Essential (and Surprising) Social Media Statistics to Inform Your Strategy

Essential (and Surprising) Social Media Statistics to Inform Your Strategy

As social media marketers, we do our best to be data-informed with the decisions we make for our social media strategy at Buffer. Social media stats make a difference.

Plus, you never know when you’ll need a good trivia tidbit to impress at a party.

In this post, we hope you’ll find it all: both the necessary stats and facts to inform your social media decisions plus some social media numbers that will surprise and entertain.

Keep reading to see the numbers on social media demographics, usage, trends, and much more. We hope these statistics and facts will arm you with the knowledge you need to build an even stronger social media strategy.

Our first grouping of social media statistics is very meta: it’s about the state of social media itself. We thought we’d begin by taking a bird’s eye view of the social media landscape before zooming into each social network in particular. To begin with, check out these numbers for social media usage worldwide:

For context, as of May 2019,total worldwide population is 7.7 billion. So that means that 57 percent of the world’s population is on the internet. More people are online than those who aren’t online.

And as far as social media usage goes,

Yes, and it gets even more mind-blowing.

It’s interesting to know how many people – total – are on social, but how about where these social media users spend their time. If you want to play along, go ahead and think about the order of the top 10 social networks with the most users. Keep in mind, these are total user counts, not necessarily active users, which not all social networks reveal.

All these user numbers are the most recent ones we could find online. Please do let us know in the comments if you’ve seen a more recent statistic.

Next, we’ll drill down into some specific demographics of these networks, starting with Facebook.

The gender split of Facebook users slightly favors women. The exact breakdown is 54% women and 46% men. This ratio also appears when you look at Facebook usage amongst internet users: 62% of all men who are online have a Facebook account, while 72 percent of women who are online are also on Facebook.

Among U.S. residents, here’s the breakdown of Facebook usage by age:

And also among U.S. residents, here’s how Facebook usage varies according to where you live.

Instagram tends to have some of the most highly-publicized of statistics as their announcements about usage tend to make headlines. You’ve probably heard some of the recent ones:

The biggest demographic group on Instagram is males between 18 and 24 years old. In fact, the 18-to-24 age group makes up 75% of all users on Instagram.

The Pew numbers bear this out as well. Pew draws its demographic lines between 18 and 29 years old. According to their U.S. figures,

And here are the stats on location demographics.

In the U.S.,

While the U.S. is the country that uses Instagram the most, can you guess the rest of the top three? Number two is Brazil and number three is India. Both have more than 60 million users.

Again according to our friends at Pew, this is how Twitter ranks in terms of usage by age group:

It’s interesting to see how the ages skew younger on Twitter, and those percentages are notable in contrast to Facebook and Instagram, which have huge percentages.

LinkedIn’s demographics have a couple interesting differences from the social networks we’ve covered already. First, here are the age demographics:

Yes, and where things get interesting is when looking at the stats for education and income demographics.

And, just for fun,

Obviously these numbers are at the top of the charts for social networks for these demographics, which makes sense with the career emphasis that is placed on LinkedIn.

As many of you know, Pinterest is associated with a majority-women audience. There’s lots of ways to look at the numbers behind this. These stats from Pew tell a pretty good story:

In the U.S.

And in terms of age breakdown …

A couple of bonus stats we love about Pinterest is how well the platform ties into shopping. Over 175 billion items have been pinned on Pinterest, and nearly two in three pinners — 61% — have made a purchase after seeing something they like on Pinterest.

And many of you know the demographics that are most commonly associated with Snapchat. As the numbers tell it, Snapchat’s audience is young.

The numbers fall off a cliff after that point. 26% of 30-49 year olds use Snapchat, 10% of 50-64 year olds use Snapchat, and 3% of 65+ year olds use Snapchat.

80% of brands are under the impression that they are doing social media customer service exceptionally well.

Only 8% of their customers agree.

90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35.

(This is a good reminder that Snapchat and TikTok and other “young” social networks aren’t the only places that younger demographics spend their time.)

Today, more pictures are taken every two minutes than were taken during the entire 1800s.

On WordPress alone — which is the software we use to run our Buffer blogs — 70 million blog posts are published every month.

(Not exactly social-media-related, but wow, that’s a lot of content to be shared!)

U.S. adults spend an average of 1 hour and 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices. And this includes a majority of the population: 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% watch every. day.

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on Twitter, Buffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.