Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report 2022

There were 4.48 billion active social media users in July 2021, 56.8% of the world's population. Social users grew by 13.1% in the year ending July 2021, undoubtedly influenced by the effects of Covid and enforced lockdowns across the globe. People worldwide have spent much of the past two years separated from friends and family and often had to operate their businesses from home. As a result, they have had to alter how they communicate with each other compared to before Covid.

This increase in social media activity has led to innovative social media marketing by many firms. Quite a few have transferred their budget from traditional channels to social media, deciding to follow their audience.

There are a few concerning trends with social media, however. Engagement rates seem to be dwindling steadily, and most social platforms' algorithms actively discriminate against posts made by business users. Also, with vast numbers already using social media, growth is inevitably slowing.

Our Social Media Benchmark Report 2022 has collated statistics and data relating to social media marketing, predominantly over the last 12 months. Although there is an inherent connection between social media and influencer marketing, we have mainly ignored influencer marketing here, leaving that for our annual State of Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report

Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report 2022:

Social Media Adoption Surges

Facebook Users Grew 77% Between 2015 and 2020

Facebook is an established social platform, making it more popular with the older generations than many newcomers. Being the largest social platform does limit its opportunities for attracting new users. However, it still increases its user numbers each year. Facebook user numbers for 2015 to 2020 are: 

  • Q3 2015: 1.545 billion
  • Q3 2016: 1.788 billion (+16%)
  • Q3 2017: 2.072 billion (+16%)
  • Q3 2018: 2.271 billion (+9.6%)
  • Q3 2019: 2.449 billion (+7.8%)
  • Q3 2020: 2.740 billion (+12%)

Time Spent Per User Per Day on Social Media

The Average Internet User Spends Nearly 2 and ½ Hours on Social Media Per Day

The Digital 2021 Global Overview Report looked at the average amount of time internet users aged 16 to 64 spent each day using media and devices. They found that people spend 6 hours 54 minutes on the internet across all their devices.

Social media is valuable to them. People spend on average 2 hours 25 minutes per day using social media, second only to their time watching broadcast and streaming television (3 hours 24 minutes). 

Other favorite internet-based activities include reading press media (2 hours 2 minutes), listening to music streaming (1 hour 31 minutes), listening to broadcast radio (1 hour), listening to podcasts (54 minutes), and playing video games on a console (1 hour 12 minutes). Obviously, people carry out some of these activities simultaneously.

Filipinos Spend More than 4 Hours Per Day on Social Media

The time people spend on social media varies considerably between nations. For example, Internet users from the Philippines spend 4 hours 15 minutes per day on social media activity, which is half an hour more than second-placed Colombia (3:45). On the other hand, there may not be many internet users in Nigeria, but they appreciate their social media (3:41).

We may think of the USA as the king of social media, but at 2:07, its social usage is less than the global average, as is the UKs 1:49. Likewise, Japanese residents spend considerably less time on social media than most countries, clocking in only 51 minutes per day on average.

Young Females Spend Most Time on Social Media

Nobody will probably be surprised by this finding. 16-24-year-old females average 3:14 per day on social media, compared to their male counterparts, who average 2:39. 

The trend of females spending more time on social media continues at all subsequent age groups:

  • 23–34-year-olds: Females (2:45), Males (2:29)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (2:20), Males (2:14)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (2:01), Males (1:47)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (1:35), Males (1:21)

The Dominance of Social Apps 

Social Networks are the Most Common Type of Website Visited / App Used

A broad survey of global internet users aged 16 to 64 found social networks were the most used apps/websites, followed closely by chat or messaging platforms.

The apps/websites with the highest usage were:

  1. Social networks 95.7%
  2. Chat or messaging platforms 95.2%
  3. Search engines or web portals 84.1%
  4. Shopping, auctions, or classifieds 59.7%
  5. Maps, parking, or location-based services 54.4%

Social Apps Dominate the Non-Gaming Mobile App Rankings

App Annie ranked mobile non-gaming apps across Android and iPhone in January 2021. Social apps take up seven of the Top 10 positions in terms of monthly active users.

  1. Facebook
  2. WhatsApp
  3. Facebook Messenger
  4. Instagram
  5. Amazon
  6. Twitter
  7. Netflix
  8. TikTok
  9. Spotify
  10. Snapchat

Social apps also dominated the rankings for the total number of downloads in 2020. In this case, however, some of the newer social apps took higher positions in the rankings, alongside messaging and meeting apps, such as Zoom.

  1. TikTok (incl. Douyin)
  2. Facebook
  3. WhatsApp
  4. Zoom Cloud Meetings
  5. Instagram
  6. Facebook Messenger
  7. Google Meet
  8. Snapchat
  9. Telegram
  10. Netflix

TikTok and Instagram Fastest Growing Social Apps in Q2 2021

App Annie determined the apps with the most significant quarter-on-quarter growth in worldwide downloads in Q2 2021. TikTok took the second spot and Instagram fifth.

YouTube is the Social Media Preference of Choice for Gamers

Video gamers in fourteen countries were asked about their preferred social media platforms for information and content. 48.7% stated YouTube, followed by 41.7% Facebook, 33.9% Instagram, 23.3% Twitter, 9.4% Twitch, and 8.4% TikTok.

Online Search Behaviors

62% Use the Internet to Find Information

When asked for their primary reason for using the internet, the most common reasons given by survey respondents were:

  • Finding information (62.2)
  • Staying in touch with friends and family (55.5%)
  • Keeping up to date with news and events (54.3%)
  • Researching how to do things (51.7%)
  • Watching videos, tv shows, and movies (51.6%)
  • Finding new ideas or inspiration (47.5%)
  • Researching products and brands (46.5%
  • Accessing or listening to music (46.1%)

Unsurprisingly, Google Holds a Commanding Search Engine Market Share

Google received 91.4% of global web search traffic in December 2020. The remaining web searches went through Bing (2.7%), Yahoo! (1.5%), Yandex (1.5%), Baidu (1.4%), Duckduckgo (0.6%), Sogou (0.5%), and Others (0.6%).

Facebook is the Second Most Searched Term on Google

Many people search for popular social media sites on Google. Indeed "Facebook" is the second most popular search query after "Google" itself. "YouTube" takes the third position, "Instagram" eleventh, WhatsApp thirteenth, and Twitter sixteenth. Notably, the sixth most used search term in 2020 was "Coronavirus."

45% of Internet Users Now Use Voice Search

Although most (98.0%) people still use a conventional search engine on whatever device they are operating, 45.3% now also use voice search or voice commands. In addition, 32.9% use image recognition tools on their mobile devices.

Primary Channels for Brand Research

71.6% of Internet Users Search for Brand Information on Social Platforms

Marketers will probably take an interest in the fact that globally 71.6% of internet users now search for brand information on social platforms. 

If you separate social platforms by their different types, people conduct brand research via:

  • Social networks (43.4%)
  • Question and answer sites, e.g., Quora (20.2%)
  • Forums and message boards (16.0%)
  • Messaging and live chat services (15.2%)
  • Micro-blogs, e.g., Twitter (14.7%)
  • Vlogs (13.6%)
  • Online Pinboards, e.g., Pinterest (10.3%)

Brand research habits vary depending on where you live, however. For example, social networks are a powerful method of brand research in the African countries of Nigeria (82.2%), Kenya (75.4%), and Ghana (72.9%). They are considerably less used in South Korea (23.8%), Netherlands (25.4%), and Germany (27.2%).

More 16–24-Year-olds Use Social Networks for Brand Research Than Search Engines

Using social networks for brand research is particularly prevalent in the younger age groups. For example, in the case of 16–24-year-olds, 53.2% use social networks, compared to 51.3% who use search engines.

While more 25–34-year-olds use search engines, the percentages are close – 48.2% use social networks to 51.3% search engines.

The older generations are far less likely to use social networks for brand research, however. 42.4% of 35–44-year-olds claim to do so, 35.7% of 45-54 year-olds, and 28.1% of 55-64 year-olds.

Share of Web Traffic by Device

96.6% of Working Age Internet Users Own a Smartphone

Most people now use a mobile phone, and the vast majority of these are now smartphones. 97.1% of internet users aged 16 to 64 own a mobile phone of some type. 96.6% have a smartphone, and 9.0% still have non-smartphones. 

Ownership of other web-attached devices is lower but still significant. For example, as of January 2021, 64.4% owned a laptop or desktop computer, 34.3% a tablet device, 14.4% a TV streaming stick or device, 21.4% a games console, 12.3% a smart home device, 23.3% a smartwatch or wristband, and 4.4% a virtual reality device.

Smartphone Internet Users Make up More Than 90% 0f All Internet Users

With most people now owning a smartphone, it is unsurprising that they now make up 90.8% of total internet users. Including the relatively few users of older-style feature phones, mobile internet users now make up 92.1% of total internet users. There are 4.42 billion mobile internet users globally, using cellular and/or Wi-Fi. On average, mobile users spend 3 hours 36 minutes using the internet each day.

Mobile Devices Account for 53% of Daily Internet Time

Of course, just because most people can access the web via a smartphone doesn't mean they always do so. However, mobile usage has accounted for the majority of internet time since Q2 2019. By Q3 2020, internet users aged 16 to 64 accounted for 52.8% of total daily internet time. This has been a relatively rapid rise. People only used their mobile devices for 37.7% of their internet usage back in 2015. 

Mobile Accounts for 55% of Web Traffic

Mobile has an even higher share when looking at the relative percentages of total web pages served to web browsers. These figures come from a different source than the previous statistic and are based on traffic to web browsers only, ignoring data for other connected activities, such as native apps.

Mobile phones accounted for 55.35% of web traffic in June 2021, up 11% from the previous year. Laptops and computers accounted for a still considerable 41.93%, but this represented an 11% year-on-year drop. Less dominant were tablet computers (2.64%) and other devices, such as game consoles (0.08%.)

Hong Kong Has 83% More Mobile Connections Than They Do Population

Many countries now have higher total 3G, 4G, and 5G connections than their population. Globally the number of mobile connections is 83.7% of the worldwide population. 

Hong Kong has the highest penetration of mobile broadband connections, at 183.3% of its population. Other highly connected nations include Japan (168.7%), U.A.E. (156.2%), Denmark (147.5%), Portugal (145.5%), and Singapore (144.3%).

The Average Person Uses Mobile Devices for More Than 4 Hours Each Day

According to App Annie January 2021 data, the average person spends 4 hours 10 minutes each day using their mobile devices. They spend 44% of this time in social and communications apps, with the remainder spent in video and entertainment apps (26%), playing games (9%), and other apps (21%).

The Most Used Social Platforms

Facebook Dominates Social Platform User Numbers

Unfortunately, most social platforms only publish user numbers when they reach milestones, so user figures are not directly comparable because they are announced at different times. However, these figures still indicate the approximate global active user figures for the most popular platforms.

Despite no longer being the trendy child of social media, Facebook still has the most users by some margin. They reported having 2.895 billion users in Q2 2021.

The second most popular platform, YouTube, has significantly benefited from the increased popularity of streaming and downloadable video in recent times. Indeed, many YouTube users may not even think of the platform as social media, as they merely choose to consume videos, much as they do Netflix. Nevertheless, they have 2.291 billion users.

The third platform to reach 2 billion users (just) is Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Interestingly, the fourth-placed social app is also a Facebook property – Instagram, with 1.386 million users. Likewise, fifth-placed Facebook Messenger (1.300 billion) is, of course, part of the Facebook stable too. WeChat slots into sixth place.

With four of the top social platforms, Facebook can genuinely claim to dominate social media user numbers. In the first quarter of 2021, Facebook reported over 3.51 billion monthly core Family product users (i.e., people using at least one of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month. Instagram only overtook Facebook Messenger in terms of user numbers in July 2021.

TikTok Rapidly Growing in Usage

A few years ago, TikTok was merely a small Chinese video-sharing and social app that then merged with the moderately popular app, However, it has multiplied in popularity over the last few years, to the point where TikTok now has 732 million active users. This makes it the seventh most popular social platform and well ahead of other well-known social media, such as Pinterest (478 million active users), Snapchat (514 million users), and Twitter (397 million users).

Facebook Users Average 19.5 Hours/Month on the Android App

If we separate social media mobile apps from video streaming mobile apps, Facebook products also dominate the average time per month users spend on their apps. Facebook users average 19.5 hours/month, closely followed by What's App users (19.4 hours/month).

As you might have noticed, TikTok has risen through the ranks over the last couple of years, and its users now average 13.3 hours/month. Instagram users spend an average of 10.3 hours/month on the platform.

Notably, although there are many Facebook Messenger users, as we have seen above, they spend considerably less time in that app than on the other Facebook-owned social platforms, averaging 2.7 hours/month. 

YouTubers Average 23.2 Hours/Month on the Android App

YouTube may not have the most users of the social platforms, but they win the usage battles. YouTube users average 23.2 hours/month (on their Android apps, at least), with a further 9.5 hours for YouTube Go. 

Online Audience Demographics

Most Social Users in Africa are Urban Based

There are relatively few notable differences between the urban and rural take-up of social media for much of the world. For example, in the UK, 53% of social users live in cities, compared to 44% of the population, a factor of 1.2x. Similarly, 32% of the USA live in cities, compared to 42% of their social users, a factor of 1.3x. Things are more balanced in Spain, with 50% of the population living in cities, alongside 51% of the social users, close to a 1.0x factor.

However, when you look at the African take-up of social media, you see a very different story. Perhaps this is due to a lack of access to the internet in many African rural areas. Figures are particularly unbalanced in Uganda, where only 7% of the population live in cities, but 91% of the social media users do. This is a 12.5x factor. Ethiopia is only marginally better, a mere 6% living in cities, as do 49% of the social users, 8.4x.

Facebook Users are Predominantly Mobile Phone Users – 81.0% Only Have Access to a Mobile Phone

There is now a solid correlation between Facebook users and mobile phone owners, despite Facebook being one of the social platforms most likely to attract older people. Indeed, 98.3% of Facebook users access the social app via a mobile phone. Furthermore, 81.0% of Facebook users have no choice – they can only use a mobile phone for access. 

It is notable how few Facebook users have access to a computer nowadays. Only 1.7% access Facebook exclusively via a laptop or desktop computer, and 17.3% use a mix of their phone and a computer.

These statistics relate to Facebook users aged 18 and over. The percentage relying on mobile phones for access would be even higher if you counted Facebook users younger than 18.

Males Use Social Media More Than Females Globally, But There is Considerable Variation Between Countries

Globally, 54.4% of social media users are male compared to 45.6% female. However, these ratios differ markedly between countries.

Female users outnumber males in most developed countries, for example, the USA (46% male, 54% female), Oceania (47% male, 53% female), Eastern Europe (47% male, 53% female), Southern Africa (48% male, 52% female), and Northern Europe (48% male, 52% female). However, social media is very much male-dominated in many highly populated developing areas, such as Southern Asia (73% male, 27% female), Western Asia (64% male, 36% female), Western Africa (62% male, 38% female), and Northern Africa (62% male, 38% female).

Young Females Spend Most Time Using Social Media

This is probably one of the least surprising finds in this benchmark report. The Global Web Index found that females aged 16-24 averaged 3 hours, 14 minutes on social media each day, compared to their male counterparts who spent 2 hours 39 minutes socializing online daily.

Social media use dropped with the older generations, but in all cases, females spent more time using their social apps than males:

  • 25–34-year-olds: Females 2:45, Males 2:29
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females 2:20, Males 2:14
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females 2:01, Males 1:47
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females 1:35, Males 1:21

Half of Facebook's Users Speak English

1.1 billion people (50.4% of Facebook's global advertising audience) can speak English. Other languages regularly spoken by Facebook users include Spanish (340 million, 15.6%), Hindi (180 million, 8.2%), Arabic (160 million, 7.3%), Indonesian (150 million, 6.9%), and Portuguese (150 million, 6.9%).

There are More Facebook Users in Dhaka Than Anywhere Else

Facebook has signposted the cities where it has the most active users. Dhaka tops the list, with 17 million active users, in the city, expanding to 20 million in a 40km radius. Other large cities where Facebook is popular include Mumbai (16 million / 18 million), Delhi (13 million / 19 million), Cairo (13 million / 19 million), and Mexico City (12 million / 19 million).

Social Media Platforms Advertising Reach

Young Females Spend Most Time Using Social Media for Brand Research

When you look at the use of social media for brand research, you see a similar demographic pattern to that of social media as a whole, although more balanced between the genders. The highest social media users for brand research are 16-24-year-old females (55.9%), followed by their male counterparts (51.0%).

The use of social media for brand research drops with older generations, although there is a close balance between the genders at each age group:

  • 25–34-year-olds: Females 48.1%, Males 48.4%
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females 42.6%, Males 42.2%
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females 36.2%, Males 35.3%
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females 27.9%, Males 28.3%

Facebook Ads Can Potentially Reach 36.7% of the Total Population 13+

While few brands would consider targeting every Facebook user, they could potentially reach 2.25 billion Facebook users. That potential advertising audience is equivalent to 36.7% of the global population aged 13+. In addition, Facebook's advertising reach grew 1.8% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Facebook reports that 56.4% of its global ad audience is male, with 43.6% female.

Instagram Ads Can Potentially Reach 22.6% of the Total Population 13+

Instagram's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 22.6% of the global population aged 13+. Their advertising reach grew 7.7% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Facebook reports that 48.6% of Instagram's global ad audience is male, with 51.4% female.

Facebook Messenger Ads Can Potentially Reach 17.5% of the Total Population 13+

Facebook Messenger's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 17.5% of the global population aged 13+. Their advertising reach rose 5.6% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Facebook reports that 56.2% of Messenger's global ad audience is male, with 43.8% female.

WhatsApp Ads Can Potentially Reach 33% of the Total Population 13+

WhatsApp's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 33% of the global population aged 13+. 

Facebook reports that 53.9% of WhatsApp's global ad audience is male, with 46.1% female.

YouTube Ads Can Potentially Reach 2.29 Billion People

YouTube's potential advertising audience is 2.29 Billion people worldwide. They watch 1 billion hours of video on YouTube each day. 

YouTube reports that 54.2% of their global ad audience is male, with 45.8% female.

LinkedIn Ads Can Potentially Reach 14% of the Total Population 18+

LinkedIn's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 14% of the global population aged 18+ (note this different age minimum compared to the other social apps). Their advertising reach rose 3.0% in the quarter ending July 2021.

LinkedIn reports that 56.9% of their global ad audience is male, with 43.1% female.

Snapchat Ads Can Potentially Reach 8.4% of the Total Population 13+

Snapchat's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 8.4% of the global population aged 13+. Their advertising reach fell 2.7% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Snapchat reports that 43.1% of their global ad audience is male, with 56.0% female.

Twitter Ads Can Potentially Reach 6.5% of the Total Population 13+

Twitter's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 6.5% of the global population aged 13+. Their advertising reach rose 0.2% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Twitter reports that 68.5% of their global ad audience is male, with 31.5% female.

Pinterest Ads Can Potentially Reach 3.6% of the Total Population 13+

Pinterest's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 3.6% of the global population aged 13+. Their advertising reach rose 2.0% in the quarter ending July 2021.

Pinterest reports that 14.9% of their global ad audience is male, with 77.1% female. The remainder don't specify their gender.

TikTok Ads Can Potentially Reach 11.9% of the Total Population 13+

TikTok's potential advertising audience is equivalent to 11.9% of the global population aged 13+. There were 57 million new TikTok app installs around the world in June 2021.

TikTok reports that 50.4% of their global ad audience is male, with 49.6% female.

Facebook Advertising Reach of Older People Growing Rapidly

While far fewer older people are using social media than other cohorts, they are the fastest-growing group for Facebook. In January 2021, Facebook reported the year-on-year annual change in Facebook advertising reach, split by age groups and gender:

  • 13–17-year-olds: Females (+12.0%), Males (+14.5%)
  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (+10.5%), Males (+10.7%)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (+12.0%), Males (+10.8%)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (+6.7%), Males (+16.7%)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (+12.2%), Males (+20.0%)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (+16.1%), Males (+19.6%)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (+24.4%), Males (+25.0%)

Instagram Growing Greatly at Both Ends of the Age Spectrum

Instagram enjoyed sizable growth over 2020 at all age levels. This was particularly evident amongst both teenagers and older Instagram users, as Instagram began to fill an untapped market. However, older Instagram users still have relatively low overall numbers compared to Instagram's peak support ages.

  • 13–17-year-olds: Females (+58.6%), Males (+60.7%)
  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (+38.5%), Males (+26.7%)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (+25.0%), Males (+31.3%)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (+32.5%), Males (+29.4%)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (+38.1%), Males (+40.0%)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (+47.4%), Males (+63.6%)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (+50.0%), Males (+48.6%)

Snapchat's Audience Reach is Young, But Not Perhaps as Young as You Would Expect

Snapchat has consistently been viewed as a social platform for the young. However, it appears that Snapchat's users have stayed with the platform as they have aged, stretching Snapchat's demographic profile.

Its advertising audience was made up as follows in January 2021:

  • 13–17-year-olds: Females 12.6%, Males 8.0%
  • 18–20-year-olds: Females 11.8%, Males 9.2%
  • 21–24-year-olds: Females 9.3%, Males 8.1%
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females 12.1%, Males 9.5%
  • 35–49-year-olds: Females 8.9%, Males 4.9%
  • 50+ year-olds: Females 2.7%, Males 1.3%

Twitter Has a Largely Male Audience

More than two-thirds of Twitter's potential advertising audience of 353.1 million are male, and this trend is evident at all age levels. Its advertising audience was made up as follows in January 2021:

  • 13–17-year-olds: Females 2.1%, Males 5.7%
  • 18–24-year-olds: Females 9.9%, Males 15.3%
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females 7.9%, Males 18.7%
  • 35–49-year-olds: Females 8.8%, Males 19.6%
  • 50+ year-olds: Females 4.4%, Males 7.6%

Facebook and Instagram Have Their Largest Advertising Reach in India

Facebook and Instagram are currently banned in China, North Korea, and Iran.  This makes India the market with the highest reach for Facebook (340 million) and Instagram (180 million.) Other countries with exceptionally high Facebook reach include the USA (200 million), Indonesia (140 million), and Brazil ($130 million). The same three countries also feature prominently in Instagram's reach - USA (170 million), Brazil (110 million), and Indonesia ($93 million).  These figures do not yet match the entire population of each country, however.

YouTube Also Has its Highest Reach in India, Particularly Amongst Younger People

YouTube has an advertising reach of 448 billion people in India. However, it has a much lower reach for those aged 18+ (36.4%) in India than elsewhere. By contrast, although its overall reach in the USA is half that number, 240 million, YouTube reaches 78.8% of those aged 18+. Other countries with high reaches are Brazil (127 million, 64.7% reach of those 18+) and Indonesia (107 million, 42.6% 18+).

In Israel, YouTube can reach 92.7% of the population aged 18+, followed by the Netherlands (92.5%), UAE (92.1%), Denmark (90.2), and Sweden (90.1%).

LinkedIn Has its Highest Reach in the USA.

Unlike the Facebook brands, LinkedIn still has its highest potential advertising audiences in the United States, with a reach of 180 million. However, India is in second place with a reach of 78 million, followed by China (50 million) and Brazil (49 million). Although LinkedIn operates relatively successfully in China, unlike most other Western-based social apps, it has a smaller reach than local Chinese competitor, Maimai. Maimai currently enjoys more than 80 Million users on its platform.

Snapchat Has its Highest Reach in the USA.

Snapchat also has its highest potential advertising audiences in the United States, with a reach of 105.25 million. However, India is in second place with a reach of 99.8 million, followed by France (23.4 million) and the UK (19.8 million).

Twitter Has its Highest Reach in the USA and a Surprisingly High Reach in Japan

Twitter has its highest potential advertising audiences in the United States, with a reach of 73 million. Japan takes second place with a reach of 55.55 million, followed by India (22.1 million) and the UK (17.55 million). Considering Twitter's high profile, it has a surprisingly low reach than many less established social networks.

Pinterest Has By Far its Highest Reach in the USA. 

Pinterest has its highest potential advertising audiences in the United States, with a reach of 89.9 million. A long way behind is Brazil in second place with a reach of 27.5 million, followed by Mexico (14.5 million) and the UK (10.375 million).

Facebook's Eligible Audience Reach in the Philippines is Greater Than The Entire Population

One of the stranger statistics from Facebook data is that the number of users advertisers can reach on Facebook (ages 13+) in the Philippines is 101.5% of that nation's population. This clearly recognizes that some businesses have Facebook accounts, and some people have multiple Facebook accounts. A few smaller countries have even higher percentage reaches: Libya (104.7%) and Mongolia (105.0%).

The percentages are not as high elsewhere, although the advertising reach of several other countries exceeds 90% of the 13+ population. These include Malaysia (92.5%), Mexico (92.3%), and UAE (90.3%).

Facebook's advertising reach in the USA is a more moderate 67.9%.

Globally, the average is only 35.89%, with a few highly populated countries having small reach percentages: Russia (7.3%), Japan (15.9%), Nigeria (22.6%), Kenya (26.2%), South Korea (28.4%), and India (29.7%). 

Instagram's Global Audience Reach is 20%

Instagram has yet to have the following of its older sibling but still has a global advertising audience reach of 20.0%. As with Facebook, Instagram's audience share varies markedly between nations. Its reach is highest in Kazakhstan (78.7%), Brunei (70.5%), Turkey (68.4%), Iceland (66.5%), and Sweden (66.5%). It has considerably less reach in Africa, including Kenya (6.4%), Nigeria (6.6%), and Ghana (9.5%).

YouTube's Largest Advertising Audience Sector is Males 25-34

Based on January 2021 data, YouTube’s advertising audience is split up as follows:

  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (6.3%), Males (8.7%)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (9.1%), Males (12.1%)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (7.8%), Males (9.2%)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (5.9%), Males (6.3%)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (4.3%), Males (4.2%)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (4.0%), Males (3.7%)

This makes it relatively popular across the ages, particularly with people under 50, and more used by males than females, particularly in the younger age bands.

Engagement Rates on Social Media Platforms

The Median Facebook Engagement Rate / Post is 0.08%

Rival IQ. discovered that the median engagement rate/post for businesses with Facebook pages over 2020 was 0.08%. Facebook engagement remains very much the same as the previous year.  

There is quite some variation in the engagement/rate per post when you analyze by industry, however:

  • Influencers 0.19%
  • Sports Teams 0.18%
  • Higher Education 0.14%
  • Hotels and Resorts 0.14%
  • Alcohol 0.13%
  • Nonprofits 0.13%
  • Financial Services 0.07%
  • Home Décor 0.07%
  • Retail 0.06%
  • Food and Beverage 0.05%
  • Media 0.05%
  • Fashion 0.04%
  • Health and Beauty 0.03%
  • Tech and Software 0.02%

11 Posts Liked on Facebook in the Last Month on Average

The average Facebook user has liked 11 posts in the past 30 days. Females (12) tend to like posts more than males (10). Females (7) also make more comments than males (4), averaging out at 5 comments per Facebook user in 30 days.

35-44-Year-Old Females Make the Most Facebook Likes

Facebook has split up its monthly post likes by age and gender. 35-44-year-old females are the most prolific likers, with males 55+ making the least.

  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (10 likes), Males (11 likes)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (12), Males (11)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (14), Males (10)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (13), Males (7)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (11), Males (5)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (8), Males (5)

45-54-Year-Old Females Make the Most Facebook Comments

Facebook has split up its monthly post comments by age and gender. 45-64-year-old females are the most prolific commenters, with males 55+ making the least.

  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (5 comments), Males (4 comments)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (5), Males (4)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (8), Males (5)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (10), Males (4)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (10), Males (3)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (7), Males (3)

45-64-Year-Old Females Make the Most Facebook Ad Clicks

Facebook has split up its monthly ad clicks by age and gender. 45-64-year-old females are the most prolific ad clickers, with males 18-24 making the least. It is particularly notable how reluctant young people of both genders are to click ads.

  • 18–24-year-olds: Females (9 ad clicks), Males (8 ad clicks)
  • 25–34-year-olds: Females (14), Males (10)
  • 35–44-year-olds: Females (19), Males (13)
  • 45–54-year-olds: Females (20), Males (13)
  • 55–64-year-olds: Females (20), Males (12)
  • 65+ year-olds: Females (16), Males (10)

Most Common Types of Posts Made on Facebook Pages are Link Posts

Locowise provides figures for Q2 2021 showing the comparative share of each type of Facebook Page post. Almost half of all posts made were link posts. The most common types of Facebook posts are:

  • Link posts 43.9%
  • Photo posts 38.0%
  • Video posts 16.9%
  • Status posts 1.2%

Link Posts Receive the Least Average Total Post Engagements Per Facebook Page Fan

Interestingly the number of Facebook page post engagements compared to the total number of page fans are almost inverse to the most common types of posts made on Facebook pages. The average total post engagements vs. page fans for all post types is 0.11%.

  • Status posts 0.17%
  • Photo posts 0.16%
  • Video posts 0.13%
  • Link posts 0.05%

The average total post engagement vs. page fans for all post types varies considerably by nation. For example, you are more likely to get engagement in Norway (0.34%) or Sweden (0.29%) than Saudi Arabia (0.02%) or Romania (0.03%).

Engagement Rates are Higher For Smaller Facebook Pages

The average Facebook page post engagement rate for pages with fewer than 10,000 fans is 0.39%. This drops to 0.22% for pages with 10,000 – 100,000 fans and 0.08% for pages with more than 100,000 fans. Clearly, the largest pages have many lurkers who don't take an active part in page activity.

The Median Instagram Engagement Rate / Post is 0.08%

Rival IQ. discovered that the median engagement rate/post for firms with Instagram Business Profiles over 2020 was 0.98%. Unfortunately, Instagram engagement rates fell 25% over the year  

There were some positive trends in the Instagram engagement/rate per post when you analyze by industry, however:

  • Higher Education 3.19%
  • Sports Teams 1.79%
  • Influencers 1.42%
  • Nonprofits 1.41%
  • Alcohol 1.17%
  • Food and Beverage 1.06%
  • Hotels and Resorts 1.01%
  • Tech and Software 1.00%
  • Financial Services 0.85%
  • Media 0.82%
  • Home Décor 0.70%
  • Retail 0.60%
  • Fashion 0.51%
  • Health and Beauty 0.51%

Most Common Types of Posts Made by Instagram Business Accounts are Link Posts

Locowise also provided figures showing the comparative share of each type of Instagram Business Account post in Q2 2021. Almost two-thirds of posts made were photo posts. The most common types of Instagram Business Account posts were:

  • Photo posts 63.6%
  • Video posts 16.9%
  • Carousel posts 19.4%

Notably, the proportion of posts that are carousel posts has increased over recent quarters.

Carousel Posts Have the Highest Engagement Rates on Instagram

According to Locowise figures, carousel posts have an average engagement rate of 1.01% for Instagram business accounts. This falls to 0.81% for photo posts and 0.61% for video posts. The average engagement rate for all post types is 0.82%. The higher levels of engagement may be one of the main reasons for the increase in popularity in carousel posts in recent times.

Engagement Rates are Higher For Smaller Instagram Business Accounts

The average Instagram post engagement rate for business accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers is 1.18%. This drops to 0.94% for business accounts with 10,000 – 100,000 fans and 0.73% for accounts with more than 100,000 followers. 

The Median Twitter Engagement Rate / Post is 0.045%

Rival IQ. discovered that the median engagement rate/post for firms with Twitter Profiles over 2020 was 0.045%. 

There were some positive trends in the Twitter engagement/rate per post when you analyze by industry; however, some, like Hotels and Resorts, Media, Retail, and Tech and Software, managed to increase their Twitter engagement rates.

  • Higher Education 0.087%
  • Sports Teams 0.071%
  • Food and Beverage 0.068%
  • Alcohol 0.062%
  • Financial Services 0.058%
  • Nonprofits 0.055%
  • Hotels and Resorts 0.049%
  • Retail 0.049%
  • Influencers 0.036%
  • Health and Beauty 0.031%
  • Home Décor 0.028%
  • Fashion 0.027%
  • Tech and Software 0.027%
  • Media 0.012%

Posting Frequency on Social Media Platforms

Brands Average 5.5 Posts Per Week on Facebook

The median number of posts that brands make each week on Facebook is 5.5, slightly down on last year. Unsurprisingly, media companies average many more posts than other types:

  • Media 53.5
  • Sports Teams 18.9
  • Nonprofits 9.2
  • Higher Education 6.8
  • Retail 6.1
  • Tech and Software 5.5
  • Fashion 5.4
  • Influencers 4.9
  • Health and Beauty 4.9
  • Financial Services 4.6
  • Home Décor 4.5
  • Hotels and Resorts 3.2
  • Alcohol 2.8
  • Food and Beverage 2.5

Brands Average 4.0 Posts Per Week on Instagram

The median number of posts that brands make each week on Instagram is 4.0, slightly down by just 8% on last year. Sports teams average many more posts than other types, with media companies not posting to Instagram anywhere as much as Facebook.

  • Sports Teams 10.2
  • Fashion 6.7
  • Media 6.5
  • Health and Beauty 6.4
  • Retail 5.5
  • Home Décor 4.5
  • Nonprofits 4.0
  • Influencers 3.6
  • Higher Education 2.9
  • Hotels and Resorts 2.9
  • Alcohol 2.8
  • Financial Services 2.7
  • Food and Beverage 2.7
  • Tech and Software 1.9

Brands Average 4.4 Tweets Per Week on Twitter

The median number of tweets that brands make each week on Twitter is 4.4, down by about 20% on last year. However, media companies and sports teams average considerably more tweets than other types.

  • Media 52.7
  • Sports Teams 35.7
  • Nonprofits 11.1
  • Higher Education 9.6
  • Tech and Software 8.2
  • Financial Services 5.9
  • Influencers 3.7
  • Fashion 2.4
  • Food and Beverage 2.2
  • Retail 2.0
  • Alcohol 1.8
  • Home Décor 1.8
  • Hotels and Resorts 1.5
  • Health and Beauty 0.8

Number of Active Users Across All Social Media Platforms

4.48 Billion Social Users Globally

As of July 2021, there were 4.48 billion active social media users globally. That means 53.6% of the world's 7.83 billion population now uses social media. Notably, 4.15 Billion (98.8%) of these social media users accessed social media via their mobile phones.

Numbers vary across countries, however. For example, 99% of the residents of the UAE are active social users, followed by 89.3% of South Koreans. 

However, usage in Africa is well down, with only 15.8% using social media in Nigeria and 20.2% in Kenya. 

Presumably, there are very few social media users, if any, in North Korea.

79% of the Population in Northern and Western Europe Use Social Media

Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media use is highest in the more developed parts of the world. The parts of the world with the highest social media penetration are Northern and Western Europe (both 79%), followed by North America (74%), Southern Europe and Southern America (both 72%), and Central America (71%). Conversely, regions with minuscule social media usage are Middle Africa (8%), Eastern Africa (10%), Western Africa (16%), Central Asia (28%), Southern Assia (31%), and Southern Africa (41%).

13.2% Growth in Social Media Users in a Year

Social use increased worldwide during the first year of Covid. In the twelve months to January 2021, there was a 490 million (13.2%) increase in active social media users across all platforms globally.

This continues a constant trend over the last few years. Back in 2016, there were 2.31 billion social users. Numbers rose 20.9% during 2017 to reach 2.79 billion. Social users rose 14.6% the following year to 3.2 billion, followed by an 8.3% increase in 2019 to 3.46 billion, and a 7.2% increase to 3.71 billion in 2020.

More Than 40% of People Use Social Media for Work

40.4% of internet users aged 16 to 64 claim to use social media for work purposes. This includes using social media to network for work, plus those who follow work contacts, entrepreneurs, or businesspeople.

Unlike most social media activities, a higher percentage of males use social media for work at all age levels. This is particularly notable in older age groups, with 32.3% of 33-64-year-old males utilizing the internet for work, compared to 24.8% females. 

Usage of social media for work varies between countries, ranging from a high of 61.4% of South Africans to a low of 16.0% of South Koreans. Obviously, nations with little social media usage, like North Korea, are not included in these statistics. 

The UK (28.7%) and USA (28.6%) have comparatively low social media usage for work.

Social Media Users More Than Doubled in Turkmenistan in 2020

Although some parts of the world have minimal social media penetration, it is expanding rapidly in many of these countries. For example, during 2020, there was considerable growth in social media usage (in percentage terms at least) in Turkmenistan (+108.3%), South Sudan (+60.7%), Tajikistan (+51.5%), Benin (+45.5%), and Uzbekistan (+43.8%).

In absolute number terms, China topped the list, with an additional 110 million users in 2020, followed by India (+78 million) and the Philippines (+16 million).

Average of 8.4 Social Accounts

If you're somebody who just runs a Facebook account or perhaps watches YouTube, you might be surprised at how many accounts most people have. The average number of social media accounts per internet user is 8.4.

This varies considerably from country to country. For example, Japanese people only average 3.8 social accounts. On the other hand, USA social users have 7.1 social accounts on average. However, Indian social users clearly like to spread their time across a range of social networks, with their internet users having an average of 11.4 social media platforms. 

These numbers represent all the social platforms where users have an account and do not necessarily mean that they use every account regularly.

Social Media Platforms: User Overlaps

Nearly Everyone Operates Multiple Social Accounts

We saw above that most people operate multiple social media accounts. The social platform with the highest percentage of unique users is YouTube, but even they only have 1% of users who stick solely to that platform. Likewise, Facebook can only exclusively claim 0.7% of its users.

All other social platforms have 0.2% or fewer exclusive users. Indeed, no TikTok users admit to only using that platform. This means there is considerable overlap in the use of the various social networks. 

Strong Correlation Between Facebook and Instagram

It is probably unsurprising to see that many people operate both Facebook and Instagram accounts. This is partly because Facebook owns Instagram, and their advertising networks intertwine. 

The correlation is particularly evident for Instagram users, 84.3% of whom also operate a Facebook account. While the reverse connection is less intense (77.2% of Facebook users use Instagram), it is still clear-cut.

Many Facebook and YouTube Users Spend Time on Both Platforms

A widespread combination of social accounts is Facebook and YouTube. Indeed, 75.7% of Facebook users also use YouTube. Of course, the two platforms have different purposes, so it is perhaps not surprising that many people use both. 

Things are even more clear-cut in the other direction. For example, 80.9% of YouTube viewers also use Facebook. Thus, there is a strong correlation between the two networks, despite Facebook's increased encouragement of people sharing video clips in recent years.

Most Other Social Users Also Use Both YouTube and Facebook

It isn't just Facebook fans and YouTubers who visit each other's preferred platform. Indeed, users of most social networks spend time looking at Facebook posts and watching YouTube videos, as well as at least one other social app. This applies to all the surveyed networks (Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn), all of whom have at least 80% overlap with Facebook and 78%+ overlap with YouTube.

Most TikTok Users Have a Facebook Account, But Far Fewer Facebook users Use TikTok

Facebook and TikTok have a much weaker overlap. This is probably unsurprising – although people of all ages run Facebook accounts, you only tend to find Generation Z and Millennials members using TikTok. As a result, while 85.8% of TikTok users also operate Facebook, only 40.4% of Facebook users operate TikTok accounts.

Strong Connections Between the Youth-Oriented Social Networks: Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok

Many of the younger generations operate a combination of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok accounts. For example, 88.8% of Snapchatters run Instagram accounts, and 57.1% run TikTok accounts. Conversely, 84.6% of TikTok fans run an Instagram account, and 43.7% run Snapchat. Numbers are less clear-cut for Instagram users (because they have a broader support base), but 35.0% also have Snapchat accounts, and 43.6% also use TikTok.

Reasons for Using Social Media

The Main Reason People Use Social Media is to Stay in Touch with Friends and Family

Global Web Index asked internet users why they used social media. The most common purpose by far in Q1 2021 was to stay in touch with friends and family (48.6%). Other popular reasons for people using social media were:

  • Filling up spare time (36.3%)
  • Reading news stories (35.2%)
  • Finding funny or entertaining content (30.9%)
  • Seeing what's being talked about (29.3%)
  • Finding inspiration for things to do and buy (27.5%)
  • Finding products to purchase (26.1%)
  • Sharing and discussing opinions with others (24.9%)

More Than 1 in 6 People Go On Social Media to Follow Celebrities

The fourteenth most popular reason for using social media (with 17.6% support) is to follow celebrities and celebrity news. This is a sizable group, which could open possibilities for brands considering working with celebrity influencer marketing.

1 in 5 People Claim to Follow Influencers

Worldwide, 21.6% of people admit to following influencers or other experts on social media. This percentage varies considerably between countries, however. For example, the greatest supporters of influencers are people from the Philippines (51.3%) and Brazil (42.3%), before dropping down to multiple countries headed by South Africa (34.8%) and Colombia (34.0%). 

The countries that claim the least interest in following influencers are Russia (6.1%), Greece (11.7%), Japan (12.4%), and Turkey (13.1%).

More Females Than Males Follow Influencers

When you analyze influencer following figures by age and gender, you see a clear imbalance between females and males in most age groupings. Younger people also have more interest in following influencers than their elders.

33.1% of females aged 16-24 say they follow influencers on social media, compared to 25.1 of their male counterparts. For 25–34-year-olds, the figures are females (26.1%), males (21.9%). This trend continues for 35–44-year-olds – females (20.1%), males (18.0%), 45-54 year-olds – females (15.4%), males (14.0%), and 55-64 year-olds – females (10.0%), males (9.5%).

56% Use Social Media to Access News Content

The Reuters Institute Digital News report 2021 reports that 56% of people (58% female, 54% male) use social media for their news content. This compares with 64% television, 26% broadcast radio, and 24% print media.

Social media usage for news consumption is highest in Thailand (78%), Nigeria (78%), and Kenya (76%). On the other hand, it is lowest in Japan (24%), Germany (31%), and the Netherlands (37%).

Consistent with most other statistics in this report, the highest group of respondents using social media for news are the younger survey respondents – 66% of those 18 to 24 years old. Conversely, the lowest social users for news were those aged 55 years and older, at 48%.

By far, the most used social platform for news content is Facebook (44%). Others include YouTube (29%), WhatsApp (23%), Instagram (15%), Twitter (13%), and Facebook Messenger.

Despite many people using social media for their news, only 24% say they trust social media as a news source.

Impact of Covid/Lockdown on Social Media Use

Universal Increase in Time Spent on Social Media in Q2 2020 as Countries Went into Lockdown Followed by Small Reduction as People Emerged

As people had more lockdown-enforced time on their hands in 2020, they began to increase their social media usage. However, the increase between Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 was not as significant as you would imagine, and people partially reduced their social media time later in the year.

Globally, people's average time on social media rose from 2:22 in Q1 2020 to 2:29 in Q2 before falling back to 2:22 by Q4.

This trend was consistent across the generations and regions of the world.

The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health by Demographic

Nearly 1 in 5 Gen Zs Claim Social Media Gives Them Anxiety

Younger people feel the connection between social media and mental health most strongly. The pandemic has undoubtedly exacerbated this. 19% of Gen Z internet users (aged 16-23) say that social media gives them anxiety. In comparison, 16% of Millennials (24-37) feel the connection, along with 14% of Gen X (38-56) and 12% of Baby Boomers (57-64). 

Favorite Social Media Platform 

Globally, Most People Rate WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram as Their Favorite Social Media Platforms

A broad survey of internet users aged 16 to 64 was asked about their favorite social platforms. Although this was a global survey, it excluded China. 

Three Facebook-owned platforms strongly dominate this when looking at the global figures. WhatsApp topped with 21.7% support, followed by Facebook (21.5%) and Instagram (19.3%). All other social platforms took a share of the remaining 37.5%. The most popular of these second-tier social platforms are Twitter (4.6%), TikTok (4.3%), FB Messenger (3.6% - another Facebook-owned platform), and Telegram (2.8%). This survey excluded video platforms like YouTube.

Instagram Favorite Social Platform for Generation Z and Some Millennials

Instagram is the most popular social platform for both females (33.4%) and males (29.1%) aged 16-24. It remains popular with the next generation of females (24.8%), although it loses males in this age group (17.8%). 25-35-year-old males are now interested in Facebook (23.9%). Many Millennial females like Facebook (21.1%), but more still prefer Instagram. 

Instagram love drops markedly for the older generations, however. Only 7.1% of females and 4.4% of males aged 55-64 rate Instagram as their favorite. By this stage in life, WhatsApp and Facebook are most popular for both genders.

Use of Stories Across all Social Media Platforms

Over 290 Million People Use Snapchat Daily

Stories began on Snapchat, and although the platform has never attracted older fans, it remains popular with teenagers. For example, 82 percent of US teens use Snapchat once a month. Overall, it is beloved by Generation Z. In comparison, only 2% of Baby Boomers use Snapchat.

293 million people used Snapchat daily in Q2 2021. They sent more than 4 billion Snaps each day.

About 500 Million People Use Instagram Stories Daily

Instagram may not have invented the Stories format, but they have done much to popularize it. There are now over 500 million people who view Instagram Stories daily, up from 400 million in 2018. Many businesses now post Stories, and US marketers allocate around 31% of their Instagram budget for ads on Stories.

Facebook Stories Has 500M Users

Facebook announced in 2019 that it now had 500 million daily active users using Stories on Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Unfortunately, Facebook hasn't released updated figures since then.

Using Social Media - Statistics Generated by

In this section of the Benchmark Report we include original research courtesy of comparing data collected in October 2020 with a year previously. 

79% of Social Posts are Scheduled in Advance

Falcon analyzed about 5 million in 2020 (and 4.1 million in 2019). They found that 79% of the 2020 posts were scheduled, with the remaining 21% published in real-time. This was relatively unchanged from the 2019 statistics.

Late Afternoon Most Popular Time for Social Posting

Considering that much of 2020 was spent in lockdown it is perhaps surprising that there was little difference between the 2020 and 2019 time-of-day post scheduling figures. The most popular times were all in the afternoon, with 11.46% of all posts scheduled for around 4pm. Other popular times were 5pm (10.57%), 3pm (10.54%), 11am (8.61%), 2pm (8.16%), and 6pm (8.16%). Unsurprisingly, the least popular times were in the early hours of the morning.

Friday Most Popular Day for Making Social Posts

When it comes to popular days to schedule social posts, there is one very clear conclusion. People and businesses schedule substantially more posts during the week than they do at weekends. Yet the most popular day is Friday, just before the weekend, which saw 19.42% of all posts made. This was substantially unchanged from 2019. Posts numbers on the other weekdays were relatively similar, meaning that there were small variations in preference between 2019 and 2020.

In order of popularity, the preferred days for scheduling social posts in 2020 were:

  •  Friday (19.42%)
  • Tuesday (19.13%)
  • Wednesday (19.1%)
  • Thursday (18.74%)
  • Monday (18.74%)
  • Saturday (2.61%)
  • Sunday (2.27%)

Nearly Half of Posts are Scheduled to Run the Day of Scheduling

While many social media managers use social media management software to schedule their posts, they typically don’t schedule that far ahead, often hours rather than days. Falcon found that 47.55% of social media managers schedule posts on the day of posting, with 11.56% of posts being scheduled a day ahead, 8.1% 2 days in advance, 5.79% 3 days, 4.53% 4 days, 3.79% 5 days, and 3.5% 6 days.  Surprisingly, 6.63% of posts are scheduled at least 30 days in advance.

Nearly Half of all Posts are Picture Posts

Falcon analyzed the types of posts scheduled and posted through its platform. They found that picture posts dominated, comprising 46.67% of all posts. This was an increase from 2019’s 43.96%. Although the proportions differed between the years, the comparative popularity of the different post types remained unchanged.

In order of popularity, the most popular post types published in 2020 were:

  • Picture (46.67%)
  • Link (15.88%)
  • Pictures (11.66%) - presumably these feature more than one image
  • Video (11.31%)
  • Text (7.46%)
  • Carousel (4.95)

45% of Posts Made to Facebook

You can use Falcon’s platform to make and schedule posts to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Twitter. In 2020, people made 45% of these posts on Facebook (down slightly from 2019), 28% on Instagram (up 1%), 21% on Twitter (down 2%), 8% on Twitter (up 2%), and very few (just 4 in total, down from 693) to Tumblr.

More Than ¼ of Facebook Posts Get Boosted

While the subscribers to Falcon’s platform are likely to be more marketing-focused than typical social users, the percentage of Facebook posts boosted is surprisingly high. 29.28% of these posts were boosted in 2020, up from 25.13% in 2019.

⅔ of Messages Sent are Private / Direct Messages

One interesting social media benchmark gleaned by Falcon was that 66% of social posts are private or direct messages, with the remaining 34% being public posts. Private messages made a slightly higher percentage of all posts in 2020 than in 2019.

Most Popular Post Length is Greater Than 350 Characters

There has been something of a trend towards longer social posts in recent years, and even Instagram captions can sometimes be lengthy. Only a relatively small percentage of social posts are now made on Twitter, and even that doubled its maximum tweet length a few years ago to 280 characters. 

Ironically the most popular posts are at the two extremes, longer than 350 characters and shorter than 70 characters. 

In order of popularity, the most popular post lengths are:

  • >350 characters 24%
  • < 70 characters 18%
  • 210-280 characters 16%
  • 140-210 characters 16%
  • 70-140 characters 14%
  • 380-350 characters 11%

External Sources

Digital 2021: Global Overview Report and Digital 2021: July Global Statshot Review

Rival IQ 2021 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report


GWI Social media marketing trends in 2021


Business of Apps – Snapchat and Facebook

Falcon (original data)