The advantages of using social media for your business seem endless. It offers increased brand recognition, audience reach, and an avenue for interacting and cultivating relationships with prospects, leads, and customers.

It also provides many opportunities to generate sales and share diverse marketing messages, such as user-generated content.

Social media has continued growing in size and function. The expectations, needs, and habits of its users are continually shifting, and you need to be aware of the changing tides to attract and engage your audience successfully.

In 2020, marketers have had to deviate from their original strategies and embrace new trends and processes to deal with the pandemic and its attendant consequences.

As we approach the end of the year, it's time to consider how the world of social media has evolved over the last couple of months and prepare to use those insights to improve your digital marketing strategy for 2021.

In this statistical roundup, you'll learn the latest social networking data and how you can use them to elevate your social marketing efforts.

Key Social Media Stats to Know

By examining social media statistics and data from 2020, you can determine the types of content that'll resonate with your audience and the steps you can take to deliver better social customer service and increase your ROI.

Here are some key stats that can fuel your marketing strategy and help you successfully manage your social media projects in 2021 and beyond.

1. More than 50% of the world's population uses social media

(Source: We Are Social)

With over 3.8 billion social media users globally, you're pretty much guaranteed to find your ideal customers on one social platform for the other. You just need to do your research, figure out where they like to hang out and spend time online, then build an active social presence on those channels to connect with them.

2. Facebook remains the leading social media network with 2.7 billion monthly active users

(Source: Statista)

Following closely behind is YouTube and WhatsApp with 1.6 billion, FB Messenger with 1.3 billion, WeChat/Weixin with 1.2 billion, Instagram with 1.1 billion, and TikTok with 689 million users. The average user has 8.6 accounts on different social media sites, so you'll want to expand your presence to as many channels as possible. This way, you'll be able to reach more people and help your message go further.

3. 98.68% of people of social media users access networks via mobile devices (tablet or phone)

(Source: Data Reportal)

When it comes to social media usage by device, the data leans heavily towards mobile, with only a meager 1.32% of users accessing their favorite networks on desktop.

Social media and sleep are activities that often follow each other as most people browse on their phones before bedtime.

This means that you need to ensure that your landing pages, web pages, and other digital content are mobile-friendly, or you'll risk alienating the majority of your audience.

4. 68% of consumers want to engage with images, while 50% want to engage with video content

(Source: Sprout Social)

Visual content leads the charge regarding attracting audiences and getting them to interact and engage with your posts. Try to incorporate images and videos into your social media content as much as possible.

Turn your old text posts into images, create promotional videos to market your products and services, share user-generated content, etc. There are many graphic design software and photo editing tools out there that you can use to create stunning visual content.

5. About 40% of internet users aged 18-34 are interested in purchasing through social media

(Source: Statista)

Unlike the older generation, millennials and Generation Z are open to discovering new brands and shopping for products/services on social media. However, they'd rather patronize and support businesses that share their social values and take the issues that matter to them seriously.

To appeal to this demographic, your brand needs to get to know your audience and their concerns better, then tackle those issues the best way you can. When you present your brand as an ally and show that you share your target customer’s struggles, your message will better resonate with them, and they’ll feel more connected to you.

6. 45% of consumers use the suggestions feature or discovery tools to find new accounts to like and follow on social media

(Source: Sprout Social)

Consumers can discover and follow your social profiles through word-of-mouth, hashtags, and recommendations from friends, family, and influencers.

They're also likely to engage with your page if they've been patronizing your business offline or you've built a brand that they admire and want to associate with.

It's essential to get your target audience to follow you because it'll dramatically increase their chances of buying from you rather than from your competitors and ultimately impact your bottom line.

Share interesting content, develop a unique brand personality, and actively engage with your network to boost the visibility, impact, and appeal of your social media accounts.

7. 57% of consumers follow brands on social media to learn about new products and services

(Source: Sprout Social)

Most customers and prospects are looking to stay updated on new products, services, and relevant company news by following your brand's social feed. You must give them the information that they want and need.

Are you launching new products? Talk about it. Fixed a bug in your app? Let them know. Making some changes to your hours of operation or running a sales campaign? Create content that communicates this information to your audience.

When planning your social media posts, consider the updates that'll be most valuable to your audience, then develop your content around that. If you don't fill the information gap for them, someone else will, which might not be favorable to you.

8. Poor customer service and quality of product are the main reasons why consumers unfollow brands on social media

(Source: Sprout Social)

You need to prioritize providing excellent customer support and quality products or services to your customers, or 49% of them will abandon you and jump ship to one of your competitors.

When people make inquiries or complaints on your social media pages, aim to respond to them within 24 hours and resolve the issues as efficiently as possible. This will go a long way towards increasing customer loyalty and retention.

You'll also want to avoid posting too much, sharing irrelevant content, too many ads, abusing privacy, getting involved in a corporate scandal, or you'll risk annoying and chasing away your audience.

9. 61% of consumers think audience engagement, transparency, memorable content, and distinct personality are what makes a brand's social presence stand out

(Source: Sprout Social)

Take a look at how brands like Nike and Wendy's are always winning when creating impactful campaigns and engaging their audience on social media.

People love to follow them, view their content, and interact with them because they have developed a unique brand voice and keep coming up with creative ways to get their message across to the people who matter.

Learn from them. Get to know your target audience intimately, use social listening to figure out what they want and don't want, understand how they use social media and the types of content that resonate with them.

Analyzing your social data can help you determine what your core audience considers engaging, memorable, and unique. You can then apply those insights to ensure your next social campaign hits all the right notes and drives people to take desired actions.

10. 43% of social media users want to see more stories, live video, AMA sessions, and user-generated content from brands

(Source: Sprout Social)

Evolving social media trends show that users are looking for more engaging, visually stimulating, and interactive content from the brands they follow and support.

Providing relevant information quickly and conveniently should be your guiding principle when producing content for social. Start a podcast for your business, create webinars around topics you're knowledgeable about and those your audience would find valuable and relevant.

Use storytelling in short video clips to show followers how they can get the most out of your products or services. Conducting polls and ask-me-anything sessions will allow you to gather valuable feedback from your audience and educate them on subjects that are not clear to them.

Let your followers peek behind the scenes by sharing live videos showcasing your work culture, production process, and other aspects of your business that make the brand possible.

User-generated content will go farther and be more convincing than your regular marketing content, so don't hesitate to share them and empower your audience to create them.

Ready to get started?

As you can see, social is a powerful medium for driving awareness, attracting new leads, improving customer service and loyalty, and generating sales for your business.

In this day and age, you cannot survive or scale successfully without being active on social media. As a marketer or business owner, it's imperative that you keep your fingers on the pulse so you can quickly tweak your strategy to align with emerging trends.

Rather than guessing what your followers want or dislike, make use of the social media usage facts above, as well as data from your accounts to rev-up your social strategy.