Dave Chaffey | Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:35:13 +0000 | http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/

A compilation of social media statistics of consumer adoption and usage

Social networks are now so well established, that there are now a core ‘top 5’ social networks which are most popular which doesn’t change from year-to-year. But, as we’ll see in this post, the most popular social media sites vary a lot by level of usage in different countries and with demographics. When comparing the most popular social networks it’s best to review them by active account usage, not just the number of user accounts. We’ll also see in this summary that some social networks are growing more rapidly than others while some are now in decline.

We recommend Global Web Index as one of the most reliable research sources of social media statistics to compare consumer use and engagement across different social networks. Research is conducted in quarterly waves, each of which has a global sample size of more than 40,000 internet users. Many other social media research programmes are no longer active. Although Global WebIndex are a paid subscription service, their blog provides useful insights on digital consumer behaviour and the Global Web Index Slideshare gives good top-level summaries which we share later in this compilation.

The most popular social networks worldwide in 2015?

Here is the latest Global Web Index summary in January 2015 (the most recently published) showing social network account ownership and active usage. It’s useful to have both since it’s the active social media use statistic which really shows the potential of a platform. Although Facebook is no longer growing at the rate it was based on the previous chart, its clearly the number one.

social network popularity by country

The popularity of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are expected. You can see that Facebook is most popular in terms of active use – other charts in the report show it scores well in terms of frequency.

The ongoing importance of the Google social platforms YouTube and Google+ may be a surprise since Google+ is no longer actively promoted, but they are integrated into their unified account sign-in.

Social network popularity by country

This is a great visualisation of the popularity of social networks based on the interviews in the GWI report. If you pick out your country it’s probably way behind the countries in which these four core social networks are most popular. Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico, India and Brazil are in the top 10 for each with significantly higher levels of use than the US, UK and European countries.

2015 Social network popularity by country

The fastest growing social networks?

Which are the fast growing networks? Well, through 2014 Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and LinkedIn had the biggest growth, so we can expect this has continued into 2015. So, if you’re not actively using these networks for marketing, this could be a missed opportunity. This chart doesn’t show Reddit, which is another network that is growing rapidly.

Fastest growing social networks 2015

Use of social networks by different demographics

This chart is striking for the similarity of usage across different age groups. It shows that the social networks are now at a stage of maturity where they give opportunities to reach all age and gender groups. The exceptions to this are Instagram and Tumblr which are clearly popular with younger age groups.

Demographic use of social networks - age and gender

Another good alternative source of the latest stats on social networking is the ‘We are Social’ – their Singapore office has created these massive country-by-country compilations like this one on their Slideshare channel. These use different data sources including GWI.