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It’s estimated that 4.9 billion people use social media around the world.
No successful digital marketing strategy in 2023 would be complete without a carefully executed strategy for using social media to engage with your audience, share your high-quality content, and attract the right eyes to your services.
Social media is a powerful source for generating leads, nurturing leads, and ultimately converting leads into lifelong customers.
Understanding how to use each platform to its highest potential is key for businesses to target the right audiences — and get them to view you as a trusted industry authority.
In this guide, we will highlight the social media statistics you need to know to create an unbeatable strategy. We will dig into the top platforms and social trends, and share considerations for a range of industries.
Key social media statistics
To create the most effective social media strategy, you need to understand the ins and outs of who is using which channels, why they’re using them, how they’re using them, and when they’re using them.
It’s also helpful to understand how other marketing professionals are allocating their social media marketing budgets so you can keep up with the competition.
Social media statistics can help you effectively target your key audiences by answering these questions.
First, let’s take a look at the growth of social media advertising in the past year.
Social media advertising
According to Zenith Media, social media recently beat paid search as an advertising channel, growing 25% year-over-year and exceeding $137 billion — compared to search’s $135 billion.
The total ad spend on social media is expected to reach $268 billion in 2023.
Ad spend on social platforms continues to grow, and businesses must prepare to make room in their budgets in order to compete.
However, it’s not just about paid advertisements. High-quality organic content can perform well on any social platform if you build up the right audience to engage with this content.
Next, let’s see how consumers are using social media today, and how the pandemic has shifted usage.
Social media usage
The average person uses seven different social platforms each month and spends 151 minutes per day on social media.
According to Statista, the top six social media platforms in 2023 are as follows, ranked by the number of monthly active users:
- Facebook (2.9 billion)
- YouTube (2.5 billion)
- WhatsApp (2 billion)
- Instagram (2 billion)
- WeChat (1.3 billion)
- TikTok (1 billion)
While LinkedIn doesn’t make the list based on monthly active users (it clocks in at 310 million), we’re going to discuss it because it’s considered the top channel for lead generation.
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B and B2C companies looking to connect with prospects or partners.
Social media user growth exploded during the pandemic and has slowed since. But this data is believed to reflect a natural shift from a period of stay-at-home orders to a “new normal” where restrictions have been lifted and consumers have largely resumed their daily activities.
Still, today’s social trends reflect the lasting impression the pandemic has made on society, including the push for personalized, high-quality, informative, engaging, and responsible content from brands.
So, how do you get started in meeting these demands? Let’s dig into how businesses should use the top social media platforms to engage with their audiences.
Top social media platforms
Let me be clear: This article isn’t telling you that you have to be on every single social media channel to compete — especially if you’re currently the only one on your sales team.
Instead, the key is to pinpoint which channels your audience uses the most and develop a strategy for targeting your audience on those channels.
It’s better to have a few channels you actively use and earn high levels of engagement, rather than to spread yourself too thin on several channels with low engagement.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top social media platforms and who is using them, so you can determine where you should be meeting your target audiences.
LinkedIn is a major lead generator
According to LinkedIn data, audiences that view brand and acquisition messages on the platform are six times more likely to convert.
Here are some key stats from LinkedIn:
- Four out of five of its 900 million members drive business decisions
- 82% of B2B marketers have the best success with LinkedIn compared to other channels
- 93% of B2B marketers used LinkedIn for organic marketing in the year prior to October 2021, and of this group, 77% said they saw the best organic results from LinkedIn
- Ads generate a 33% increase in purchase intent for brands
LinkedIn is considered the most effective channel for lead generation, with 89% of B2B marketers using it for lead gen and 62% saying it does the job.
How to organically grow your LinkedIn following
If you want to start taking advantage of the power of LinkedIn for lead generation, you have to determine whether the platform fits your target audience.
Take a look at the following demographics for LinkedIn users:
- Most active demographic is men ages 25-34
- Half of users have an income greater than $75,000
- One-third of users have a bachelor’s degree, and 23% have a master’s degree
- Most users are in the U.S.
To organically boost your engagement on the platform, consider the following tips from marketing experts and LinkedIn’s own VP of marketing, Jim Habig:
- Complete your LinkedIn page fully, including relevant keywords in all copy
- Encourage leadership and employees to create individual profile pages
- Post relevant, engaging content on your profile, including videos, polls, listicles, images, and infographics
- Connect with other industry professionals and interact with their content
- Join groups that your customers and partners are in
- Post regularly and consistently
Take a look at the LinkedIn post below from Kaleidico founder Bill Rice, who frequently posts on his LinkedIn profile and consistently engages with other professionals on the platform.
While there are tons of free tools to build an engaged audience on LinkedIn, the best strategies use a combination of organic and paid content.
Let’s take a look at how LinkedIn ads can boost your lead gen strategy.
As with any paid advertising platform, setting up paid campaigns and sponsored content on LinkedIn requires you to understand your target audience and your campaign goals.
From there, you can choose the types of content you wish to promote and how you plan to execute them.
In a conversation with HubSpot, Habig suggested using sponsored content to promote your top-performing posts, or lead generation forms to easily capture leads.
Facebook is still the top platform
I’m sure you’re aware of TikTok’s explosive growth or Instagram’s pull for influencers, but statistics show that Facebook still rules the social world in 2023.
Use the following statistics and demographic information to determine how you want to use the platform:
- 2 billion people use Facebook every day
- Facebook’s global advertising audience is 2.2 billion
- Facebook is used by 90% of marketers worldwide
- The greatest percentage of Facebook’s total ad audience is aged 25 to 34, at 29.6%
- Facebook.com is the third most-visited website in the world, following Google.com at No. 1 and YouTube.com at No. 2, according to Semrush
Facebook’s massive audience lends itself to businesses that want to expand their reach and generate more leads.
Targeted advertising is ideal on Facebook to cut through the competition, but businesses that regularly post unique, informative, and engaging content tailored to their audience will see the highest success.
This includes videos, photos, stories, Facebook Live, contests or giveaways, and links to relevant website pages such as blog content, or events.
To get started, you’ll want to create a business page and start experimenting. Post frequently, engage with your followers, and track which posts and types of content attract the most engagement.
Of course, paid advertising is part of your path to success on Facebook.
Facebook offers numerous options for advertising, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and lead generation ads.
Facebook Ads allows detailed targeting based on behaviors, interests, or demographics.
The key to success on Facebook is matching your ad to where your target audience is in their journey, and how well they know and understand your business.
As with any ad campaign, use all the tools at your disposal to track and measure results so you can effectively remarket.
Instagram is where the influencers are
Sprout Social calls Instagram the “king of social selling” because it offers the best in-app shopping experience for users out of any other social platform. Therefore, it offers marketers the highest ROI for sales.
The dominating demographic for Instagram is aged 18-24, although its biggest competitor for younger users and influencer marketing is TikTok.
Still, 72% of U.S. marketers used Instagram for influencer campaigns in 2022, according to Statista, compared to 45% for TikTok.
Effective organic marketing on Instagram involves photos, videos, Reels, and Stories, and a plan for engaging with commenters and followers who send direct messages.
Create a personal and business profile, and optimize your profiles with compelling bios, a link to your website, and quality profile pictures.
Since Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram, advertising looks similar on both platforms and you can manage both ads from one location. However, Facebook Ads are more complex to navigate.
The biggest thing to remember about advertising on one platform vs. the other is to tailor the target audience appropriately.
In general, Instagram is a much more visual platform with younger demographics.
TikTok is the prime platform to reach new audiences
TikTok is the most popular platform with Gen Z.
Although the platform has led to some eye-rolls from business professionals in regard to the usefulness of the app for anything other than trendy dance videos—TikTok is used today for much more than trends.
TikTok has a high engagement rate and an active user base, and according to Pew Research Center a quarter of U.S. adults under age 30 use TikTok to get news.
Platform data shows that brands are remembered 40% more on TikTok than on other platforms. Users are twice as likely to recommend something they found on the platform.
For example, check out the profile below for Law By Mike on TikTok, which has 7.2 million followers. Mike uses TikTok as a branding tool and works to educate, entertain, and inspire his followers.
TikTok users are hungry for information, and they are increasingly choosing to use TikTok instead of Google for their searches.
Many marketers consider TikTok a prime platform to get on right now because the market is newer and there is less competition.
In other words, right now it’s easier to capture your target audience because you could offer them something no one else has — yet.
The same advice applies to TikTok’s ad tool, TikTok for Business.
TikTok is not as expensive to advertise right now compared to other platforms, and you have a greater chance of reaching your target.
Twitter is losing steam
Twitter was once one of the hottest platforms for brands and celebrities to engage with their followers.
But at the end of 2022, data showed that Twitter could lose more than 30 million followers in the next two years following Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform and the increasing technical problems and offensive content.
Twitter’s new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, is hard at work to revamp the platform, but its fate remains to be seen.
Twitter’s largest user base is aged 25-34. It’s not as popular with younger age groups.
Its users primarily use the app to keep up with news and current events, and especially to follow major events in real time.
If you intend to use Twitter to target your audience, consider using it to share and respond to the latest industry news, or to engage with your audience through polls or FAQs.
YouTube is a reigning social champion
YouTube is the largest video platform and the second-largest social media platform — and its user base is continuing to grow.
According to Demand Sage, more than 122 million people visit YouTube every day, and the platform generated $6.7 billion in advertising in the first quarter of 2023.
Most of YouTube’s users are in the 25-34 age group.
The best way to find success and meet your target audience on YouTube is to simply start creating high-quality, informative, and engaging videos.
The platform is also a hotspot for influencer marketing, and according to Google 70% of consumers say they have bought a product after seeing it on YouTube.
It can be challenging to rank on such a massive platform, but running ads and optimizing your content will help boost your rank and meet the eyes of those who need to see your content.
Optimizing your videos on YouTube includes:
- Naturally working primary and secondary keywords into titles and descriptions
- Choose thumbnail styles that perform well on your channel
- Add relevant words and phrases into tags
- Promote your videos on other platforms to boost views and engagement
- Respond to comments
Competitor research is especially helpful on YouTube to see which types of content and keywords others in your space are sharing — and what is performing well.
A consistent posting schedule is also helpful to keep your audience engaged and anticipating your uploads.
Top social trends in 2023
Now that we’ve explored the top platforms in 2023, let’s take a look at the latest social trends taking over these platforms.
Why is it important to keep up with social trends?
Understanding and incorporating social trends into your content will help you connect with and relate to your audience.
It also serves the following purposes:
- Gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s motivations, needs, and preferences
- Gives you a competitive edge
- Boosts engagement
- Shows customers your brand is forward-thinking and proactive in a changing landscape
- Gives you valuable data and insights into consumer behaviors
When you align your social media strategy with current trends, you can more effectively reach your target audience and more easily reach new audiences.
Of course, not every trend will match your company’s goals and voice. While it’s important to be aware of the latest trends, choose carefully which strategies align with your mission, goals, and objectives.
That being said, let’s take a look at the top social media trends in 2023.
Social media warning
In May 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released an advisory on social media and youth mental health in an effort to expose the risks of social media on the growing and developing brains of children and adolescents.
According to the advisory, social media use by young people is “nearly universal,” with around 95% of those ages 13-17 using a social media platform, and more than a third reporting they use social media almost constantly.
The purpose of the advisory was to highlight both the benefits of social media and the growing challenges associated with these platforms, as well as to call on policymakers, tech companies, parents, and researchers to protect children and model responsible online behavior.
Be a part of the solution
The social media warning is part of a growing trend in 2023 involving brand responsibility and accountability in a digital landscape.
We will dig into general brand accountability more later, but the idea is that businesses are increasingly being held responsible for their actions and their impact on society.
Regarding social media, whether a company is targeting youth on social media or not, they have to be aware of the risks and dangers involved so they can contribute to a safer and more positive online environment for younger users.
By acknowledging and addressing the dangers associated with social media use, brands can position themselves as empathetic and responsible partners, resonating with the values and priorities of their target audience.
Additionally, businesses need to be aware of the legislation aimed at protecting young social media users and help execute and shape industry standards.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow to $21.1 billion in 2023.
More than 83% of marketing agencies and brands believe influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing, and more than 80% intend to dedicate a budget to it in 2023.
If you’re not sure what influencer marketing is or how it works, here’s the scoop: Influencer marketing is essentially today’s version of celebrity endorsements.
Social media influencers and content creators have a large following and a high level of engagement across their channels.
Some influencers are actually celebrities, but others are everyday people who have amassed a major following by consistently posting engaging, entertaining, or informative content that their target audience loves.
How to leverage influencer marketing
In general, the higher an influencer’s follower count and level of engagement, the more your business is going to have to pay for a partnership.
Fortunately, influencer marketing is more accessible than ever today because there are several levels of “influencer status.”
And, due to the number of content creators on the web today, there’s a higher chance that you can find someone to connect with who aligns with your goals and target audience.
Influencer marketing can look like sponsored posts, guest blogs, meetups, giveaways, or even reviews.
Influencer marketing works because consumers trust influencers. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.
That’s really what influencer marketing boils down to—trust.
To execute the best partnership for your business, look for influencers who use your keywords and have an engaged following. This means that even if they only have 1,000 followers, their posts have hundreds of “likes” and comments.
Engagement is key to a successful influencer partnership.
Video marketing has been on social trends lists for the past several years, and it is only growing in popularity thanks to YouTube and TikTok.
Video is a powerful way for brands to build trust and credibility with their audiences. In fact, YouTube is also considered a major search engine today.
Statistics show that more than 90% of marketers are using video content in 2023, with Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok as the major video-sharing platforms.
And according to Wyzowl, 92% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI.
Popular types of video content include:
- Short, TikTok-style videos
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Q&A sessions
- Customer testimonials
- Informative content
- How-to videos
- Live streams
The best way to determine how you could be using video is to perform a search for your most relevant keywords. Note the types of video content that appear in the results, and determine how you could incorporate this type of content into your strategy.
In some industries, such as mortgages, law firms, or senior living, video content is seriously lacking. This puts your business in a prime position for filling this gap and staying ahead of the competition.
Consumers today are eager for quality video content that specifically addresses their needs, challenges, and pain points.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a production team and thousands of dollars of equipment to meet this demand anymore. All you need to do is find a comfortable, clean, well-lit space, set up your smartphone, and hit “record.”
Take a look at the following example from realtor Nicole Nark, who creates videos aimed at first-time homebuyers.
What your audience wants the most from you is the answers to their biggest questions, presented with your friendly, approachable demeanor.
How does the mortgage process work? Do they have a legal case? What do they need to know before they visit your senior living community?
Meet your audience where they are, and they will flock to your content.
Informative, educational content
In addition to informative, educational video content, your audience also wants informative and educational content in all forms!
High-quality educational content is a major social trend in 2023. It helps position your brand as an industry authority and “trusted expert” on the topics at hand.
- Blog posts and articles
- Case studies
- Success stories
- Lists of resources/tools
- Quizzes and polls
If this looks similar to a general marketing content list, you’re right! Remember that pretty much anything you create can be shared on social media as part of your overall marketing strategy.
The key to successfully sharing this content on social media is to carefully consider your audiences on each channel.
A mortgage document checklist may not make sense to your LinkedIn audience, but your Facebook followers may love it. A short-form video highlighting your “Fun Friday” event may not perform well on Facebook, but it could gain thousands of views on TikTok.
This is where client personas and social media statistics come in handy — they can help you highlight which personas use which social channels, so you can tailor your content appropriately.
Create social content calendars to appropriately sort and schedule your content, and make sure to come back and make notes about the level of engagement on each post. This will help guide your future moves.
Artificial intelligence is quite the topic of controversy today, but it’s also one of excitement and opportunity.
While our world leaders discuss how to stop AI from someday taking over the planet, a business’s responsibility with current AI is more about making sure you understand the limitations of this technology so you can use it to its fullest potential.
This includes understanding the differences between AI and machine learning and how each can best be used within your company.
It also includes realizing the best use for chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing Chat.
First, the difference between AI and ML:
- AI is a broad umbrella term for software that is capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence
- ML is a subset of AI that focuses on the development of algorithms and models that allow machines to learn from data and improve their performance on a specific task over time without being explicitly programmed
Machine learning is designed to make your existing business operations more efficient by analyzing large sets of data to detect patterns, and making predictions or decisions based on this data.
AI is already a large part of our lives, but the hype surrounding AI and its potential has grown significantly since the introduction of chatbots such as ChatGPT.
Here are the most effective and powerful ways for businesses to use AI right now as part of their social media strategies:
- Collect and analyze customer data to deliver more personalized experiences
- More effectively target the right audiences for your specific strategies, goals, and campaigns
- Save time and reduce manual work
- Brainstorm content ideas and create content
Some of the best AI tools for social media include:
The media highlights the scary potential of AI for page views, but for your social marketing purposes, AI can be a helpful tool that helps save time and money — and helps you boost your ROI.
Choosing to ignore AI might seem easier at the moment, but to remain competitive in an increasingly digital landscape you’ll eventually need to take on some of these tools.
Brand authenticity and accountability
Brand authenticity and accountability are more important than ever to consumers in 2023.
Consumers have never been so invested in understanding what their favorite brands stand for, what’s important to them, and what drives them — and it’s never been so easy for consumers to access this information online.
Your audience is interested in everything from how you treat your employees to what social issues matter to you — and these factors can make or break a business in seconds flat.
If that sounds scary, it’s really not. Businesses that are genuine and transparent and align their messaging, actions, and experiences will effortlessly rise above the competition.
Brand authenticity involves the following components:
- Well-defined core values
- Consistent messaging and overall brand experience
- Transparency about business practices and service offerings
- A unique brand voice and personality
- A positive employee culture
On the other hand, brand accountability refers to high ethical standards in all aspects of your operations and an understanding of your role in society and responsibility to your community.
Brand authenticity and accountability foster customer trust and loyalty, and allow businesses to create genuine connections with their audience.
Ultimately, these practices allow businesses to truly set themselves apart from the competition and establish a positive, lasting impression.
For example, take a look at Compass Mortgage’s positioning statement and core values below.
The company is committed to presenting itself as a family, and emphasizing that everyone has value and infinite worth and deserves love and respect from their team.
Compass further emphasizes its messaging with landing pages for “Why We’re Different” and “Join Our Family.”
No matter your industry, you can make an impact in your messaging by thoughtfully considering what’s important to you and including it throughout your content.
What’s popular today most likely won’t be tomorrow. Remember when Twitter was on top of the world, and no one knew anything about TikTok?
It remains to be seen whether any of today’s up-and-coming social media platforms will be worth learning for your strategy, but no guide to social trends would be complete without mentioning where else your audience may be hanging out.
Let’s take a look at the social media platforms to watch in 2023.
BeReal was created in France in 2019 as an alternative to the polished, filtered world of Instagram and other platforms.
Here’s how it works: BeReal will send users a notification at a random time of day saying, “Time to BeReal.” The user is then given two minutes to take a picture of whatever they are currently doing, with a front-facing and back-facing camera.
The idea is to capture a raw, unfiltered moment to share with friends. There are no ads or follower counts on the app.
Discord was created solely for the gaming community in 2015, but much like other social platforms, it has evolved into a space for all types of communities to gather and take advantage of the text, video, and audio tools within the app.
There are currently no ads on the platform, but brands can create their own channels or servers to gain customer insights or strengthen customer relationships.
Twitch is a video streaming platform that was originally another space for gamers but now is used for all types of content.
Companies can buy ads on the platform, partner with influencers on Twitch, or create their own branded channels.
Substack is a newsletter platform that connects creators directly with their audience. Substack also has a podcast platform and is working on a video platform.
The platform is popular for influencer guest posts to help creators connect with their target audiences and build a larger audience.
Lemon8 is an up-and-coming photo and video platform that combines elements of the most popular platforms today, including TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest.
The platform is more focused on lifestyle topics and features influencer ads and sponsored content.
Polywork may someday become LinkedIn’s biggest competitor — if it’s lucky.
The platform is focused on professional networking and collaborations and allows users to highlight more than one role, side gig, or focus.
Social media considerations by industry
No two businesses could have the exact same social media strategy, because each one is bringing to the table its own unique goals, mission, background, and voice.
These elements of your strategy, which in the past may have been irrelevant, should now be at the forefront.
In an increasingly competitive environment with thousands of options for consumers, it is these unique elements that truly set businesses apart.
Let’s take a look at the social media trends and considerations specific to three industries: law firms, mortgages, and senior living.
These examples highlight the differences in strategies that you can use to craft your own perfect social plan.
Attorneys and law firms have additional advertising rules in place in an effort to emphasize the goals of attorney advertising as well as the responsibility lawyers have to uphold the dignity of the legal profession.
The rules involve avoiding the word “expert” and exercising extreme caution when it comes to accuracy or omitting details.
Beyond the additional caution for advertising — which, of course, includes social media advertising — attorneys and law firms are encouraged to embrace social media and digital marketing in order to reach more clients.
In the legal profession, extra emphasis is placed on using advertising and social media to provide helpful information and resources and avoiding excessive self-promotion.
Social media strategies for the mortgage industry are focused on helping demystify the lending process, and building confidence in borrowers so they are armed with all the information they need to reach out to a lender.
Mortgage professionals are encouraged to develop a strong social media presence, and to position themselves as friendly, trustworthy, and approachable expert who has all the answers to a borrower’s questions.
Mortgage loan officers and brokers can achieve this through the following social media content examples:
- Posting informational videos that address their audience’s biggest questions and concerns
- Hosting live stream Q&As
- Creating and sharing long-form blog content
- Using polls and quizzes to engage followers
One of the most important factors in any industry is to understand the complexities of your target audience so you are using the appropriate channels to meet them.
By 2023, all Baby Boomers will be 65 or older.
The senior living industry is experiencing heightened demand and will need to continue growing to meet this increasing need.
Senior living marketing requires the power of social media to reach your target audience. It also requires a compassionate, understanding voice, and tons of engaging content including:
- Videos of staff and residents (with permission, of course)
- Virtual tours
- Video tours
- High-quality photos
A senior living community is home to many people, and the decision to move is not taken lightly. Be sure to include numerous resources for family caregivers, and create as much content as you can that shows the ins and outs of your community.
Of course, the goal is to get your prospects in for a tour, but if your marketing materials are lacking, families will easily overlook your community for another one that has a bigger, brighter, and cozier digital and social presence.
Kaleidico can help you implement the latest social trends
Kaleidico has been generating leads online for nearly two decades, and we have become experts at building systems that support the customer journey.
Content marketing is among the many systems that are essential for reaching our clients’ lead generation goals.
Backed by our proven content marketing framework, we can help you craft and design content campaigns across multiple channels.
It all starts with a holistic, human-centered philosophy — consumers find what they’re looking for and you gain business from engaged and qualified leads.
Ready to get started? Schedule a Discovery Session so our team can learn about what makes you unique, your objectives, and how to reach them.