school. But for consumers in developing countries, mobile phones (and mobile internet) are the main way to get online. In addition, children may have a greater level of access to smartphones than they do a laptop. These factors and others have led to mobile phones becoming an important way to access social media. Social media marketers must take pains to ensure that their marketing efforts on social platforms are optimized for mobile devices.

14. Smartphones and other mobile devices are used by 91% of social media users. These social users  often use their mobile phones to access social networks.

Smartphones and other mobile devices are used by 91% of social media users.

15. Social media users spend almost 80% of their social media time using the platform’s mobile versions.

16. About 99% of social media users will use a mobile connection to view these sites at some point.

How Social Media Users Engage with Content

How Social Media Users Engage with Content

Video has been a big thing ever since it came out, and modern technology has made it easier than ever to produce video marketing materials. The fact that it hasn’t lost its luster is one thing that becomes evident from these statistics. Along with pictures, visual content is an important part of modern life. Another thing we can see from the numbers is that video marketing content doesn’t always stay on social media. Rather, the impact of content creators often spreads far beyond their native medium.

17. Sharing and engagement often happen away from where a piece of social media content was posted. In fact, 84% of content sharing happens outside of social media on other platforms, including instant messenger, email, and SMS.

18. Of all content types, visual formats are 40x more likely to be shared on social media.

Of all content types, visual formats are 40x more likely to be shared on social media.

19. You can get a much higher engagement rate on posts by tagging them with another location (79%) or user (56%).

20. Sharing branded video content is popular, with 74% of customers doing so.

21. Internet users are saying “no” to ads on social media, with more than 40% turning on ad blockers.

22. Video posted on social media has earned new customers for 93% of brands.  

How Social Media Influencers Consumer Purchases

How Social Media Influencers Consumer Purchases

Like the television of the past, social media is becoming a major driver of consumer decisions. In fact, many people turn to social media to decide what to buy, making social marketing efforts an indispensable part of digital marketing. In addition, customer service is sometimes done via social media sites. One of the reasons for this is that people like to work with brands who others say is OK, and which are attentive to consumers.

23. Among people who buy things online, 97% have accessed social media in the previous month.

24. Among American internet users between the ages of 18-34, almost 40% have bought a product from social media.

25. Product research is one reason why 76% of internet users access social media.

Product research is one reason why 76% of internet users access social media.

26. Customers who have enjoyed positive social media interactions with brands recommend the brand to social contacts at a rate of 71%.  

27. Social media-based influencer recommendations help 49% of consumers decide what to buy–and around 80% of consumers have purchased something after seeing it recommended by an influencer.

Around 80% of consumers have purchased something after seeing it recommended by an influencer.

28. For 13% of social media users, having a “buy” button would make them more likely to buy through the platform.

Social Media User Relationships with Brands

Social Media User Relationships with Brands

Social media is all about relationships and human connections. Far from being relegated to personal connection,  this connectedness also extends to brands and their digital marketing strategies.

For many internet users, social media is a major gateway to the world, and where people compare notes about products and services. Furthermore, word about events or experiences, good and bad, travels fast on social media apps .

For those reasons and many more, social media marketing tactics are among the best tools for reaching out to customers.

29. Among internet users ages 18-34, 95% will follow at least one brand on social media.

30. Brand discovery from online sources comes through social media 52% of the time.

Brand discovery from online sources comes through social media 52% of the time.

31. For 43% of all internet users, social media is a major source of information on what to buy. It is also a great way to stumble upon new products, no matter the precise type of content being used in social media marketing efforts.

32. Brand familiarity–or the ability to see and become familiar with brands–influences 80% of customers to purchase something. .

33. Social media has been a method of communicating with brands and businesses for 90% of those with an account.

34. Companies are expected to use social media to provide customer service by 70% of customers.

35. Interacting with customers on social media leads them to spend 20-40% more money on products and services.

36. Among consumers between 18 and 29, 49% admit to buying something in response to a social media ad.

What Social Media Users Expect from Brands

What Social Media Users Expect from Brands

Now more than ever, speaking out about issues on social media is crucial for brands. In addition, users like to know about any service or product changes that are taking place. Social responsibility among companies and taking a stand on current issues are increasingly being demanded of corporations. Finally, companies should be careful about which side they are on, because some customers make buying decisions on that basis. If digital marketers include stances on social channels, they may see a decline in some of their audience members (but may make up that decline with similarly-minded internet users).

37. For 86% of Americans, transparency on social media is so important that they will take their business elsewhere if a brand refuses to show transparency.  This is an all-time high and should factor into your next marketing campaign.

For 86% of Americans, transparency on social media is so important that they will take their business elsewhere if a brand refuses to show transparency.

38. Over half, or 53%, of social media users say that transparency regarding changes to products and services is critical. They also expect companies to express values on social media.

39. Of all social media content types, video is considered the most transparent content type by 67% of consumers. Taking that one step further, 43% of consumers believe that live video is the most transparent form of content creation. 

40. Social consciousness is important for 70% of consumers, who expect brands to take a public stand on issues that matter.

41. However, taking a stand doesn’t always have a positive result. For 55% of consumers, values are important enough that they might boycott brands they disagree with.

42. For 47% of consumers, social media is where they expect brands to express their views.

43. About 40% of consumers believe that working with a relevant nonprofit is an ideal way for brands to express their views on social media.  

44. An Adobe study indicates that for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of Millennials, social media is the advertising channel they find most relevant.

45. Unfortunately, for 53% of customers there’s a belief that marketing and publicity are the only reasons companies take a stand.

How Companies are Leveraging Social Media Marketing

how companies are leveraging social media marketing

Fortunately, companies are rising to the challenge posed by social media marketing strategies. For one thing, they understand that it’s important to advertise on social media, whether through influencer marketing or more general digital marketing. Even small businesses are rapidly building a social media presence to increase brand awareness and improve the average engagement rate of their posts. For another, social media marketing is resulting in huge successes for brands of all sizes–something that marketing professionals cannot afford to ignore.

46. According to 90% of marketers, social media is very important to their clients and business.

47. The use of social media for marketing campaigns is growing, with more than 92% of American businesses adopting this practice.

48 . Over 91% of marketers do business on social media.

49. Social media is a marketing tool for 96% of small business owners.

50. Likewise, social media platforms are seen as effective marketing tools for 90% of small businesses.

51. According to 93% of marketers, increased exposure for brands is the primary benefit of advertising on social media.  

52. 75% of marketers credit social media marketing with increased web traffic, and almost 90% say it has improved business exposure.

53. Among 80% of social marketers, the main goal is to boost engagement across social media.

54. For marketers who have used social media marketing for two years or more, 50% have seen increased sales.

55. Social ad spending is expected to cost approximately $75.3 Billion in 2022, an increase of 25%.

Social ad spending is expected to cost approximately $75.3 Billion in 2022, an increase of 25%.

What these social media marketing stats tell us is compelling. For most B2C and B2B marketers and brands, social media is the place to be seen by and engage with consumers, whether that is accomplished via stories announcing new blog posts or daily posts about products and services. From a consumer perspective, social media is where everything happens. Is your marketing campaign staying up to date? Increasingly, the brands consumers interact with, and talk about, on social media guide their purchasing decisions, so content creation should not be moved to the back burner

While many marketers still try to find ROI from their social media marketing strategies, perhaps the greatest ROI comes not from clicks but by simply having a presence, engaging in conversation, and responding to both questions and issues that impact our society.

Either way, regardless of how much or little ROI you glean from your social media marketing, it is simply an area that you cannot ignore in your business anymore, as the most recent social media stats can attest.

Any of these marketing and social media usage statistics surprise you?

And if you’re ready to improve your social media marketing, check out these resources:

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Social Media Marketing Statistics FAQs

What percentage of marketing is social media?

A whopping 93% of marketers worldwide are using social media business. In 2022, almost 92% of marketers who work for companies with more than 100 employees in the United States are expected to start using social media for marketing.

How effective is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is proven to be effective because between online consumers, 97% of them accessed social media at least once a month. Hence, for most consumers, it is their major source of product information. In addition, 67% of consumers expect brands and companies to have social media presence to provide customer service.

How effective is social media advertising statistics?

Based on the findings by Statista, 37.9% of survey respondents said that they have made a purchase after seeing a social media advertisement. In fact, it runs from somewhere between 1 to 25% of the time. This explains how often online consumers make purchases due to social media advertisements.

What percentage of customers come from social media?

In the United States alone, the biggest percentage of social media users (84%) are aged between 18 to 29. 81% are aged 30 to 49, group age between 50-64 takes 73% and elder people aged 65+ use social media lesser out of all age group at 45%.

What are the 6 type of social media?

The 6 types of social media are:

1. Social News
2. Social Networks
3. Microblogging
4. Media Sharing
5. Community Blogs
6. Bookmarking Sites

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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