Social Media Marketing in 2021

When formulating your social media strategy, insights are one of the main things that marketers take into consideration. Insights are also your most valuable tool for internal campaign optimisation.

2020 was quite the year. Particularly for brands, and how they diversify their business model to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world. COVID-19 caused audiences to spend more time online, and spend more money online. 2020 saw the whole world of social benchmarking shift, with changes in social engagement, busiest traffic times, and best time to post windows.

We’ve amalgamated the latest industry social statistics, to highlight a valuable framework for setting out strategies and building your business with social media. 

The Social Age

If you, as a business owner, want to reach your desired audiences a social media marketing strategy should be the first string to your proverbial bow. 

  1. Globally, over 3.6 billion people use social media and the number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025
  2. The top social media networks ranked by the number of active users are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
  3. Internet users spend an average of 144 minutes on social media per day


Despite an ageing demographic the most established of all the social networks, Facebook went through a number of changes last year. New highlights like live broadcasting from a Page, Creator Studio updates and the introduction of Messenger into the Page Inbox continued  to make having an effective Facebook strategy imperative to brands across the board.

  1. While other social networks have gained ground in younger audiences and better engagement, Facebook still reigns as king. It’s the most used social network in the world with a reported 2.7 billion monthly active users at the end of 2020
  2. The all-industry median benchmark for Facebook engagement rate per post is 0.09%. This number is mainly unchanged from 2019
  3. Like all social networks, advertising is how Facebook makes most of its money. The network claimed a whopping nine million active advertisers in Q2 2020 and claims that mobile accounted for 92% of its total revenue
  4. Links were the most commonly used content type for brands on the network at 44.2% of all brand posts


As the ever-evolving little brother of Facebook, Instagram also introduced a whole host of new features during 2020. In order to capitalise on the e-commerce boom in a post-covid world it introduced the Shops feature, along with shopping tags on live videos. In an effort to snatch some market share back from TikTok, Reels were added to the suite of Instagram features, highlighting the channels plans to work ever more closely with creators moving forward.

  1. Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million of them use Instagram Stories.
  2. The largest demographic on the network is women aged 18–24 years old
  3. The all-industry median benchmark for Instagram engagement rate per post is 1.22%. This median has decreased by 23% from 1.60% in 2019
  4. 90% of US marketers name Instagram as the most important social media platform for influencer marketing.
  5. The top two most effective content types for influencer marketing are posts (78%) Stories (73%)


As the favourite digital weapon of Trump and a direct response to the US presidential election, Twitter introduced new features for fact checking to create more validated and valuable dialogues on the platform. In terms of news, it’s the go-to platform of choice.

  1. In Q3 2020, Twitter reported an average of 187 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), up 29% year over year
  2. The all-industry median benchmark for Twitter engagement rate per Tweet is 0.045%. This has been a consistent number for three years in a row
  3. Tweeting frequency decreased by 10% in 2020. The current median across all industries is 0.77 Tweets per day
  4. Focusing on specific industries, the media (9.54 Tweets per day) and sports industries (7.24 Tweets per day) combined posted more than all the other industries


The world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn, is all about connections and business influencers. LinkedIn marketing for brands helps in recruitment efforts and customer acquisition.

  1. Globally, LinkedIn has more than 722 million users in more than 200 countries and territories.
  2. 96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for organic content distribution and 83% for paid social, making it the most-used platform in both content distribution types
  3. Long-form posts perform well on the network. In fact, posts with 1900–2000 words performed the best in terms of views and engagement
  4. There are 14 million open jobs listed and 3 people are hired every minute on the platform.
  5. Four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions


It’s tough to stand out from the crowd as a brand. Having a social media advertising strategy in your pocket helps you control your expectations and overall ad spend.

  1. In Q2 2020, the average CPM cost on social media was $4.33
  2. The average CTR for social media ads in Q2 2020 was 1.3%. This number is slightly up from 1.2% in 2019
  3. When examining B2B advertising, social media advertising was used by 83% of marketers and ranked second in success (29%) behind search engine marketing (33%)

In Summary

Understanding the latest social media statistics and benchmarks can help brands when it comes to reviewing and refining their strategy, and setting bigger, better, brighter goals. Are your engagement rates drastically different from the median and are you keeping up with your own industry? These statistics operate as a benchmark but it’s always a good idea to research even further for more specific data about your own brand’s performance.

As an agency, delivering top tier results in a digital world, we’ve seen more brands than ever learn that using a customer marketing playbook with social listening is one of the most valuable tools a business can have in its arsenal. A marketing weapon that’s backed up with data, insight, and evidence. What you see, is quite literally what you get.

If you want to understand more or would like advice please connect Tim Sinclair on LinkedIn or by email