Social media connects people everywhere. Although it’s primarily a way for friends and family to connect, it’s also a venue for businesses to reach consumers. You can use social channels to connect with consumers and increase sales—but it’s not enough to build a social media marketing strategy. To do that, you need to know who uses which social platforms and for what purposes, and what types of content drive specific consumer behaviors.
Social media usage statistics can help. Detailed information about platforms, user groups, and marketing performance can allow business owners to optimize their social media marketing strategies. It can also help you select the best platforms for your social media marketing efforts and align them with specific business goals.
Social media usage statistics
Social media usage statistics show who uses social media, which platforms users are active on, and how and when they interact with social media content.
- Since 2021, more than half of the global population has been active on at least one social media platform.
- There are 4.9 billion active social media users worldwide, and over 308 million people use social media in the US alone.
- Globally, the average social media user engages with social media for two hours and 31 minutes each day, with much of that time spent on mobile devices.
- In the US, 83% of social media visits come from mobile.
Social media advertising statistics
Social media advertising is a digital marketing strategy whereby businesses pay to promote content on a social media platform.
- The social media advertising market is large and growing. Businesses are expected to spend an estimated $68 billion on social media ads in the US in 2023 and $207 billion globally.
- Social media advertising accounted for 33% of all digital advertising spend in 2022.
- In the second quarter of 2023, social media advertising generated an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1.36%, meaning 1.36% of people who viewed a social media ad tapped or clicked on the ad.
- Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the US and globally. It's part of Meta, which also owns Instagram.
- In the US, 74.2% of adults use Facebook, and the platform has more than three billion monthly active users worldwide.
- Users spend an average of 30.9 minutes on Facebook per day.
- Facebook is popular among social media across age and gender demographics. More than half (51.4%) of Facebook users are between 18 and 34 years old, and 43.9% of Facebook users are 35 or older.
- More than half (56%) of Facebook users identify as male.
- Facebook is the leading social commerce site in the US and the most popular social media advertising channel globally.
- The platform is forecast to have 65.7 million social commerce buyers in 2023, and 62% of people who buy products on social platforms made their most recent purchase on Facebook.
- Facebook advertising accounts for about 60% of social media advertising revenue globally, and 89% of marketers worldwide use Facebook as part of their digital marketing strategy.
- Facebook videos and status updates have the highest engagement rates of all post types on the platform. Facebook status posts have a 0.18% engagement rate, and videos have a 0.17% engagement rate.
- YouTube is the second most popular social media platform worldwide. Its parent company is Alphabet, parent company of Google.
- The platform has more than 2.5 billion monthly active users globally.
- YouTube users spend an average of 48.7 minutes on YouTube per day.
- YouTube is popular with a broad range of age demographics and both male- and female-identifying users. More than one-third (35.7%) of YouTube users are between 18 and 34, and 46.4% are 35 or older.
- More than half (54.4%) of YouTube users identify as male.
- YouTube has the second highest ad revenue of any social media platform, trailing Meta (Facebook and Instagram) but coming ahead of TikTok and X. The platform’s ad revenue totaled almost $30 billion in 2022.
- Entertaining content is popular on YouTube, but the platform can also be a valuable channel for product discovery. Although music videos are consistently the most popular video type on YouTube, nearly 24% of Gen Z users indicated in a 2023 survey that they’d used YouTube for product discovery within the past month.
- Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in the US and is tied for third place globally. Instagram is owned by Meta, which also owns Facebook.
- Instagram has 2 billion monthly active users worldwide.
- More than 115 million Americans use Instagram, and US users spend an average of 33.1 minutes on Instagram per day.
- Instagram users skew young, and user demographics are relatively even split between male and female users.
- More than 60% of Instagram users are between 18 and 34 years old, and 31% are 35 or older.
- Just over 51% of Instagram users across all age groups identify as male.
- Instagram is the second most popular social commerce platform in the US, generating the second-highest ad revenues globally.
- The social network had around 43 million US social commerce buyers in 2023, and 2022 ad revenue totaled more than $43 billion.
- Instagram reels have the highest reach and engagement rates of any content type on the platform.
- The average engagement rate for an Instagram reel in 2023 is 1.23%, and the average reach rate is over 30%.
X (Twitter) statistics
- X (formerly known as Twitter) is the seventh most popular social network in the US—but ranks outside the top 10 globally.
- In the US, 64.9 million people use X.
- The platform has more than 368 million monthly active users globally, and users spend an average of 34.1 minutes on X daily.
- X has a greater percentage of users over 35 than Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and a greater percentage of male users than other popular platforms.
- More than half (55.6%) of X users are between 18 and 34 years old, and 37.8% of X users are 35 or older. Some 63% of X users identify as male.
- X users prefer informative content over funny, creative, and inspirational posts. Over half (55%) of X users prefer informative content; only 34% prefer funny content.
- Although the company’s advertising revenue increased from 2017 to 2022, it is expected to decrease through 2027. Twitter generated $4.73 billion in ad revenue in 2022. It is forecast to generate $2.7 billion in 2027.
- TikTok is the sixth most popular social media platform globally and ranks fourth in the US.
- More than one billion people use TikTok each month, and 47% of US adults use the platform.
- Users spend an average of 53.8 minutes on TikTok per day.
- TikTok users tend to be younger, and the platform is more popular with female-identifying than male-identifying creators.
- More than two-thirds (70.9%) of TikTok users are between 18 and 34 years old, and 29.1% of TikTok users are 35 or older.
- More than half (55.3%) of TikTok creators identify as female.
- Social commerce is becoming more popular on TikTok, and ad spend is increasing. The platform is forecast to have more than 35.8 million social commerce buyers by 2024.
- TikTok ad revenue totaled $9.9 billion in 2022, a 155% increase from the previous year.
- TikTok users have a preference for entertaining content. As of 2020, entertainment was the most popular category on TikTok—and more than twice as popular as the second-place category, dance.
How to use social media marketing statistics for growth
- Identify platforms popular with your target audience
- Consider your business and marketing goals
- Conduct additional platform research
- Choose your platforms and create content
Understanding who uses which social media platform, how users access social media, and what types of content users prefer can help businesses align social media marketing strategies with user behaviors and needs. Here’s how to leverage this information to help grow your business.
1. Identify platforms popular with your target audiences
Social media marketers often start by identifying the platform their target audience spends the most time on.
For example, if you sell beauty products to a target audience of women between 18 and 34, you might identify Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook as promising channels. TikTok and Instagram are particularly popular with users in these demographic groups. Some 21% of Facebook users also fall into this category, which translates to a significantly large group of potential customers due to Facebook’s large user base.
2. Consider your business and marketing goals
If your goal is to drive traffic to your blog or establish yourself as a thought leader in a particular area, you might focus on Facebook, which is friendlier to text-based posts and external links. Instagram, and TikTok are potentially lucrative social commerce channels, so if your goal is to sell directly through social accounts, consider focusing your efforts there.
3. Conduct additional platform research
Consider the types of products you sell and your existing social media marketing infrastructure. Then, conduct additional research into the social media marketing platforms to see how your specific product types and preferred strategies perform on each. You can also use this research phase to update yourself on social media trends relevant to your business.
In 2022, TikTok and Instagram led online beauty purchases in the US, so a beauty business might focus on these two platforms. If you use an influencer marketing strategy (or plan to), you could cross-reference these numbers with the most popular platforms for influencer marketing. Instagram leads this category by a significant margin, followed by Facebook and TikTok.
4. Choose your platforms and create content
You can use this research to choose your platforms and efficiently allocate budgets across your campaigns.
For example, an ecommerce business that plans to engage influencers to sell beauty products through social channels might decide to prioritize Instagram. The platform is popular with its target audiences, friendly to influencer marketing strategies, and generates a significant share of online beauty product purchases. The same business might devote a smaller share of its budget to Facebook and TikTok, which also rank in the top three platforms for influencer marketing and beauty product sales.
Social media statistics can also help you develop or refine a platform-based social media marketing strategy. For example, a beauty business might build an X strategy around sharing informative content because 55% of X users prefer this content type. The same business might then share entertaining content on YouTube because 65% of YouTube users visit the platform for entertainment purposes.
Social media marketing statistics FAQ
Is social media marketing a growing industry?
Yes. Social media ad revenue and the percentage of internet users who use social media increases yearly.
How much has social media affected marketing?
Social media caused major changes in consumer behavior, including how the average consumer interacts with branded content, discovers products, and makes purchases. Leading brands have adjusted their digital marketing strategies for this new consumer landscape.
What types of content perform best on social media?
Different types of content perform better on different social media platforms. Marketers can consult social media marketing stats to tailor content type to platform. For example, research shows that funny and creative posts have the highest engagement rates on Instagram.